Connect Airlines announced today that it has been issued its certificate of convenience and necessity by the US Department of Transportation (DOT). The certificate allows Connect to engage in interstate scheduled air transportation once it has completed Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) required proving runs. The proving runs are scheduled to begin July 18, 2022, and last approximately four weeks.
The DOT also tentatively approved Connect's certificate authorizing foreign scheduled air transportation. The foreign certificate will be formally awarded following a separate review by the White House.
"We thank the Administration and the Department's team for their interest and diligence in moving our application forward. This major milestone allows us to deliver a smarter and more sustainable travel experience," said John Thomas, CEO, Connect Airlines. "Getting to this stage would not have been possible without the incredible work of our entire team over the past year. We look forward to completing our regulatory process with the FAA and DOT to ensure our pending service will meet our promise to passengers."
Connect will work closely with the FAA towards successful completion of the certification process, then subsequently apply for Canadian authorizations before beginning scheduled service between Toronto's Billy Bishop's (YTZ) convenient downtown airport and Chicago's O'Hare (ORD) and Philadelphia (PHL) airports.
From launch Connect's aircraft will generate up to 40% less carbon emissions than the existing US regional jets they replace while at the same time providing a superior passenger experience. Connect also plans to be the first zero-emission passenger airline in the US through its recently announced order with Universal Hydrogen for hydrogen-powered aircraft.
"Regional jet flights represent ~40% of total US departures. So, adapting and applying existing technology to dramatically reduce the carbon footprint is fundamental to the US reaching its climate goals," said Thomas.