Fairbanks declines to subsidize airline

Photo/Rob Stapleton/AJOC
FAIRBANKS -- Condor German Airlines won’t be getting any financial backing from the borough government -- at least for now.

The airline wants the community to put up money to ensure that its Fairbanks-to-Frankfurt service doesn’t lose money. The carrier began offering the service last summer. The Fairbanks North Star Borough was solicited for $50,000 to $250,000.

"It’s not appropriate for the borough to step up and say, ’We’re going to do it,’ " Jim Dodson, vice chairman of the borough economic development commission, said Jan. 10. Borough Mayor Rhonda Boyles told the commission that she would support a lesser amount, perhaps $10,000.

Airport marketing director Dave Carlstrom is trying to find backers who will put up a total of $500,000. The money would go to Condor if the carrier can’t fill a minimum number of seats.

Condor came in last summer after a local businessman agreed to underwrite seats. Carlstrom said that businessman ended up having to pay $25,000, but only because of a near-empty flight after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

He calls the financial guarantee a token gesture.

"Condor is absorbing 90 percent of the risk and looking from us for an almost symbolic 10 percent," Carlstrom said.

01/21/2002 - 8:00pm