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Fairbanks borough declines request for funds from German airline

Posted: Friday, January 11, 2002

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Condor German Airlines won't be get 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 anywhere from $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 Thursday. 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.



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