Airline talks lose altitude

Posted: Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Negotiations between a Kenai travel business owner and Bellair Inc. to purchase the Kenai Express commuter airline have been grounded.

Dottie Fischer, who owns Alaska's Best Travel, had been in negotiations with Bellair owner Mike Spisak to purchase the airline, but she said Monday that she is no longer trying to acquire Kenai Express.

"Negotiations have kind of fallen through between Mr. Spisak and myself," Fischer said Monday.

Over the weekend, Kenai Express customers were greeted with a recording saying reservations were not being taken until Monday. As of Monday, the recording remained the same, and there was no evidence of any Kenai Express flights taking off or landing at Kenai Municipal Airport.

Fischer said the weekend problems were due to her having to spend time in the hospital. She said her health did play into the decision not to pursue the airline deal.

"My doctor said I need to remove as much stress as I can," she said.

Kenai airport manager Rebecca Cronkhite said she has not heard any information as to what Kenai Express' plans are, now that the deal has fallen through.

"As this point, the airport hasn't been informed one way or the other," she said.

Fischer did say she believes there is a need for a second air carrier in the Kenai area, and she hopes someone else decides to take over the carrier, which has been in business since June.

"There's definitely a need in the community," she said.

Calls to Spisak and Bellair Inc. were not returned to the Clarion on Monday.

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