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PBA Announces Layoffs, Northeastern, Continental Plan New Routes

February 15, 1985

Undated (AP) _ Provincetown-Boston Airline said it would lay off 150 more employees on Friday and reduce its flight frequency by 17 percent in an effort to return to profitability.

In separate airline industry developments, Northeastern International Airways said it would begin service between Orlando or St. Petersburg, Fla. and two northern points; and Continental Airlines said a U.S. Department of Transportation judge recommended that it be approved for non-stop service from Houston to London.

Provincetown-Boston, based in Naples, Fla., announced its layoffs Thursday. Since early February, PBA’s staff has been cut almost in half at the urging of Florida investor Hugh F. Culverhouse who obtained options to buy a controlling interest in the airline several weeks ago.

Friday’s layoffs would bring the airline’s total staff down to 586. The cuts in flight frequency will bring PBA down to 270 flights a day from 500 flights a day at its peak, but airline spokesman Stephen Story said PBA will not cut any destinations.

PBA suffered financial problems after it was shut down in November for safety violations. After restarting, one of its planes crashed near Jacksonville, killing 13 people.

In Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Northeastern International said it will fly non- stop from Orlando and St. Petersburg to Chicago and Islip, N.Y., near New York City.

The new routes will cost $89 one way during the week and $99 Saturdays and Sundays, the company said.

Northeastern, which filed for Chapter 11 protection from creditors on Jan. 8, said it hoped the new routes would allow it to continue its slow stabilization process.

The move will expand Northeastern’s route system to 110 weekly departures. At one point, the discount carrier pared its service to one jet flying one daily round-trip flight between Islip and Fort Lauderdale.

Meanwhile, in Houston, Continental spokesman David Messing said Administrative Law Judge John Vittone announced he would recommend Continental for the Houston-London route. Pan American World Airways also sought approval for the route, which it had offered until canceling it in 1982.

Continental still needs final approval from Transportation Department officials and President Reagan before the service is started, Messing said.

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