‘All-Frills’ Regent Air Flying Again
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ After 11 days on the ground, super-luxury Regent Air is flying again on a reduced schedule after receiving on Thursday a temporary operating certificate from the U.S. Transportation Department.
However, Transportation Department officials are holding up a decision on a permanent license because of government questions about alleged organized- crime ties involving the airline’s founders and principal investors, Clifford and Stuart Perlman.
The Perlmans sold their stock in the airline last July but still hold about $12 million in notes from Regent.
Regent’s temporary operating certificate is good for 90 days. Spokesman Jerry Digney said Regent officials hope to respond to Transportation Department questions about the Perlmans within 15 days.
Previously, the airline had been operated under a charter arrangement with another carrier, but that expired March 3. Regent’s president and chairman, Roger Faherty, said it would save the airline money to become licensed and operate its own planes.
Faherty has said he hopes to have Regent operating in the black by later this year. Since the airline was founded 21/2 years ago, it has lost about $31.5 million.
Regent, which flies three Boeing 727s that have been redesigned to carry only 34 passengers instead of the usual 120 and offer haute cuisine meals and private secretaries, charges $785 for a one-way trip between Los Angeles and New York.
But to date, it has averaged only about 15 passengers per trip, fewer than it had hoped to attract to the luxury flights.
It is now flying only one round trip daily, compared to its previous two round trips a day.