CommutAir, a regional airline that flies for United Express, plans to open a maintenance operation this summer at the Lincoln Airport.




A regional carrier that flies for United Airlines plans to open an aircraft maintenance base in Lincoln.

CommutAir, which flies 50-seat regional jets, plans to start basing some of those planes at the Lincoln Airport by the beginning of July, said airport Executive Director David Haring.

The company, which is based in the Cleveland area, has expanded rapidly since last summer, when it became the exclusive provider of Embraer ERJ-145 50-seat jet aircraft for United.

It had previously flown only in eastern and southeastern regions of the U.S., flying routes out of Washington, D.C., Houston and Newark, New Jersey.

In March, however, it started flying routes out of Denver. That made it a necessity for the company to open a second maintenance base, because its only existing one is in Albany, New York.

CommutAir officials could not be reached for comment, but Haring said he believes the company targeted Lincoln because of its location in the center of the country and also because it has existing United service to Denver.

CommutAir does not currently fly the Lincoln-Denver route, but it will start once the maintenance operation is in place, he said.

Haring said negotiations with CommutAir started about six months ago but were complicated by the fact that the airport didn’t have any open space that could accommodate the company’s needs, which included a building large enough to house up to three planes.

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