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PenAir stops service in rural Nebraska and Kansas

The bankrupt airline leaving communities in our area with not airline service at all. (NTV News)

PenAir is no longer in service in rural Nebraska.

The bankrupt airline left communities in our area with no airline service at all.

On Sunday afternoon, the last PenAir flight left from the Kearney Regional Airport.

In August, the company filed for bankruptcy.

"I guess they'll drive to Lincoln to get an airplane if they wanted to fly out,” Kevin Frederiks, who was boarding the last flight, said.

Brook Gehring and Kevin Frederiks had no idea Sept. 10 was the last day for flights.

"We were kind of shocked. We didn't think that the last leg of our vacation would end up with the very last leg of an airline closing,” said Gehring.

The company announced it would pull its service from airports in Kearney, Scottsbluff, North Platte and two communities in Kansas - Liberal and Dodge City.

"Flying PenAir was exciting when I found out that there was a new airline, a bit bigger there was flight attendants. It was nice to have a bigger airline fly out of Kearney but now that its closing down it's a bit of a bummer just because I won't be able to fly for a little while anymore,” Madison Smith, a passenger on the last flight, said.

Initially PenAir made a plan to continue services until a new carrier took over.

An attorney says the airline could no longer honor the commitment because of a “massive exodus of pilots.”

"In considering that were 3 hours away from Omaha, 4 ½, 5 from Denver I think it was a great idea to have the airline so I think it can put a little bit of a toll on people that need to travel quickly and fast,” Smith said.

The airline has stopped booking reservations for flights.

Mayor Stan Clouse of Kearney says the city will not have a plan until they hear from the DOT.

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