The letter of Feb. 28 on the loss of Las Vegas service from Merced Regional Airport left out an important detail.
Great Lakes Airlines did not cancel service to Las Vegas without reason. The Department of Transportation canceled the essential air service contract from Ely, Nev., to Las Vegas -- a loss of $2 million to Great Lakes Airlines.
Las Vegas as a destination for Merced and Visalia was just too expensive to maintain. The writer also states "that only leaves LAX as a destination from Merced." It's not mentioned that two flights depart and arrive from LAX on Monday through Friday, once a day on weekends.
LAX has more connections worldwide, within an hour of arrival, than any other West Coast airport. 2012 departure and arrival reliability data at Merced Regional is 93 percent. I was a pilot for a major air carrier, retired in 2009; we would have been ecstatic to have that kind of reliability.
Great Lakes Airlines has stated it would like to expand routes in the western U.S. Since Merced Regional is the only commercial airport between Modesto and Fresno, the airline plans to stay with us. With Great Lakes Airlines "bags fly free," and Merced Regional has easy TSA access and free parking.
LARRY MORELOCK, Merced Regional Airport Authority board member