Westward Air Halts Service

Westward Airways, of Scottsbluff, Nebraska has ceased operations. That word came Monday from the airline's president.

Eldon Anthony, president of Westward, said in a letter to the mayor of neighboring Gering that the airline had ceased operations, but did not clarify whether that meant the entire airline had shut down or whether only flights in its "River Run" route, which flies from Scottsbluff to Lincoln and Omaha, have been put on hold.

Westward Airways had dropped its routes to Taos, Gallup and Las Cruces in New Mexico last week, citing nonpayment of promised subsidies from the communities and a lack of passengers.

Anthony said in the letter dated Saturday that Westward, "can no longer absorb the losses incurred in New Mexico."

He also said that the U.S. Department of Transportation had told Westward that "it will not permit Westward to fly in Nebraska if we cease operations in New Mexico."

The letter also said Westward was "interested in exploring any possibility of reinstituting the River Run."

Westward has contacted U.S. Rep. Tom Osborne, R-3rd District, and he is looking into the situation, said his press secretary, Erin Hegge, on Monday. She could not provide details, she said.