NEW YORK, JUNE 19 -- The Trump Shuttle will become something less than a shuttle on weekends starting on July 1, when flights will begin departing every two hours rather than hourly on Saturday afternoons and Sunday mornings, the company said today.
Bruce R. Nobles, president of the shuttle, said the cutback was designed to reduce costs, but he insisted that it was "absolutely not" related to the current cash squeeze affecting his boss, Donald J. Trump, who owns the shuttle.
"We don't have many passengers on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, yet our costs are pretty much the same, so we're just trying to match capacity with demand," Nobles said. There was no immediate word on whether the Pan Am Shuttle, the Trump Shuttle's bitter rival, also was planning to curtail its schedule on weekends.
The Trump Shuttle's cutback affects its flights between Washington's National Airport and New York's LaGuardia Airport, and between New York and Boston. These normally depart on the hour, every hour, from both ends of both routes, except overnight. On Saturdays, starting next month, the shuttle will drop its flights that currently depart at 2, 4, 6 and 8 p.m. On Sundays, it will cut its flights at 10 a.m. and noon.
On a brighter note, the Trump Shuttle announced that it made its regular, $1 million monthly interest payment on schedule to a group of banks headed by Citibank. That was in contrast with the failure by Trump on Friday to make $43 million of payments due on junk bonds floated to finance the Trump Castle Casino in Atlantic City.
Trump's bankers remained huddled in negotiations over whether to lend him about $60 million in fresh funds to help him make the junk bond payments before a June 26 deadline, after which he could lose control of the casino if he remains in default.