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Shuttle America announced plans Wednesday to start offering three daily flights Sept. 28 from Buffalo to Hanscom Field in suburban Boston.

The new service will give air travelers a low-fare alternative to Boston, with one-way fares beginning at $59.

In addition, the Connecticut-based airline said it will offer a daily non-stop flight to Long Island's MacArthur Airport and increase the number of flights to Wilmington, Del., near Philadelphia.

"We haven't had low-cost air service to Boston," said Lawrence M. Meckler, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority's executive director. "This is a tremendous breakthrough."

Some 108,000 passengers a year fly between Boston's Logan Airport and Buffalo Niagara International Airport, making the Boston market the fifth most popular destination for area travelers.

With the new Boston service, the airport now boasts low-cost flights to the five most popular destinations for Buffalo travelers.

The Buffalo airport already provided low-cost air service to Orlando, Fla.; Chicago; Atlanta; and near New York City.

"Two years ago, the only low-cost service we had was to Orlando," Meckler said.

Shuttle America's announcement should come as good news for small-business travelers who have been socked by walk-up fares to Boston as high as $600 round-trip from US Airways.

The airline counts on its lower fares to attract the owners and executives of small companies who fly for business reasons.

"In Buffalo, people don't want to pass the cost of a $600 plane ticket onto their customers," said Mark Cestari, Shuttle America's vice president for marketing and communications.

Shuttle America's most-expensive fare -- the walk-up price paid by those booking at the last minute -- will be $198 for a round-trip flight.

Each flight to Hanscom Field from Buffalo Niagara International Airport will include a 20-minute stopover in Trenton, N.J.

"Ultimately, we hope to provide non-stop flights," Cestari said.

Hanscom Field, located about 12 miles northwest of Boston, is bounded by the suburban communities of Bedford, Concord, Lexington and Lincoln.

Hanscom Field has had scheduled commercial flights before, but it's primarily a general aviation airport used mainly by private planes and corporate jets.

The airport is located just off Route 128, which has become a high-technology corridor.

For passengers who fly into Hanscom Field, it is roughly a 30-minute drive to downtown Boston, Cestari said.

The smaller airport will take some getting used to for passengers accustomed to flying into Logan, he said.

"There will be a learning curve," Cestari said. "On the other hand, people who have been flying to Boston in the past five years have just had it with massive traffic delays and constant flight delays at Logan. They're hungry for an alternative."

Because of road construction work, it can take 90 minutes to drive to downtown Boston from Logan, he said.

Daily flights from Buffalo to Hanscom will depart at 9:35 a.m. (except Sunday), 1:20 p.m., and 4:15 p.m. (except Saturday). Flights from Hanscom will depart for Buffalo at 8:25 a.m. (except Saturday and Sunday), 12:55 p.m., and 4:40 p.m. (except Saturday). The airline also offers a 7:35 p.m. flight to Buffalo on Fridays.

Shuttle America's new non-stop flight to MacArthur Airport in Islip, L.I., 40 miles east of Manhattan, will depart Buffalo at 1:35 p.m. daily, except on Saturdays.

Passengers taking two other flights to Islip at 8:50 a.m. and 6:50 p.m. will stop over in Albany.

Shuttle America's 50-seat, Dash-8-300 turboprop will be used for all the flights.

The airline does not use tickets. Instead, customers call 1-888-999-FARE for reservations and instantly purchase a seat using a credit card. They are given a confirmation number. Passengers proceed directly to Shuttle America's boarding gate and present the confirmation number and identification before boarding.

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