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"Solid commitments" have been made by five to 10 local firms to buy advance tickets for Kiwi International Air Lines, it was disclosed Tuesday.

Niagara Falls Area Chamber of Commerce President Charles P. Steiner and Town of Niagara economic development director Nicholas A. Curtis made the statements during a meeting of the Niagara County Economic Development Alliance at Niagara County Community College.

However, Steiner said later none of the businesses have paid any money for their tickets yet.

Kiwi has asked for $250,000 worth of advance sales in order to gauge interest in its planned Monday-through-Friday flights between Niagara Falls and Newark, N.J. The airline also is applying for a $550,000 loan from Niagara County to subsidize the service. The County Legislature made the cash sale of at least 300 books of 10 advance tickets each a prerequisite for approval of the loan.

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