I really expected this. The consortium awarding the money is quickly finding out that the PC-12 is just not a realistic airplane for such a small market. I feel bad for Astoria and Newport because they know if Seaport wins the contract, they will probably be gone at the end of it since it will be hard to get people to pay $150 one way for a 30 minute flight. Even then, they still might not break even.
The consortium also doesn't seem to trust Seaport to get an interline agreement within 6 months of service. The story says that Seaport's CEO and the Director of the Oregon Department of Aviation got in a heated exchange and were removed from negotiations at one point because of it.
While I really want to see service to AST and ONP, blowing almost $4 million worth of tax money on an operation that probably will never sustain itself is a waste.
I also personally am getting tired of the CEO Craford touting their safety and reliability. Cape Air and Kenmore Air fly much older planes, with impeccable safety records, in some of the worst flying conditions in the United States year round. The Northeast and the Northwest aren't the most flyable places in winter. And they have both been doing it for a very very long time.
I vote for Cape Air and Kenmore to get back in the running for this.