PEOPLExpress to fly out of Newport News

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) – In a month, PEOPLExpress will be flying out of Newport News-Williamsburg International Airport to several destinations.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe was on hand for the announcement in Newport News Friday morning, and Executive Director Ken Spirito handed out free tickets beforehand.

“PEOPLExpress will return to the skies on June 30 from right here in Newport News,” CEO Jeff Erickson said at the announcement.

The company will offer service to Boston, Pittsburgh and Newark beginning at the end of June, and stops in Atlanta, West Palm Beach, St. Petersburg and New Orleans will be added at later dates.

“This is how you grow an economy,” said Governor McAuliffe. “We did have to open up the region. This airport had lost air traffic. It’s very hard to bring in businesses if they can’t connect to the global economy. Allowing this now to go to New York and access international carriers there, it opens up tremendous business opportunities.”

Vision Airlines will dedicate a fleet of three 737 aircraft to the company, each plane with 150 seats. Tickets, starting at $76 each way, will go on sale beginning June 4.

“We’re here to stay … starting up any company and starting up any airline is tricky,” Erickson said. “There are things that have to be done and have to be done properly, but I think we’re in great shape.”

Passengers at the airport Friday morning were excited about the new airline, like Shequita Spence: “When new airlines come, it brings more people in and out of the city, so I’m excited.”

The first aircraft in the PEOPLExpress livery is expected to arrive in Newport News Saturday morning. A toll-free number, 1-844-4FLYPEX, is now open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. to answer questions.

The airline will also create more than 100 jobs initially, which will grow to 200 jobs by the end of the summer. For more information on careers, visit www.pexcareers.com.

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