The Newport News/Williamsburg Airport may be down but not out, with the addition of United Airlines service and other improvements coming, according to airport officials.
United Airlines will provide a least two daily flights to Washington D.C.’s Dulles airport, said Executive Director Michael Giardino. When flights will begin has not been determined.
“This will allow people to connect to anywhere,” he said.
Giardino made the announcement Tuesday in a Zoom presentation hosted by the Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce.
The airport lured United Airlines with a $847-thousand grant from the Small Commercial Air Service Development Program, managed by the Department of Transportation. The money will help the airline cover start-up costs at the airport.
There are hopes United Airlines will increase routes in the coming years, he added.
Currently American Airlines is the only major carrier at the Peninsula airport. Over the past years, many carriers have left the airport for various reasons, not just lack of passengers, he said.
The airport set a goal to increase passenger usage by 86 percent by 2025. Their plan is to promote the airport as easy to travel through.
“It is 15 minutes from curb to gate,” he said.
When asked about the military and federal government workers using the Government Services Administration’s (GSA) reduced rate program to fly out of the airport, Giardino said “we’ve battled the GSA for year on this.”
Giardino was asked why flights from Newport News/Williamsburg Airport are more expensive than flying out of Richmond’s airport or the Norfolk airport. It is because most flights from Newport News are 85 percent full. Fuller planes often have higher prices, he noted.
There are infrastructure improvements planned, including new luggage carousels, along with runway and parking garage repairs. The terminal will get an upgrade, said Giardino, noting it is 30 years old. The 72-year-old former terminal, used by private companies, will be torn down and replaced, he added.
Leo R says
Currently American Airlines (not Delta Airlines) is the only major carrier at Newport News/Williamsburg Airport.
Accurate information would be appreciated!