PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Think back a couple of decades? Do you remember the airline called People Express?
They made a name for themselves as a low-cost, no-frills airline in the 1980’s. But could they be coming back to life and back to Pittsburgh?
“I think they have a few more hoops that they have to jump through before this becomes realistic, but we are thrilled that they are considering Pittsburgh as one of the cities they are going to fly into and out of,” said Joann Jenny, of the Pittsburgh International Airport.
If People Express does return to the air, Pittsburgh would be one of the cities.
They would be based in the Norfolk, Newport News, Williamsburg area, but there could also be flights out of the Rhode Island area, as far south as Florida and as far west as St. Louis.
“We have the gates available. We have ticket counters available,” said Jenny. “So, we operate pretty much as a turnkey operation plus most of the electronics and IT information is centralized here with the airport authority; so, we can pretty much set up their systems and what they need as long as they have their own reservation systems.”
Low cost carriers have been quite popular – Air Tran, Jet Blue, and the leader in the segment Southwest. But it may be a bit odd to add another choice in these days of airline consolidation.
“I think it’s important that the airlines be permitted to compete; and through competition – while it may be a bit inconvenient from time to time for a consumer – the consumer can make a choice,” said Michael Hare, of Pittsburgh. “I think there are some really good airlines and some that are not so good, and so over time they should fall out and succeed or fail as they merit.”
And while cost is a big thing, it’s not the only thing that matters to travelers.
“There’s other factors too. You have to have a certain level of comfort which has altered over the years too,” said Tom Giliberti, of Robinson Township. “It’s kind of gone downhill a little bit.”