PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Another small airline is coming to Pittsburgh.READ MORE: Four Freight Train Cars Derail In Altoona
Balloons and backdrops in the ticketing area of Pittsburgh International Airport have become a hallmark of new airlines bringing their service to Findlay Township. “New year, new airline!” Airport CEO Christina Cassotis declared, “I think that’s the way we want to start every January.”
Pittsburgh International Airport introduced the Florida-based Via Airlines on Wednesday.
Cassotis says, “Hartford is something we’ve wanted to get regular service to, Memphis is important because of the Fed X connection and Birmingham is new for us.”
They will begin service here in the spring.
Via Airlines flies to Hartford, Connecticut; Birmingham, Alabama; and Memphis, Tennessee, which then connects to Austin, Texas.
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According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Via Airlines started up in 1997 and Pittsburgh will be its 19th market.
All flights will be using Embraer 50 seat regional jets which Via Airlines touts as having none of the dreaded middle seats. The stripped down base fare will be $99 one way with service starting in April to Birmingham, June to Memphis\Austin, and July to Hartford.
Allegheny Co. Executive Rich Fitzgerald says the size of the cities Via Airlines will serve is critical to local businesses. “Particularly to the medium size cities that have not been consistently served by other carriers.”
Via’s Senior VP for Business Development Don Bowman says this is the first step for Pittsburgh, “We hope in two or three months to have a similar announcement with four more cities we’re looking at.”
They have a fleet of 10 planes and about 150 employees, the Post-Gazette reports.
Flights to Birmingham begin in April, then to Memphis and Austin in June, and finally Hartford in July.MORE NEWS: County Fire Marshal Investigating Lea's Floral Shop Fire In East McKeesport
Stay with KDKA for John Shumway’s full report on this story in our evening newscasts.