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PEOPLExpress Acquires Idaho-Based Airline

WYDaily.com is your source for free news and information in Williamsburg, James City & York Counties.

Airline start-up PEOPLExpress now has planes to fly.

The fledgling airline has been trying to set up operations in Newport News since last year. With Wednesday’s announcement that PEOPLExpress had acquired Idaho-based XTRA Airways, the airline has not only secured its first aircraft but also the Federal Aviation Administration certificate required to operate as an airline in the United States.

XTRA Airways is based out of Boise, Idaho, where it operates a fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft. It was reported in April that PEOPLExpress had a purchase agreement in place to acquire in airline, though the name of the airline was unknown at the time.

The announcement did not include a potential start date for service, and wydaily.com was unable to reach PEOPLExpress CEO Mike Morisi by phone.

“The purchase of XTRA Airways fits well into the PEOPLExpress long-term business model,” Morisi said in a statement on the company’s website. “Their talented team of airline industry specialists has maintained excellent relationships with the FAA, its customers, and industry leaders for more than 25 years.”

PEOPLExpress had explored the possibility of buying planes and then applying for an air operator’s certificate, but that process could take up to 18 months. By acquiring XTRA and its certificate, the airline has bypassed that process entirely.

XTRA Airways was established in 1987 and is certified to operate in the United States, the Caribbean, Canda, Mexico and Central and South America.

The addition of PEOPLExpress to Newport News-Williamsburg International Airport would bring more flights to an airport that lost 43 percent of its market in March 2012, when AirTran left.

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Posted by on June 5, 2013. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

3 Responses to PEOPLExpress Acquires Idaho-Based Airline

  1. SJ Bobkins Reply

    June 19, 2013 at 8:46 am

    I hope PE can get off the ground, where their at now is the point at which most vapor airlines dissolve, the dream ends unless they can attract big buckets filled with cash. The fact that they had to get a loan in order to “buy?” this charter company isn’t encouraging. If they do get the money to then start hiring and training, they might wish to do what old Southwest did to grab a piece of the pie the established carriers weren’t that interested in, smaller airports close to airline hubs and larger cities. You can’t make a go of it by wishing to “fix” a problem such as the lack of service into Newport News any more that Pride Airlines could make a go of it because their pilot owners didn’t like Continental Airlines labor practices. If you start too small as Virgin America has done you forever remain small and unprofitable or if you put all of your eggs in one basket as Frontier has done in Denver you end up better whipped by Southwest and United who can spread their risk to many other cities. However if Spirit with their dispicable fare structure and anti-passenger attitude or Alliegiant with their weird scheduling can make it, there is a chance if you control costs and avoid head to head competition with the big guys. I’d like to see a coast to coast carrier with stops rather than fuel and time wasting hubbing, again as Southwest was at first. Ontario, CA rather than LA, Mesa/Gateway rather than Phoenix, Provo, UT rather than Salt Lake City, following suit thru to the east coast, with a focus city Pittsburgh or Cincinnati both half used. Flying Newport News to New York, Boston, Miami, Philly, and maybe Chicago won’t keep the aircraft busy, you have to have a feeder system of some kind. I hope it works, we need a good carrier that treats customers like they are welcome aboard and you wish to keep their loyalty.

  2. B Reply

    June 7, 2013 at 7:36 am

    Would love to see New York City non stop!

  3. Thomas Nelson, Jr. Reply

    June 6, 2013 at 8:43 am

    If determined and more specifically, where will the PEOPLExpress fly to in the U.S.? Our bed and breakfast (Marl Inn, Yorktown Village) receives a fair number of folks flying into Norfold, Richmond, and Newport News. We would like to let our guest know if they ask.

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