NEWPORT NEWS — The Peninsula Airport Commission (PAC) said it was notified by Avelo Airlines officials Tuesday that it was terminating service from Newport News/Williamsburg Airport past April 16.
According to an airport press release, the decision was made “due to economic and market factors which far exceed the control of the Peninsula Airport Commission or Newport News/Williamsburg Airport.”
Avelo said in an email to WYDaily that all customers who have tickets booked past April 17 will be automatically refunded and that it is in the process of notifying customers about the news.
PAC said it retains the Small Community Air Service Development Program (SCASDP) Grant which it intends to use to attract additional carriers to Newport News/Williamsburg Airport. It continues to provide service to American Airlines and other airport tenants.
The budget airline first announced in July to much fanfare it would begin nonstop service to Orlando and Fort Lauderdale, and the airport celebrated its first landing in late October.
It is the latest airline to choose to leave the airport, as recent years have seen a decline in commercial service with airlines consolidating operations to nearby Richmond and Norfolk. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated that trend, with Delta temporarily suspending operations at the airport before deciding not to return.
That decline is something PAC said it needs to reverse and was a factor in its decision to part ways with Airport Executive Director Michael Giardino last week.
“We need to foster the relationships that we have with American and Avelo,” Chairwoman Lindsey Carney Smith said after the board voted to terminate Giardino’s employment. “We just feel like we’re at a point where we needed a leadership change to really facilitate that growth and that development, and so that’s why the PAC went in the direction that it did.”
On Monday, Avelo announced exclusive nonstop service to Orlando from Charlottesville.