Sunday, December 4, 2022

Airline cancels flights to Myrtle Beach from Newport News/ Williamsburg

Elite Airways operates a fleet of Bombardier CRJ-200 and CRJ-700 jet airliners, which will add routes between Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport (PHF) and New York City/Newark (EWR) and Long Island MacArthur Airport (ISP). (Courtesy Elite Airways & Newport News/Williamsburg Int'l Airport)
Elite Airways operates a fleet of Bombardier CRJ-200 and CRJ-700 jet airliners. (Courtesy Elite Airways & Newport News/Williamsburg Int’l Airport)

Myrtle Beach just got a whole lot further away.

Elite Airways has canceled the start of service between Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport (PHF) and Myrtle Beach International Airport (MYR), according to a press release.

“We had high hopes for start of service at Newport News, but the demand for this particular city pairing wouldn’t have been sufficient to proceed,” said Elite Airways President, John Pearsall.

Elite had previously announced it would launch its first flights between Newport News/ Williamsburg and Myrtle Beach April 6. Flights to Myrtle Beach would have been Elite’s first out of Newport News/Williamsburg.

Instead, the airline is “working with the airport to explore other destinations,” according to Rebecca Ayers, spokesperson for Elite Airways. Destinations may include cities in Florida or even New York City, she added.

The airline’s press release said service to other destinations from Newport News/Williamsburg will be announced later this year.

In 2016 Elite revealed plans to service Greater Williamsburg with flights to New York City. However, the airline postponed the start of service to New York in light of “challenging perceptions,” as PHF was facing a public relations fallout after the airport commission backed a $4.55 million loan to an airline that later defaulted.

Jessica Wharton, director of marketing and public affairs for the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport, said analysis would have to be completed before deciding on a new destination to service.

“It’s a demand issue, and the economics have to make sense,” Wharton said. “We want Elite to be successful.”

Passengers who had purchased tickets to Myrtle Beach have received refunds.

Editor’s note: After the story was published, the airport responded to a request for comment. The story has been updated to include the comment.

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