AVP Gaining Altitude
At the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport, we’re rising above. Our airport is a strong, vibrant facility with new service options and record-breaking passenger activity. We have a great team of employees and tenant partners coupled with thoughtful guidance from our Bi-County airport board. Four airlines offer flights from “AVP” — American, Delta, United and Southern Airways Express. We’re in discussions with several others, too. Boscov’s Travel also offers direct flights to Orlando, Florida, 16-18 times per year through charter arrangements. Our direct flight options expanded earlier this year when Regional Sky announced that it will be flying between AVP and Pittsburgh International Airport several times each week. The aircraft used on these flights is larger than passengers previously experienced now that Southern Airways announced that it would take over this service. This schedule is the only one of its kind within 90 minutes from our airport. Early performance reports indicate the new PIT service is performing well and that more air service announcements from Southern Airways may be on the horizon. Thus far, this flight has been a favorite with business leaders and students. New air service will be available when United Airlines commences direct service between AVP and Washington Dulles International Airport. Local travelers will benefit by having direct service to the Washington, D.C., region, which is something that other airports in our region do not offer. They also will benefit from all of the connections offered at IAD, including Florida destinations. We are seeing proof that regional travelers are responding to our new and existing services, as passenger activity at AVP has increased by 19.7 percent over the past four years. Moreover, in 2017, more travelers used AVP than ever before. All told, more than 530,000 passengers flew into and out of AVP in 2017. Increased passenger activity is only possible with the support of the travelers who live and work in our region. This level of customer satisfaction is the strongest tool we have in our efforts to further expand our air service. Our beautiful terminal building was constructed for the comfort of our customers and is a jewel of the community. However, when deciding which markets to serve, airlines tend to look closer at the financial viability of a market, the ability to turn a profit. We are keenly aware of this. One type of airline that we have made a priority to attract is an ultra low-cost carrier in the same vein as Allegiant. This provider would offer a quality product to complement the other carriers at AVP. Before its departure, Allegiant flights often were full. However, the airline made a business decision to discontinue the service at certain airports like ours. This does not close the door on attracting a similar carrier and active discussions are underway. For an airport of our size, comings and goings of airlines are an inevitable fact of life. Much of this has to do with corporate needs of the carrier, passenger and flight loads and simple economics. We know this and are prepared to pursue opportunities. Finally, a note about our interest in community stewardship and community involvement. We’ve made a conscious effort to not only be great in the air, but on the ground, too. We’ve developed partnerships with Marywood University and Aviation Technologies that help train the next generation of pilots and are in active discussions with many business leaders from various local industries to learn of their needs and to develop relationships that work for their companies and their employees and AVP. It’s another way of helping AVP to rise above. And we are committed to all this and so much more.