There are a lot of changes coming to the Altoona Blair County Airport and business owners say this is a game changer.
Stan Little, Chairman and CEO of Southern Airways Express, said, “We’re trying to make a real commitment to Pennsylvania.”
Starting October 1st, Southern Airways Express will offer direct flights to Baltimore — in addition to flights that already go to Pittsburgh. “Altoona has never had a two-hub structure before,” said Little.
Local businesses owners say it’s a huge advantage for them.
John Moore, Owner for Moore Power Sales in Altoona, said, “It becomes so convenient to be able to drive 8 miles, park for free, and be able to get on a plane, and then half an hour, 45 minutes later, be in a major airport and be able to take off from there. So it’s a huge time saver.”
Southern Airways Express will also offer new flight times, giving travelers the chance to make more connecting flights out of Pittsburgh and Baltimore. “I give a lot of credit to the airline because the listened. they are very open. They are just so energetic about promoting what they do. So now they listened to the flight times,” said Moore.
The airline is also moving toward a full caravan fleet — still small planes, but bigger than what they have been using. “And its not just our pilots that are here. we have an staff, an entire infrastructure that we’re bringing to Altoona to help market the flights, to help sell tickets, to get people who haven’t flown out of Altoona in 10 or 20 years to come and see how easy it is and inexpensive it is,” said Little.
By October 1st, Southern Airways Express will be operating in eight airports across Pennsylvania.
“It’s going to hopefully reduce the amount of time I have to drive, give me extra days in my calendar, time is money, so I think its going to be a game changer for our county and surrounding counties,” Moore said.
The new partnership with Baltimore also opens the door for direct flights to some cities in Europe.