The new PEOPLExpress has picked the right place to start flights if they can deliver what airlines’ president and CEO Michael Morisi said yesterday they plan to bring to this market.
Asked what he meant by “attractive fares,” Morisi said, “They’re going to be ultra low, 40 to 50 percent less than currently advertised.”
While the airlines has yet to gain Federal Aviation Administration and Department of Transportation approvals, a lengthy process said Morisi, the company is tentatively planning to initiate service from Green with four flights daily in late August. Routes identified include Pittsburgh, Newport News and West Palm Beach. Morisi said PEOPLExpress is also looking to serve Orlando.
“We’re very pleased to hear we’re one of the cities in the launch plan,” Rhode Island Airport Corporation CEO Kevin Dillon said.
Morisi was not aware of RIAC’s plan to extend Green’s major runway by about 1,500 to 8,700. And obviously, the extension did not play a role in the selection of Green, although Morisi welcomed an addition.
“From a safety perspective you like to have as much as you can,” he said.
The airlines plans to fly Boeing 737-400 aircraft with a single cabin offering 158 seats.
Morisi said PEOPLExpress selected Green because it offers a “great market” with its proximity to Boston, military and government contractors in the area and casinos.
He said the company has looked at other airports outside of Boston, but at this point Green would be the sole base of operations in New England. He expects the low fares PEOPLExpress will offer, “will stimulate the market” and given the increasing cost of gasoline makes flying cheaper than driving.
Morisi praised the cooperation of RIAC officials. He said the company has arrangements for ticket counters and gates although he offered not additional specifics.
Dillon said the airlines would probably be located near the Southwest counter.
“We have plenty of capacity, plenty of room at the inn,” he said.
The new PEOPLExpress is based in Newport News, VA.
According to a press release, “the core mission of PEOPLExpress will be to present air travel options that are always safe, simple to purchase and low in cost; deliver a customer experience that is personally rewarding to both traveler and employee-owner; establish an employment environment that is empowering, stimulating and magnetic; and generate excellent shareholder value.”
PEOPLExpress that operated in the 1980s is being revived by a small team from the original company that according to the release “decided the time was right to bring back the excitement of flying at low cost.” Continental absorbed the former airline.
Dillon said the company has a “very interesting business plan” and they are taking cautious steps to put the company in the position to grow.