The Greenbrier Valley Airport has endorsed a new airline to provide air service to the area, one that officials hope will not only enhance travel for out-of-state travelers, but for the local community as well.
On Monday, the airport’s director of operations, Stephen Snyder, sent a letter to Kevin Schlemmer of the U.S. Department of Transportation endorsing Via Air to offer daily flights, in peak season, to and from Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina.
The decision will ultimately lie with the department of transportation.
The airport, along with its governing body, the Greenbrier County Airport Authority, has entertained proposals from six airlines to provide air service, including Silver Airways, the airport’s current provider.
In a letter to Schlemmer, dated June 13, 2016, Snyder said that the airport is “not willing to consider any proposal submitted by Silver Airways during this cycle. Silver Airways (sic) performance has driven our enplanements downward to an unacceptable level and they continue the poor performance, even today, as they continue to market themselves to airports in our region,” the letter said.
A separate letter from Snyder to Schlemmer, also dated June 13, 2016, contained the endorsement of Via Air’s Essential Air Service Bid. The letter stated, in part, “We do believe that this proposal gives our region the best opportunity for success and recover (sic) from a market that has been severely wounded by poor performance of the incumbent carrier… We feel that Via Air has a strong understanding of our market and is customer service driven,” the letter said.
In an email sent to media outlets on Wednesday, June 15, Snyder said that two other West Virginia airports in Parkersburg and Clarksburg have also endorsed Via Air. With Lewisburg and Beckley also selecting Via Air, Snyder said, “we have an opportunity for the first real intra-state service in nearly 40 years. Lewisburg and Clarksburg are working very closely to create package deals for WVU games, I’m sure Beckley will do so as well.”
A complete copy of Snyder’s letter endorsing Via Air can be found on the Opinion page, page 4, of this issue.