Wednesday, November 30, 2016

ViaAir Now Flying Out of Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport

WEYERS CAVE, Va. (WVIR) -  The first daily regional jet service is taking off from the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport (SHD).

Passengers waited Wednesday morning for the inaugural ViaAir flight to Charlotte, North Carolina. The plane had to divert to a different airport Tuesday night due to fog.

The 50-seat jet flew into Weyers Cave in the morning to board 21 passengers bound for Charlotte or beyond.

ViaAir is scheduled to fly out of SHD twice daily on weekdays and once a day on weekends.

“It's only about 3 miles from home and you don't have to fight the traffic and the parking and other headaches associated with going to a big airport,” said Kevin Craun, traveling to Florida.

“I like the idea of a jet. It gets to Charlotte faster and allows me to get to my final destination much faster than either going through Dulles or going to Charlottesville,” said Sue Garney.

The airport’s executive director says ticket sales have been brisk since SHD announced the new jet service late last month.

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WEYERS CAVE — Kevin Craun and his family were among the happy passengers sitting in Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport Wednesday morning.

The Craun family of Weyers Cave was headed to Florida. The family was among the first passengers to board the airport’s initial flight on ViaAir to Charlotte-Douglas International Airport in Charlotte, North Carolina. Previously, Craun said he would have driven to Roanoke or Northern Virginia for a flight to the Sunshine State via Charlotte.

“The worst part was driving to the airport,’’ said Craun.

Now with ViaAir providing flights to both Charlotte and Orlando, Craun said he can drive three miles from his home and park for free. “Fifteen minutes after we get off the plane we’re home,” he said of the return.

Twenty one passengers boarded ViaAir Wednesday morning. Fog overnight delayed the arrival of the 50-seat jet. Airport Executive Director Greg Campbell said Tuesday night’s fog caused the plane to divert to a West Virginia location. And he said thunderstorms in West Virginia delayed the departure from 8  a.m. to  11 a.m. on Wednesday.

ViaAir will provide 12 flights weekly to and from Charlotte. And starting on Dec. 11, the airline will offer twice-weekly service to and from Orlando on Wednesdays and Sundays. SVRA announced the new agreement and service with ViaAir in October.

Airport Commission member Jeff Ward represents Waynesboro. He said offering flights to a southern hub such as Charlotte has come up often in his conversations with people.

“Everybody I’ve talked to mentioned Charlotte,’’ Ward said. “And the connections to Florida will be a big help.”

Frequent business travelers also spoke of the convenience the new flights would offer.  Sue Ganey of Harrisonburg travels by air at least once a month to Texas or Ohio.

Previously, Ganey said she would have to fly to a northeastern destination before being routed on another flight to Texas. Now, she can fly to Charlotte and head south.

“This is really nice,’’ said Ganey, who also likes the free parking at SVRA.


It was a big day for the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport, as the first flight from SHD to Charlotte, North Carolina took off.

A dozen people lined up to be on the first ViaAir flight to Charlotte, ND today. The flight is a quick 50 minutes, and then you are in a southeastern hub, and can go pretty much anywhere.

While this is convenient for many families, some took the flight because of the experience.

"I am very excited! I have been waiting on this day since I learned I would be going on the Inaugural flight. I have been very, very, very excited, " said Jamison McCarty.

SHD will offer flight to Orlando, Florida beginning on December 11, 2016.

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