Destination flight at NCWV Airport returning after hiatus

Published: Sep. 21, 2023 at 12:16 PM EDT
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This article comes from our media partners at Connect Bridgeport.

BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV) - A destination flight that was cut in mid-August is set to return to North Central West Virginia Airport.

At Tuesday’s Benedum Airport Authority meeting, NCWV Airport Director Rick Rock spoke about passenger numbers for 2023.

Rock said CKB would likely fall short of the record number of passengers set in 2022, but the airport is still on pace for about 45,000 passengers this year.

Rock said the key reasons for the lower number this year include a WVU charter that did not happen in August and year-round flight service by Allegiant to Tampa-St. Pete Clearwater International Airport being interrupted in mid-August.

The good news is Rock said that flight service is set to resume on Oct. 6 with weekly flights on Fridays and Mondays.

“The flight was meant to be year-round, but Allegiant is trying to be strategic with their resources as they’re dealing with the same things most airlines are dealing with right now, in particular a decreasing number of pilots,” said Rock. “They’re working things to get the most return on their assets because of that.”

Rock said the interruption took place despite load factors for the flights being well over 95% this year.

Despite those factors, the airport saw 31,875 passengers through August, most of which are through Allegiant at 23,566. 6,793 of those are through the daily flight service by Contour to Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

“People are utilizing the daily service and we’re seeing more consistent numbers, but we hope to see those increase. It was nice to see people flying in from Charlotte to go to the Pitt game,” said Rock. “I think people would be surprised to know that a successful WVU football program has an impact on so many things economically, including this airport.”

Rock said the short-term goal remains getting to 50,000. He also believes that once the new terminal is built, and if the airline industry can handle the pilot issue, the stated goal of 100,000 passengers is attainable.