Citing ‘challenging perceptions,’ Elite Airways postpones start of service at Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport

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Elite Airways operates a fleet of Bombardier CRJ-200 and CRJ-700 jet airliners, which will add routes between Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport (PHF) and New York City/Newark (EWR) and Long Island MacArthur Airport (ISP). (Courtesy Elite Airways & Newport News/Williamsburg Int'l Airport)
Elite Airways operates a fleet of Bombardier CRJ-200 and CRJ-700 jet airliners. (Courtesy Elite Airways & Newport News/Williamsburg Int’l Airport)

Elite Airways LLC announced Monday it has postponed the start of service at the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport (PHF).

The airline announced in December that it would begin to offer nonstop jet service from Newport News to New York City/Newark Airport and Long Island MacArthur Airport, scheduled to start March 13, 2017.

According to a news release from the airline, the start of service has been postponed “due to the challenging perceptions surrounding the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport.”

“It was a difficult decision to postpone the start of service at PHF, as the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport has been a terrific partner to work with,” John Pearsall, President of Elite Airways said in a release. “We strongly believe in the market and want to give this service the best possible climate to start in. Postponing the start date will allow both the airline and the airport to be more successful in launching new air service to meet the needs of the community.”

Elite, founded in 2006, is based in Portland, Maine. The airline operates Bombardier CRJ-200 and CRJ-700 jet airliners. Its routes link underserved communities with popular destinations, such as New York.

“We will continue to work closely with airport officials in the coming months and look forward to the opportunity to bring new service to the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport in the future,” continued Pearsall.

All ticketed passengers are being contacted and will be fully refunded immediately; they can also call the airline at 877-393-2510.

A spokesperson from Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

This story was published in partnership with Southside Daily’s sister publication, WYDaily.com.