A young and growing airline specializing in corporate jet travel chose Pittsburgh International Airport as its new market for expansion, pledging to bring four more nonstop destinations and about 40 jobs to the airport this year.
OneJet will offer nonstop service to Hartford, Conn., beginning May 9, and announce four more new markets later this year. OneJet caters to business travelers flying between small and medium-sized markets, operating with seven-seater Hawker 400 jet aircraft.
CEO Matt Maguire said expanding in Pittsburgh is a result of the success of flights to Milwaukee and Indianapolis last May.
“What's been so encouraging here in Pittsburgh is the response we've seen from very large corporations coming to us in being a new brand with a different product saying, ‘This is something we value and we will use,' ” Maguire said.
Airport officials announced the new flight and future expansion at a press conference at the airport on Thursday attended by local and state lawmakers, as well as OneJet. Maguire said the expansion represents “the largest investment we've made to date in a community.”
Former U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, a senior adviser to OneJet, said he urged the company to consider Pittsburgh in its plans to develop nonstop service between small and medium-sized markets, given how much service the airport lost when U.S. Air moved its hub.
“It's perfect for a place like Pittsburgh because of what happened with U.S. Air,” LaHood said. “This is no small investment. ... It also says to the people of this region we think this is a real opportunity.”
Future destinations are likely to be markets that are 300 miles to 700 miles away, previously had nonstop service and see 30 to 80 passengers a day, Maguire said. One possibility is Memphis, one of four cities OneJet serves that lost a nonstop from Pittsburgh on Delta last year. Maguire said Memphis-based FedEx, which has a contract with OneJet, is interested in the route.
Each new route brings four to five pilots, two mechanics and at least one other employee to the airport, Maguire said.
The Hartford flight fills a nonstop route previously vacated by American, and represents the 54th nonstop destination from Pittsburgh.
About 80 passengers a day currently fly to Hartford using connecting flights, a trip that can take about five hours, as opposed to the one-hour direct flight.
Engineering firm Michael Baker International is a likely customer for the route, said vice president of business development Steve Hammel, as it has an office in Rocky Hill, Conn. The company has offices worldwide and spends $7.5 million a year on travel, including $1 million out of Pittsburgh, Hammel said.
“It's a great asset to us,” Hammel said.
OneJet Selects Pittsburgh as Next Focus City: Air Transportation Network Announces Widely Expanded Service and Investment in Pennsylvania
PITTSBURGH, Feb. 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- OneJet (www.onejet.com), the air transportation network that provides increased access to nonstop travel in small and medium size markets, today announced the selection of Pittsburgh as its new focus city, significantly expanding nonstop regional air service from Pittsburgh International Airport. The expansion will include the addition of five new nonstop destinations from Pittsburgh over the course of 2016, as well as a paralleled investment in Pittsburgh domiciled aircraft and employees.
Beginning on May 9th, OneJet will add weekday nonstop service between Pittsburgh and Hartford, Connecticut, with seats available for sale beginning April 1st, subject to customary Department of Transportation approvals. OneJet, which already serves Indianapolis and Milwaukee from Pittsburgh, will announce additional destinations from the new focus city during the second quarter of this year.
Former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, a senior advisor to OneJet, stated: "Through the use of right sized aircraft and smart capacity optimization, OneJet is innovatively leveraging our nation's existing air transportation capabilities to create highly accessible nonstop travel options in the U.S. Today's announcement reflects a steadfast and cooperative effort by OneJet and Pennsylvania leadership to ensure Pittsburgh is positioned to enjoy continued and increasing access to nonstop service and convenient regional connectivity."
"OneJet's decision to expand service in Pennsylvania is critical to the growth of the commonwealth's economy and the thriving Pittsburgh business community," said Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf. "Additionally, travelers will have easier access to enjoy Pennsylvania's tourism assets throughout the greater Pittsburgh region and beyond."
OneJet, which launched operations from Pittsburgh last May, now services over ten Fortune 500 companies, including FedEx, with inventory available through all traditional corporate and retail points of sale, including Expedia, Carlson Wagonlit, and BCD Travel. OneJet service includes TSA Pre access for eligible travelers, expedited boarding, and complimentary on board amenities.
"OneJet is proud to serve the Pittsburgh community and its corporate citizens. Our decision to expand operations in there, was due to the overwhelming response we've seen from Pittsburgh's largest corporations and the business travel community in the region," commented Matthew Maguire, OneJet's Chief Executive Officer. "We're extremely excited to now offer our Pittsburgh customers a new set of nonstop destinations, while providing the highest levels of safety, security, and convenience.
"OneJet's decision to declare Pittsburgh International Airport a base of operations and to add flights to key business destinations shows that our region is growing and that our business demand for flights is strong," said Rich Fitzgerald, Allegheny County Executive. "The permanent jobs and flights connected to this base are indicative of the positive momentum we've seen at Pittsburgh International in the past 13 months. We're excited for the future of OneJet as it continues to grow into the future, and we'd like to thank them for this investment in Pittsburgh International and our region."
"We're thrilled that OneJet chose to capitalize on the demand for more nonstop flights from Pittsburgh International Airport. We'd like to thank them for working with us to make today's announcement a reality," Christina Cassotis, Allegheny County Airport Authority CEO continued. "This is truly an example of our continuing partnership with airlines and our ability to leverage the continuing renaissance of Pittsburgh. OneJet's growth will mark 21 new routes launched from Pittsburgh International in the last 13 months."
For additional information, please visit www.onejet.com. For customer inquiries or travel assistance, please call 1-844-ONEJET1 (663-5381).
OneJet is an air transportation network that provides consumers increased access to nonstop travel in small to mid-size markets, at relatively low cost. Flights operate from main commercial terminals and airports in markets served, currently including Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Memphis, and Nashville, providing weekday service on Hawker 400 light jet aircraft. All flights are operated by regionally based operating partners featuring ARG/US Platinum Safety-rated and TSA-certified operations. The company incorporates former senior leadership from the U.S. major airlines, the U.S. Department of Transportation, leading U.S. aircraft manufacturers, and TSA.