Via Cuts Scheduled Service Across Much of its Network

Pittsburgh routes on hold indefinitely

By Matt Neistei

Published May 24, 2019

Read Time: 2 mins


Via Airlines suspended operations across much of its network this week, including service in Pittsburgh, as airline officials said they are struggling to hire pilots and crew to staff the flights.

Via launched nonstop service to Birmingham, Alabama, on April 11, with additional plans for service to Hartford and Memphis to start later this summer. All three of those routes will be on hold indefinitely, officials said.

“Regrettably, upon considering the carrier’s on-going challenges in recruiting, training and retaining a suitable level of qualified crews, Via Airlines’ Board of Directors has made the difficult decision to suspend all flights to/from Pittsburgh International Airport effective immediately,” said Donald Bowman, vice president of business development and distribution.

Customers with paid reservations will receive full refunds, he said.

“Via Airlines wishes to thank the Pittsburgh International Airport management team for its support to date, and regrets this painful, but necessary decision which we feel is in the best interest of the community at this point in time,” Bowman said.

Bowman said the carrier has suspended service in all other markets it serves for now except for flights between Orlando and Jackson, Miss.

“We understand the challenges regional carriers face in the competitive marketplace such as retaining crew,” said Bryan Dietz, vice president of air service development at PIT. “As we, and many communities, recognize the importance of service between medium-size markets, we hope they are able to resume scheduled service at some point in the future.”

Via did not receive any monetary incentives from Pittsburgh International to start service.

With Via’s service suspension, Dietz was optimistic regarding the future of service between medium-size markets.

“There’s a lot of medium-size markets from Pittsburgh that make sense from a regional perspective and are important to our corporate and leisure community,” Dietz said. “Hartford, for example – we know there is strong demand for nonstop service.”

Despite the news, Pittsburgh International has continued to see air service gains. Through April, the airport completed 36 straight months of monthly year-over-year gains, a streak not seen at PIT since 1986. The airport also finished 2018 with the most passengers in more than a decade with 9.7 million flyers.

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