US Airways plans flights from HIA to New York

Jul. 13--A US Airways Express carrier will offer daily nonstop flights to New York City from Harrisburg International Airport beginning Sept. 5, airline officials announced Thursday at HIA.

Colgan Air, a subsidiary of Pinnacle Airlines Corp., will offer three flights daily, Monday through Friday, to LaGuardia Airport. One flight will be offered on Saturdays and two flights on Sundays.

Base fares will range from $99 to $169 each way based on a round-trip ticket, said Tom Reich, manager of system scheduling for Colgan Air. One-way flight times will run from 75 to 80 minutes.

By comparison, the listed base fare for a US Airways flight from Baltimore-Washington International Airport to New York City on Sept. 5 and returning the next day is $114 each way. The base fare for a US Airways flight out of Philadelphia International Airport on the same dates was $119, according to the US Airways Web site.

Base fares don't include taxes and other fees that are required.

HIA spokesman Scott Miller said the fares from Harrisburg are competitive with the other airports when the time and cost to travel from the midstate to Maryland or Philadelphia is included.

Colgan will provide the service on 34-passenger Saab-340 turboprop planes. Reich said the Saab-340 is the biggest aircraft available to Colgan at HIA. Colgan would consider adding more flights from Harrisburg to New York City if the service does well, he said.

HIA hasn't had nonstop daily service to New York City since 2003, when US Airways discontinued its flights while entering bankruptcy, said Tim Edwards, HIA executive director.

Reich said Colgan started looking at service from Harrisburg to New York City about 18 months ago.

US Airways reduced fares at HIA across the board in January. Edwards said the announcement is a result of response to the reduced fares in the Harrisburg market.

Business travelers, who in 2006 made up about 65 percent of the airline passengers who used HIA, are expected to be the biggest customers, officials said. The service also could boost tourism.

Hersheypark and other area attractions draw more people from throughout New York and New Jersey than from any other region, said Kimberly Schaller, vice president of marketing and sales for Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Co.

Reich said LaGuardia offers connections to Midwest destinations east of the Mississippi and to tourist attractions throughout the Northeast, such as Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard.

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