West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has announced a partnership between the state, Kanawha County, the city of Charleston and low cost carrier Breeze Airways to connect West Virginia International Yeager Airport (CRW) with at least five cities over the next two years. New nonstop flights to Orlando, Florida (MCO) and Charleston, South Carolina (CHS) will begin May 31. The new routes are now on sale at introductory fares of $59 and $49, respectively, one way. At least three more destinations, including New York City, are slated to be added over the next 24 months.
This innovative partnership comes after years of decline in available destinations from smaller airports around the country, including West Virginia International Yeager Airport. The flights announced March 28 will more than double air connectivity to West Virginia's capital.
"I've said over and over that our airports in West Virginia are our lifeblood," Justice said. "They fuel our economy, bring in tourism, and their ripple effects are off the charts. CRW is absolutely knocking it out of the park, and it's a testament to West Virginia's resurgence as a top destination for tourism, and as the best place to live, work, and raise a family. I'm so proud to welcome Breeze Airways to Almost Heaven, because I know that they will find success here, but above all, they will find a new home among our hills."
Breeze was launched in 2021 by JetBlue founder and former CEO David Neeleman with a mission to fill a key gap in America's air travel offerings: efficient, affordable, direct flights between secondary airports, bypassing hubs for shorter travel times. Breeze offers travelers the option of three price levels, "Nice," "Nicer," and "Nicest," the latter of which includes a first-class seat on the airline's Airbus A220 aircraft.
"As we look to fill the gaps left by larger carriers in midsized markets, Charleston/Yeager is a great fit for Breeze's business model," said Neeleman. "With our new 'Charleston to Charleston' service, we'll connect the West Virginia and South Carolina cities for the very first time, and our new nonstop to Orlando is also adding another currently unserved destination from CRW. We know the Almost Heaven community will enjoy Breeze's affordability, flexibility, and our family friendly policies including free family seating."
Breeze has grown since its founding, now with 145 nonstop routes between 36 cities in 22 states nationally. The airline has ordered 80 brand new Airbus A220-300 aircraft, with options for 40 more.
This summer, Breeze aircraft will be seen touching down in the Mountain State. The partnership includes adding three additional routes in the first two years, including potential service to New York City and the west coast.
An expansion of this magnitude at West Virginia International Yeager Airport is unprecedented. Airport officials are excited about the long-term possibilities created by this new partnership.