Plattsburgh International Airport welcomes new airline

Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 6:26 AM EDT
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PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (WCAX) - Snowbirds will have a new option to get in and out of Plattsburgh in the coming weeks. Breeze Airways will begin nonstop service to Orlando on November 28.

Plattsburgh International Airport director Chris Kreig is counting down the days until Breeze blows into town. The flights will run on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. “Pretty big news for us we are excited about it,” Kreig said.

He says Breeze is a low-cost option with initial one-way tickets starting at about $60 and that having a third airline will boost customer traffic. “We do get a lot of cross border traffic and we are hoping to attract more of that cross border traffic. The airport is a resource for not just the folks in northern New York but the folks up in Canada as well,” Kreig said.

Like most airports, Plattsburgh took a hit during the pandemic, especially for vacations. That led one airline, Spirit, to pull out of Plattsburgh.

Annual customer numbers prior to COIVD were around 250,000 compared to last year’s 150,000. Kreig says the recovery is ongoing but promising. “We are now emerging out of the COVID years, if you will. Our remaining carriers are returning to pre-pandemic levels,” he said.

Jesse Sommers, a traveler at the airport on Wednesday, shared that optimism. “It is just an almost deliberately welcoming friendly vibe to the point I am wondering if that is the policy here,” said Sommers, who has to travel at least two hours to access the airport. “This is actually an airport I use even though it is slightly out of my way to get in and out of where I need to be.”

Kreig says he hopes to soon add more options including international flights now that there is a U.S. Customs location at the airport. “Our goal is obviously to get some international flights in here because we think that would be a nice addition to our air service model, and we are out actively searching for those,” he said.

While the airport is currently bearing the cost of operating the U.S. Customs, congressional lawmakers in New York are pushing to make the airport an official port of entry, which Krieg says would shift the costs to the feds. “Puts us on par with some of the airports out there that are port of entry airports that are in our similar situation,” he said.

The Border Enhancement Act is still sitting in the House Ways and Means Committee.