Commercial flights are coming back to Tweed Airport in New Haven for the first time in years after an announcement on Wednesday.
Airport officials said they think this announcement could bring more flights to the Elm City.
Tweed officials said this shows other airlines that there is a market in New Haven and a need for more commercial flights out of New Haven. But, the airport still needs the OK on lengthening the runway and that's been an issue for years.
"I fly every three weeks or so,” Charuta Furey, who is a medical student at Yale University, said. “So, I'm really familiar with Tweed."
Furey said she uses Tweed to visit her husband, who is stationed in the Marines down in Mississippi.
"The first time I came to visit Yale, I was sitting two people who were visiting the US for the first time and they had me hold their hand because they were so scared to be on the prop,” Furey said. “This is definitely an upgrade."
That would be American Airlines brand new jet service out of New Haven. And plenty of flyers who stepped of the packed plane seemed to agree.
"Glad to have it, I fly up here a lot, at least once or twice a month. Smoother, quieter, just a much more pleasant ride,” Gary Nelson, of North Carolina, said. "I'm pleased with it, its about time."
The 50 seater CRJ-200 Regional jet is about 45 minutes to Philadelphia, where flyers there can connect to more than 20 countries and 115 destinations domestically. The airport says it’s also trying to convince American to start up daily flights to Washington DC.
"We've talked to every single airline, and they're so appreciative of this New Haven market, its stronger than Providence, we're competing with the train, we're competing with White Plains, people don't want to drive hours away,” Tim Larson with Tweed New Haven said. “When we have 6000 feet for takeoff, we'll be very successful."
The issue is a state statue from nine years ago that limits the length of tweed's runway to 5,600 feet. Airport officials said if it can pave its runway safety areas, it can attract more flights. Airport officials added they are currently appealing a lawsuit, while trying to get lawmakers to repeal the statue
"We'd like to go to Chicago, and we want to go to Florida and we have commitments from airlines that once we have the space to do that, they're willing to come and play,” Larson said.
As for the new jet service, right now, three flights a day are leaving Tweed to Philadelphia, along with two on the weekend. But, Tweed officials said if the demand is there, it could increase.
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