Enplanements increase at Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport

Three outbound flights were canceled in July

WILLIAMSTOWN — The Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport saw more enplanements in July than the same month the previous year, the first time that’s happened since December.

Three-hundred and seventy-nine passengers departed from the airport aboard Via Air flights last month, compared to 330 last year. It’s the highest monthly total in 2017, and more than the first two months of the year — when Via was plagued by canceled flights due to maintenance issues — combined.

“They had just three cancellations outbound” for July, airport Manager Jeff McDougle said, adding four inbound flights were nixed as well. “I think it’s a step in the right direction.”

There had been no cancellations in August as of Wednesday.

Via’s reliability was a key draw last year when the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport Authority recommended the Florida-based company to provide federally subsidized Essential Air Service for two years starting in October 2016. But regular maintenance and other issues caused numerous cancellations this year.

Despite that, McDougle said there has still been a demand for Via’s services. In addition to Charlotte Douglas International Airport, the airline makes flights to Orlando and St. Augustine, Fla.

“The Florida markets are doing very well here,” McDougle said.

McDougle said Via recently started a fare sale as a way to entice customers back.

Fuel sales were up significantly in July, with the airport selling a little over 41,000 gallons, compared to 24,600 a year ago. McDougle said there were a variety of buyers, but a few more military sales than usual were made last month.

Because of the annual West Virginia Aviation Conference, the Wood County Airport Authority did not schedule a monthly meeting, during which McDougle usually reports the enplanement and fuel numbers, for August.

A special meeting or two are likely on the horizon as the authority reviews applications for a manager to replace McDougle when he retires this fall.

“We’re going through their resumes and starting to set up times for interviews,” he said.

McDougle said the authority received 24 applications for the job.

COMMENTS