By KATHY GIBBONS firstname.lastname@example.org
Traverse City Record-Eagle
---- — TRAVERSE CITY — United Airlines will offer seasonal service to and from Newark Liberty International Airport through Cherry Capital Airport starting July 5.
Kevin Klein, Cherry Capital Airport director, said there’s been an increase in travel between the two markets in recent years and United wants to capitalize on that volume. Traverse City already has summer service to New York via American and Delta.
Newark is United’s New York area hub, which will not only expand options for travelers to and from the Big Apple, but to anywhere on the East Coast, as well as internationally.
“It’s a great place because once you get there, you’re going off to Europe from there,” said Bonnie Pintozzi, vice president at Passageways Travel in Traverse City. “Cruise lines take off ... out of that terminal. It’s giving our people great access.”
At a little more than two hours, flights will depart Newark Fridays at 7:30 p.m. They’ll then leave here Saturday mornings at 9. On Sunday, the flight out of Newark will be at 1:55 p.m. and then return to Newark that same day at 4:30 p.m. The service runs through Aug. 31.
Tickets are already being sold. A check of several Saturday-to-Saturday itineraries in July and August on Feb. 22 came up with a fare of $491, though Klein expects that to decrease.
“It will be competitive with the other carriers,” Klein said. “And some of our other East Coast flights will be more competitive in pricing because of the additional capacity that these flights bring in.
“It might be mid-May before we really see the interesting pricing come in.”
Klein said United views this summer’s service to Newark as a test.
“What United has said is, if it goes really well, they want to expand the service,” he said.
That could mean more flights in the summer, as well as service in other parts of the year.
“Sometimes we wish for year-round because it gives a really good gateway to New York and other places,” Pintozzi said.
Klein said United will continue to offer its existing service to Chicago and Denver this summer. American and Delta should be releasing their summer 2013 schedules shortly, he added.