Island hopping from southern Connecticut just got a lot easier.
This is the first of four months of seasonal weekend service between New Haven and Nantucket Island.
“This airport’s up and coming folks want more service here,” says Mark Cestari, Chief Commerical Officers, Southern Airways Express.
The brand-new Cessna Grand Caravan will fly from Nantucket to New Haven for the inaugural trip and it seats about 8 people.
It’s a big deal for a small airport locked in a legislative battle. American Airlines operates four daily flights to a hub in Philly and a lone flight to Charlotte on Saturdays, but growth has been slow to come due to a state law blocking expansion.
The city is fighting the law in the courts.
“If everything went well, we can get the legislation changed. It could still be two to three years to get the approval and the funding,” says John Picard, Board Chairman Tweed New Haven.
Airport officials say they’d like to extend the runway to boost tourism to the area. They tout it as a win for southern Connecticut and the Yale community here in New Haven.
Southern Airways says this seasonal service could be a jumping off point.
“We hope that today will just be the beginning of many more opportunities for us here,” Mark Cestari.
“They have routes in the mid-Atlanta area, which means Baltimore-Washington Airport may be a longer term opportunity with Southern,” Matt Hoey, Interim Executive Director Tweed New Haven Airport.
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