Randy Yohe Published

New Airline Will Fly To Orlando, Charleston, SC

Several people holding airlines sign in airport terminal.
Dedicating new Yeager Airport Breeze Gate sign.
WV Governor's Office

Right now, there are four flight destinations out of Charleston’s West Virginia International Yeager Airport: Charlotte, Washington D.C., Chicago and Atlanta. Five more destinations were announced on Tuesday.   

Gov. Jim Justice was joined by state, county and city leaders in the airport terminal to announce that start-up Breeze Airways will begin offering non-stop flights from Charleston to Orlando, Florida and Charleston, South Carolina beginning May 31st. 

Justice said the carrier will add three more non-stop flights over the next two years, including New York City and one stop on the West Coast.

“I’ve said over and over that our airports in West Virginia are our lifeblood,” Justice said. “They fuel our economy, bring in tourism, and their ripple effects are off-the-charts. I’m so proud to welcome Breeze Airways to Almost Heaven.”

Justice said this public/private partnership between Breeze Airlines, a two-year-old company out of Utah, along with the state, Kanawha County, and the City of Charleston comes after years of decline in available destinations from smaller airports around the country, including Yeager Airport.

Justice, Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper and others stressed that this is a long-term partnership. Earlier this month, Spirit Airlines announced it was discontinuing all Yeager Airport service in May, including its Orlando flight. 

Tourism Secretary Chelsea Ruby says this public/private partnership is part of a marketing campaign to expand on the “Drive to West Virginia” concept. She said this venture is about making West Virginia more accessible to visitors and new residents and bringing in people from further and further away.

“When we started these meetings, we were talking about how we would replace Orlando,” Ruby said. “Then, we immediately said, that’s not what we’re here to do. We’re here to find a partner who is here long term, who’s not going to come in and pull out six months later.” 

A Justice press release notes Breeze Airways was launched in 2021 by JetBlue founder and former CEO David Neeleman with a mission to fill a key gap in America’s air-travel offerings: efficient, affordable, direct flights between secondary airports, bypassing hubs for shorter travel times. 

Angela Vargo, the vice president of Marketing and Communications for Breeze Airways spoke to those gathered at the airport, calling Breeze a N.L.C.C., a nice low-cost carrier. 

“We also have family friendly policies, like family seating which you do not pay for,” Vargo said. “We do not think you should have to pay to sit next to your children, although sometimes I want to pay people to sit next to mine. We also have no change or cancellation fees.” 

The new routes are now on sale on the Breeze website at introductory fares of $59 to Orlando and $49 to Charleston, one way.