Northeast Airlines Wants Suburban NYC Airport As Hub
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Boston-based Northeast Airlines is considering making suburban New York’s Stewart Airport – once envisioned as the fourth major airport to service New York City – as its hub, parent group Volare Air Group said in a release.
“Many of the dynamics to this relationship are in the final draft stages, but for all (intents and) purposes, both sides have 'cut teeth' in moving this commitment to fruition,” the airline said in a statement.
A.J. Rossi, president of Northeast Airlines, told MidHudsonNews.com that talks with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates Stewart Airport in New Windsor, about an hour north of Manhattan, have been ongoing since Thanksgiving.
Northeast Airlines would like to start flying out of Stewart as early as this spring or summer, with flights to Florida, the Carolinas, Alabama and the Caribbean under consideration.
Whether it sticks, however, remains to be seen.
Some 30 years ago, the Port Authority had a plan. It would turn Stewart into New York City’s fourth major airport, potentially alleviating the heavy traffic – both air and ground – going in and out of LaGuardia, JFK and Newark airports.
As a former military air base, Stewart had the long runways necessary to accommodate jumbo jets, like when it hosted the return of the Iranian hostages in 1980 and when it served as the landing site for Air Force One for several presidents who have spoken or given the commencement address at the nearby United States Military Academy at West Point.
It never really materialized as planned, however, as airlines came and left. Today, Stewart has only four airlines with extremely limited service. American Airlines flies to its Philadelphia hub only, Delta flies only to its Detroit hub, Allegiant flies to Orlando, Fla., and JetBlue flies to Orlando and Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Northeast’s goal, however, would be something of a reverse to the PA’s original plan. Instead of using Stewart mostly as an alternative airport for flying out of New York City, Northeast wants to attract travelers TO New York City. Passengers flying into Stewart would be offered ground transportation to New York City via bus or Metro-North Railroad, Rossi told MidHudsonNews.com.
“This announcement comes after several weeks of predetermined cities were being evaluated for their best possible location that was best for the growth of the new franchise,” Northeast Airlines said in a statement. “Stewart has always been a strong contender in evaluating the current needs of the traveling public both from a northern system perspective, as well as facilitating the needs of many local residents within the airport's geographic footprint.”
Details are currently being ratified with the current administration of the Port Authority, but the overall blueprint has been devised and commitments are now on the table between the two groups.
"We are a proactive and progressive modern carrier that is extremely encouraged by the reception that we have received from both the Port Authority and the people of the great state of New York,” Northeast said.
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