CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Yeager Airport and Kanawha County officials celebrated 15 years of non-stop flights from Charleston to Houston in a ceremony Thursday, as well as announced changes for flights between Yeager and Dulles Airport in Washington, D.C.

United Airlines flights between West Virginia’s capital city and the national capital will be on jet planes starting next year, ending the use of propeller planes at Yeager Airport.

Yeager airport director Terry Sayre said the flights to Houston have had a positive economic impact on Charleston and the surrounding area.

“I think there’s been almost half a million people that have taken that flight in the last 15 years,” he said. “When you have plants and companies that can efficiently get their employees to their headquarters or down where the supply chain is, I think it’s very important to all of us.”

Houston is seen as an oil and natural gas hub.

Sayre added the change to jets for flights to Dulles Airport also has its benefits to those flying out of Charleston, noting shorter flights and planes with larger seating capacities.

“It’s more economical, I think,” he added.

The jet service will begin Jan. 8.

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