LEWISBURG, W.Va. — Interviews were underway Wednesday in preparation for the April launch of United Airlines at Greenbrier Valley Airport.

SkyWest, a wholly owned subsidiary operating for United, announced in November they were bringing direct flights to and from Chicago O’Hare and Washington Dulles International Airports. The service will replace Via Air, whose contract expires this November.

“Access to reliable local air service means more choice and more convenience for local Greenbrier Valley travelers,” said SkyWest managing director Greg Atkin in a release. “We look forward to bringing United Express jet service to Greenbrier Valley Airport in April.”

Airport Manager Stephen Snyder told MetroNews affiliate WJLS he is excited about the chance for travelers to reach almost anywhere with limited stops.

“You can go to any region of the country with only one stop. That is a game-changer for this region. So if you’re in San Diego, Phoenix, New York, Atlanta…you name it and you are literally only one stop away from Greenbrier Airport.”

Snyder sees it as a useful tool to help recruit new businesses and industries to the region. He applauded Governor Justice’s recent efforts to bring in new industries.

“We’re sitting on an industrial park with sites available. That means as I’m trying to attract major businesses to this region, they know that they need to be connected to the rest of the world and that their employees can get to and from the location where they’re doing business.”

Snyder also believes tourism in West Virginia is often overlooked. He appreciates Governor Justice’s recent announcement at the State of the State address that he plans to increase the Office of Tourism’s budget.

“I think what West Virginia needs to know, and I think our legislature does know, is even if you were to put a little money on the table to attract a second major airline to an airport that already has one major airline, what’s the return on investment of that domestic customer and the international customer?”

The jet service will officially begin April 3. SkyWest said in a release they will utilize a fleet of Bombardier-manufactured Canadiar Regional Jets known as the CRJ200. The company advertises the aircraft as “quiet and comfortable”.

“I think what West Virginia needs to realize, is we’ve got something exceptional here and it’s time we start believing in ourselves,” said Snyder.

More information on the service can be found here.

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