CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Flights to Tampa, Florida, which West Virginia International Yeager Airport is now offering through Breeze Airways, hit the runway Wednesday morning for the first time.
After making the announcement that the airline would be offering nonstop flights to Tampa International Airport in late June, it now marks the third route introduced by Breeze, who is not yet a year into operating at CRW.
CRW Director and CEO Dominque Ranieri said Breeze’s new flight path is a great opportunity to come to the Mountain State.
“This is huge, this connects even more folks from Florida being able to reach us here in West Virginia,” she said.
After beginning operations at Yeager in March with flights to Charleston, SC. and Orlando, FL., Ranieri said they expect more to come from Breeze as it continues to expand its presence in West Virginia.
“Of course we still have our Orlando flights three days a week and our Charleston service just ended, it was seasonal service for the summer, but we’re looking forward to hopefully making even more announcements about Breeze flights here in the near future,” Ranieri said.
The first arriving passengers coming in from Tampa Wednesday morning were greeted with a water cannon salute by the 130th Airlift Wing Fire and Emergency Service as a way to celebrate the flight’s inaugural touch down into Yeager Airport.
While many out-of-state passengers were unloading in West Virginia Wednesday, as Breeze and CRW officials expect Tampa to be a major entryway for them to come into the state, some area locals were boarding the flight to TPA. One of them was Jody Adkins, a Cross Lanes resident who told MetroNews she typically flies from the Huntington airport, but the newly offered flight now makes it more convenient for her.
“It’s great, great, I’m very excited about it, it’s closer and it’s just as cheap,” she said.
Adkins said the airline’s decision to add flights to Tampa was a good move, as its size and reach makes it a beneficial gateway for West Virginians to have access to, as well.
“It’s such a large airport and there’s so much you can do out of Tampa, you can go on cruises, you can go to Disney because Disney is an hour away, you can do so much from Tampa,” Adkins said.
Flights to Tampa out of CRW is now available Wednesdays and Saturdays with fares starting at $39. Tickets can be purchased at flybreeze.com or on the Breeze App.