New local flights in time for the holidays

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Six new flights per day on Southern Airways Express are now coming out of Johnstown.

Three of the flights will go to Pittsburgh International Airport and three to the Washington Dulles International Airport.

The plane fits nine passengers and Southern Airway’s goal is to show people the convenience and economic benefits of taking one of these flights.

“That’s why I booked the flight because it’s only $29 one-way.  The ticket itself worked out to like $78 round trip, including tax,” passenger Pat Panetti tells us.

Panetti says you can’t drive to Pittsburgh and park there for that kind of money.  According to the Pittsburgh International Airport website, to park it will cost you between $8 and $24 per day, so if you save depends on how long you are staying.

“Obviously our service is really designed for business travelers and those business travelers can make international connections over at Washington Dulles or to over 60 cities from here in Pittsburgh,” Southern Airways Express representative Mark Cestari says.

They also want to attract holiday travelers like Panetti, saying it’s easier to fly and catch your connecting flight than to drive to Pittsburgh.

“It’s very unpredictable.  The tunnels, the traffic, weather, tickets all are,” Cestari tells WTAJ.

The flight takes about 30 minutes.

To drive from Johnstown to the Pittsburgh airport it would take 1 hour and 40 minutes.

Tuesday’s media flight was delayed around 40 minutes due to the weather issues for the plane coming in from Washington Dulles.

“A delay will happen.  It is the winter.  It is Pennsylvania, but about 99 percent of our flights are completed and we have one of the best on-time performance records,” Cestari explains.

Panetti says taking the flight is more convenient, “When I get there, I get there.  That’s just less time I have to sit in Pittsburgh’s airport.”

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