OneJet adds larger planes, nonstop destinations at Pittsburgh International Airport
Pittsburgh International Airport will soon offer nonstop flights to two new destinations and one that currently is served only seasonally.
OneJet — a startup airline that caters to regional business travelers — plans to start weekday flights to Memphis, Kansas City, Mo., and Palm Beach, Fla., the airport announced Wednesday.
The new routes will bring the number of destinations served by OneJet to 12 and the number of airports served by Pittsburgh International to 72 in 68 cities.
The flights to Palm Beach and Kansas City will start March 7. The flights to Memphis will begin March 27.
The airport hasn't had service to Kansas City since 2008 and hasn't had service to Memphis since 2014, said Christina Cassotis, Allegheny County Airport Authority CEO.
Palm Beach is served seasonally by Southwest Airlines.
"Yes, we had a big announcement recently about Seattle," Cassotis said, referencing flights to the city that his home to Amazon's headquarters slated to begin in September. "It's as important that people are able to get to Memphis and Kansas City. It's as important that people can get to Louisville and Cincinnati without connecting, without driving or without giving up their trip."
OneJet provides its current service seven-seater jets, but for these new routes, the carrier plans to start using larger 30-seat aircraft, said Matt Maguire, OneJet CEO.
Maguire plans to upgrade several other routes to the larger planes by March, as many of the smaller planes are often full.
The county and airport provided $3 million in public grants and loans in exchange for OneJet to offer service to 10 destinations by the end of 2017. The three flights announced Wednesday complete that commitment, but OneJet still plans to add routes, Maguire said.
"The growing pains are done in Pittsburgh," Maguire said. "We started with Pittsburgh because of the incentives, but I think we found there is a true market here and we're making money here, so I think we'll continue to expand out of Pittsburgh now that we have a built-in customer base."
Of the 10 routes OneJet announced in exchange for the incentives, eight were new routes. Nashville and Palm Beach were not.
The carrier announced service between Buffalo and Albany, N.Y., on Monday, and plans to expand service out of Milwaukee, Wis., but Pittsburgh will remain the main base, Maguire said.
"Pittsburgh will stay in the lead," Maguire said. "We have a full-time maintenance base and full-time mechanics here, so Pittsburgh will be the flagship of our operation."
Employees from FedEx Ground and PNC Bank frequently use OneJet to fly between Pittsburgh and other cities, Maguire said.
Representatives from Smith & Nephew, a Memphis-based orthopedics device manufacturer that acquired Pittsburgh-based Blue Belt Technologies in 2015, were very pleased with the new route.
The firm plans to send about 30 employees back and forth between Pittsburgh and Memphis each month, said Roger Loughney, a sales representative.
"We will fill this plane up," he said.
OneJet offers service from Pittsburgh to Milwaukee, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Nashville, Richmond, Va.; Albany, N.Y.; Providence, R.I.; and Hartford, Conn.
In the beginning of 2015, when Cassotis became the airport's CEO, the airport offered nonstop service to only 37 airports.
"To go from 37 to 72, almost doubling, is unheard of at the airport and in the industry, so we're very excited," said Rich Fitzgerald, Allegheny County Executive.
Tickets for the new routes will go on sale Jan. 17 on OneJet's website .
Theresa Clift is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-380-5669, email@example.com or via Twitter @tclift.