U.S. Airways adds flights to Florida by MetroJet New runs from Dulles and Hartford, Conn.


November 03, 1998|By Robert Little | Robert Little,SUN STAFF

US Airways Group Inc. broadened the reach of its low-cost MetroJet operation yesterday with four new flights to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., two out of Washington Dulles International Airport and two from Hartford, Conn.

The announcement was part of MetroJet's plans to grow eventually to one-quarter the size of its Arlington, Va.-based parent. The new flights also fit with the company's plans to increase service to airports in popular Florida destinations as winter approaches.

MetroJet service is planned or already in place between Baltimore-Washington International Airport and Miami, Orlando, Tampa and Fort Lauderdale.

US Airways is BWI's largest customer, and spokesman David Castelveter said the new flights at Dulles -- MetroJet's first at the suburban Washington airport -- do not mean the company has changed its plans to center MetroJet growth around BWI.

"Baltimore will be the primary focal point of the expansion," Castelveter said. "But we'll add new flights whenever we deem appropriate according to the demand."

When it was launched June 1, MetroJet was seen as US Airways' answer to carriers such as Southwest Airlines, which have used no-frills, low-fare service to capture large market shares on short flights. The airline's first flights included service in direct competition with Southwest -- between BWI and cities such as Cleveland, Manchester, N.H., and Providence, R.I.

One-way fares from Dulles to Fort Lauderdale will be $85 if purchased two weeks in advance.

The new service to Fort Lauderdale is to begin Jan. 6. The airline already flies between Hartford and Tampa, Fla., and will inaugurate its flights from Dulles -- nonstop to Orlando and Tampa -- later this year.

MetroJet plans to have 24 aircraft serving 16 cities by the end of the year, and to more than double in size by 2000.

Pub Date: 11/03/98

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