GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Pitt-Greenville Airport officials are again looking at adding additional flights to cities other than Charlotte.
The news comes after a new report shows just how few people are utilizing the local airport. According to a market study by Sixel, only 20.4% of people in the area choose to fly out of Greenville.
“Almost 500 people a day make the choice to drive over to Raleigh,” said PGV Director Betty Stansbury.
The study showed 70.1% of local flyers chose to fly out of RDU, while 3.5% went to Coastal Carolina Regional Airport in New Bern, and 3.1% opted to drive to Charlotte.
“With four departures a day, it may not fit their schedule, for some of them it’s the cost of the ticket, and for some of them it’s for reliability,” Stansbury said.
By adding additional flights or airlines, Stansbury said they would likely have between 8 and 10 departures a day, providing direct flights to cities like Atlanta, Washington, D.C. and New York City.
Stansbury said another city they’ve been eyeing for direct flights is Orlando.
According to the study, local flyers traveled to New York, Chicago, South Florida, and Orlando most.
Some traveling said they would love to see additional options at the airport, as it could save them hours of travel time.
“At least two or three hours for me, when you calculate the layover and the transferring flights,” said Muhammet Ayanoglu, who was traveling to Atlanta.
Greenville Mayor Allen Thomas said adding additional flights could also have a big impact on the economy.
“If you’re sending in experts or professionals from other parts of the world, they want to get as quickly as they can to their facilities here in Eastern North Carolina,” Thomas said.
In October, PGV officials met with four airlines who expressed some interest in coming to Greenville. Stansbury said the earliest another airline would come in would likely be between 9 months and one year.
Mayor Thomas said the city and airport are actively seeking federal grants to help cover the cost of an expansion.