CVG announces new carrier, service to Pittsburgh

Posted at 1:15 PM, Jun 09, 2016

HEBRON, Ky. – OneJet, an upstart airline, is launching service from the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport starting this summer, the newest addition to CVG's carrier mix. But its growth in the local market will hinge largely on support from the regional business community.

The Boston-based air transportation network provider will serve one city, Pittsburgh, starting Aug. 15, with one daily flight Monday through Friday. Flights will arrive at CVG mid-morning and depart to Pittsburgh in the afternoon. Ticket sales start July 18.

OneJet will become CVG’s ninth air carrier to operate with scheduled passenger service. Pittsburgh – a market recently cut from Delta's repertoire – will become the airport's 54th nonstop market.

Delta ceased service from CVG to Pittsburgh in October – along with Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Richmond, Virginia – a move that many aviation experts agreed could open the door for a regional carrier like OneJet, which operates similarly to an Ultimate Air and largely targets the corporate customer.

“Pittsburgh is a very important business market to companies in the Tri-State region, and we’re proud that we will once again be providing nonstop service between our two cities," Candace McGraw, CVG CEO, said.

OneJet's main focus is nonstop travel between small and mid-size markets. But unlike Ultimate, which flies out of airfields like Lunken, and at CVG, the airport's fixed-based operator, which is Delta Private Jets, OneJet utilizes main terminals in the cities it serves.

McGraw said OneJet will utilize concourse A at CVG, which also includes Allegiant, Frontier, United and American. OneJet flies a seven-seater Hawker 400 light jet aircraft, which is equipped with an all-leather interior, high-speed Internet and first-class style seating. Fares have not been set, but entry-level prices in other markets generally run $300 one way.

"We look forward to working with the OneJet team to make this service a success and also develop additional markets for potential OneJet expansion,” McGraw added.

But Matt Maguire, OneJet chief executive officer, told WCPO their future growth here will depend on the support of the business community. They've had big buy in Pittsburgh, the state of Pennsylvania and other partners, and its relationship with PNC Bank was key in its landing at CVG.

"We really were looking at markets that made sense for our corporate clients out of Pittsburgh, and Cincinnati was a key market for PNC," Maguire said.

"We need to see from Cincinnati what we've seen here in Pittsburgh, which is engagement with the local Fortunate 500s and corporate travelers," he added. "There are many other markets there (from CVG) that would make sense for us."

Delta's choice to cease routes between the two Ohio River sister cities was a "tremendous" advantage," he said.

"We only enter markets where we'll have the only nonstop service," Maguire said. "So as Delta has pulled back – and frankly, I think for their business model, that made sense for them – it created an opportunity to service our corporate clients.

"If you look at markets that are attractive to us – markets where there's no nonstop service, (routes) within 500-800 miles, and cities where there's strong corporate business travel – Cincinnati certainly ticks all those boxes, so this was a great opportunity for us to satisfy our commitment to Pittsburgh and one of our largest corporate clients, but at the same time, get our toe in the water with the CVG community," he said.