VERO BEACH – Last month, Elite Airways announced it would begin flights from Vero Beach Regional Airport to Asheville, North Carolina and a limited schedule to Tallahassee.
The airline will further expand its schedule with nonstop flights from Vero Beach to Islip, Long Island, New York beginning in March. Elite offers a convenient service from Vero to Newark, New Jersey, and that’s good for Indian River County residents because it saves them from traveling to Orlando or West Palm Beach.
Since flying out of Vero Beach, the airline has been busy, and so much that there could be future plans to expand its local market.
But as that settles in, Elite Airways is losing ground in Naples, Florida. The company is losing subsidies worth $75,000 as it suspends direct flights to Newark from Naples.
Under the terms of their contract with the Naples Airport Authority, a terminal rent, marketing, and provided ground service assistance valued at $75,000 were waived as long as it scheduled regular flights to a major hub.
Since February 2016, Elite offered a weekly nonstop flight to Newark but increased their flight schedule to twice per week in Vero Beach for the same hub. The flights from Naples to Newark were eventually canceled because of low passenger numbers.
The decision to cancel the flights didn’t sit too well with the Authority in Naples. Although the term “major hub” was not specifically defined in the contract, the Authority believes the airline is no longer entitled to the subsidies.
Elite Airways is still growing in Vero Beach, and if that continues the airline is ready to meet the higher demands.
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