Archive

With space to spare, Pittsburgh International draws corporate jet carrier | TribLIVE.com
Allegheny

With space to spare, Pittsburgh International draws corporate jet carrier

ptrairport042515
OneJet
OneJet, a business-oriented carrier, uses seven-seat Hawker 400s for nonstop flights from Pittsburgh to Milwaukee and Indianapolis.

Pittsburgh International Airport’s status as a former hub facility with space to spare helped draw OneJet, a new corporate jet carrier seeking to gain a foothold inside Concourse D.

“That’s one of the reasons Pittsburgh is one of the top five cities we put in place early on,” said CEO Matthew Maguire. “We see a bigger vision for it beyond the user service.”

OneJet, catering to business travelers on seven-seat Hawker 400s, launched between Milwaukee and Indianapolis in April, and Pittsburgh this month. A fourth destination will be announced within two months. Down the road, OneJet plans to add crews and maintenance operations in Pittsburgh.

OneJet’s business model focuses on gate-to-gate travel between midsized cities, allowing direct flights to destinations that otherwise involve lengthy layovers. A trip to Indianapolis with a connection may take 4 12 hours, compared with the about 60-minute service on OneJet.

The service is a new type of product, aiming to fill a gap in air travel. The Boston-based company is the product of about two years of researching former hubs that lost direct service to other midsized destinations, Maguire said.

“We’re not in Pittsburgh by accident,” Maguire said. “You couldn’t put a 50-seat airplane into those sort of markets and have it work. But with a six- or seven-seat aircraft and some demand management software that we’ve put in place, that we can sustain.”

The company reports 75 percent booked flights during its first week.

Maguire said OneJet is backed by a New York-based investment bank. Advisers include Terry Jones, founder of Travelocity, and John Porcari, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Transportation.

Maguire said Pittsburgh’s growing entrepreneurial scene meshes well with OneJet’s nascent plans.

The airport had been a hub for US Airways more than a decade ago.

Airport officials, eager to add direct service in response to passenger demand, see OneJet as a welcome addition despite its small size and niche market.

“We know they’re targeting businesses to make sure they can get nonstop (service),” said Vincent Gastgeb, vice president of government and community affairs for the Allegheny County Airport Authority. “It doesn’t necessarily have to be on a 200-seat plane.”

The airport aims to offer connections based on passenger demand, Gastgeb said. He said meetings between OneJet and local businesses such as Michael Baker Corp., PNC Bank and Bayer have focused on future destinations.

A round-trip ticket on OneJet from Pittsburgh to Indianapolis from June 1-3 costs $458 when booked three weeks in advance, according to Expedia.

Flights with connections cost in the $300 to $500 range. Travel times go from nearly four to 5 12 hours, about as long as it takes to drive the 360-mile distance.

Tom Donatelli, who oversees Western Pennsylvania construction operations for Michael Baker Corp., predicts his company will take full advantage of OneJet. The business has offices in Indianapolis and Madison, Wis., near Milwaukee, and took eight trips to each last year.

“That’s definitely going to increase,” he said. “It’s going to make it much more convenient.”

Melissa Daniels is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at [email protected] or 412-380-8511.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.