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Rock Once Again to Make Pitch to Allegiant, as Well as Other Airlines, for New Flights at NCWV Airport

By Jeff Toquinto on September 19, 2018 via Connect-Bridgeport.com

The destination flight service out of the North Central West Virginia Airport has gone from a gamble to a game changer. Now the flights are doing so well that one official with the airport plans on using the success of the flights to expand them or add others.
 
Once again, NCWV Airport Director Rick Rock will be heading to conferences to meet with airline officials. And once again he’s going to do all that he can to convince current destination provider Allegiant to expand on existing services and perhaps add more and also look at other carriers to provide services as well.
 
“I’m going to make my pitch and it’s getting easier to do if the airlines are in the position to expand or even offer new services,” said Rock recently. “That’s a result of the community buying and utilizing our flights here. You add that to the future investment of a multi-million dollar terminal and numbers that just go up and up and I can make a stronger pitch than ever.”
 
Rock’s not fabricating the numbers. Last year the airport had the most passengers flying out of Bridgeport in decades with 25,835 passengers. Through July, the airport has had 21,290 passengers through July in 2018. The upcoming months will also feature huge numbers with West Virginia University athletics charter flights, particularly for football, for both the Mountaineers and visiting teams.
 
In October, Rock will attend the Allegiant Conference in Savannah, Ga. Also that month, he’ll attend the Takeoff 2018 Conference in Memphis.
 
“The routine will be familiar in that you get a chance to meet with airlines. The Allegiant conference is only for those who have service with them where we’ll overview the service and summarize things to date as well as how to make things better,” Rock Said. “This is the conference where I’ll be pitching new routes and expanding our existing ones with them."
 
Rock said he’s like to get a flight through Allegiant to the West Coast of Florida, which studies have shown to be this region’s highest travel area going to other airports for service. He said extending Myrtle Beach and adding another day for Orlando flights will also be discussed.
 
As for the Memphis conference, Rock will be looking to meet with airlines that will be showing up at the event. He hopes to meet with United, which is currently providing daily service, and talk about the strong numbers there as well through the United Express service. He said other providers will also be sought out.
 
“If there’s a chance to create an opportunity then that’s what I’m going to try and do. When you go to these conference and can show them success you feel pretty good, at worst, your service will stay the same,” said Rock. “That makes it a win-win before going, but we want to win by adding to what we already have. If it doesn’t happen, we think we’re continually able to make a stronger argument each time we go to a conference. We have the sales pitch and, again, we have the community to thank for it.”
 
Editor's Note: Top photo shows NCWV Airport Director Rick Rock at the Benedum Airport Authority's August meeting. Below, an Allegiant jet is shown after landing in Bridgeport.


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