Jet shuttle service hopes to tap a few traffic-weary tourists

By on May 4, 2019

A Cincinnatti-based company plans to start weekend flights to Currituck County Regional Airport during the summer season in hopes of snagging a few travelers who can afford to skip the monumental traffic jams heading to the Outer Banks.

With round-trip tickets ranging from about $700 to $1,000, Ultimate Air Shuttle figures it can book 19 to 30 seats per flight to Currituck aboard Embraer 135 and Dornier 328 jets, which will provide Saturday service. Sunday flights will be on 19-passenger Jetstream 31s.

Flights are scheduled for Saturdays and Sundays between Pittsburgh, PA; Washington, D.C. via Manassas, VA; and, New York City and Philadelphia via Morristown, NJ.

Connections to airports along the beach will be available through Outer Banks Airlines to Pine Island, Manteo, Frisco, Ocracoke and First Flight airstrip in Kill Devil Hills.

Ultimate Air Shuttle hired SouthStar Associates for market research to see if air service to the Outer Banks would be workable.

“We’re looking at 19 to 30 seats per plane, providing two round-trip flights per weekend day. That’s just a small response compared to the total number coming to the Outer Banks in one weekend. It’s small, but it’s a start,” Larry Vickers, chief marketing officer for Southstar, said in an announcement of the plan by Currituck Economic Development.

“To further provide convenience and a more worry-free ease of travel, Enterprise Rent-A-Car will offer ground transportation rentals at both the Currituck County and Pine Island airports.”

The companies consulted with tourism officials and rental companies. In the description of the plan, Larry Lombardi, director of Currituck Economic Development specifically mentioned Twiddy and Co. Twiddy does the bulk of its business on the northern Outer Banks, a destination for generally well-to-do visitors from large metropolitan areas.

The Currituck airport runway is long enough for 30-passenger jets. (Currituck Economic Development)

Lombardi said the plan puts the Currituck facility to good use. It features a runway long enough for the jets.

“Increasing traffic to the airport is almost always a win-win proposition,” Lombardi said. “Because nothing does a better job of promoting Currituck County than the county itself.”

Seasonal flights from Ultimate Air Shuttle begin on May 18, 2019. Reservations can be made on their website: www.ultimateairshuttle.com or by calling 1-800-437-3931.

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KHer

How are they planning to use First Flight Airstrip? There is no commercial traffic allowed there.

Regional type service has been tried numerous times here in the OB. The high cost always dooms them. Norfolk airport is only 1 hour+ away.

tim

Actually the traffic to the OBX on Saturdays has not been bad the last two years and this year should be no different. The mile long back ups to the Wright Bros bridge at Kitty Hawk have been no problem on Saturday, but is landing at Currituck airport the answer to that? You need to rent a car and drive to and over that bridge so why not rent a car at Norfolk and drive down, it would just be 40 min longer and cheaper with more flight options. I don’t see this shuttle as being any great option to… Read more »