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People Express Airlines - Flights From Williamsburg Virginia

Updated on July 24, 2014

People Get Ready For The Launch of People Express Airlines

People get ready, there's a new airline coming, it's picking up passengers along the east coast.

If the name People Express sounds familiar to you, it should. The airline was a popular low cost airline that had a run from 1981 until 1987 when it was taken out by Continental Airlines, which in turn merged with United in 2011.

Flights From Williamsburg, Virginia

People Express will be based out of Williamsburg, Virginia. The Chief Operating Officer for the new airline, Michael Morisi, worked for the airline during the 80′s. Morisi has indicated that the airline hopes to avoid some of the mistakes that led to it's demise the first time around. They have no plans to offer service between large markets in the USA. The plan is to serve small markets only. To start the airline has initial plans to fly to these US cities:

  • Newark, New Jersey
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Williamsburg, Virginia (main airport for the airline)
  • Palm Springs, Florida

People Express Airlines
People Express Airlines

Brief History of the Airline

The airline was founded in 1981. The first commercial flight for People Express was April 30, 1981 between Newark, NJ and Buffalo, NY. They launched as a low cost airline and did a good job of shaking the market. In 1983, they expanded to markets outside of the USA with flights to Gatwick Airport in London from Newark. These flights were super cheap at the time. Fares were being offered from Newark to London for as low as $149 and would sell out quickly.

In 1985, American Airlines introduced "Ultimate Super Fares". This is probably one of the key points that led to their end, but they also incurred large debts. In 1985, People Express acquired struggling Frontier Airlines. (Note: Frontier Airlines originally operated from 1950 through to the acquisition by People Express. The new incarnation of Frontier Airlines that operates today was founded in 1994).

In February 1987, the airline was merged into Continental Airlines and they no longer operated flights under the brand People Express.

Flights From Newport News

The addition of a low cost airline to Newport News is welcome news to the people of the area. Air Tran have announced plans to pull out of Williamsburg, Virginia this March. The airport was in need of a low cost carrier and PeoplExpress can now fill that role.

The airline still have some hurdles to clear in order to reach their goal of flights beginning in the summer of 2012*, including receiving regulatory approval.


In June 2013, People Express aquired XTRA Airways.

On June 30, 2014 People Express Airlines began flight operations. Its first flights were out of Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport.

As of July 24th the airline was flying to eight destinations:

  • Newport News, Virginia
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Newark, New Jersey
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • West Palm Beach, Florida
  • St. Petersburg, Florida


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      duskmerlot 5 years ago

      I am a former PE CSM/Flight attendant. Excited about the rebirth of what was once an incredible airline. Frustrated because I am unable to gain info re: employment out of Newark NJ

    • teutophile profile image

      teutophile 6 years ago

      Interesting hub -- both the article and the choice of an airport. I remember People Express and hope this incarnation does better.