Elite Airways President John Pearsall addresses the crowd at Vero Beach Regional Airport.
VERO BEACH — In what represents the first commercial jet flight from any Treasure Coast destination, Elite Airways announced today that it is starting service from Vero Beach to Newark, N.J.
The service will begin Dec. 10 with non-stop flights from Vero Beach Regional Airport to Newark Liberty National Airport, along with return service, on Thursdays and Sundays. The schedule represents the first commercial carrier jet service from Vero Beach or any Treasure Coast destination. Currently, most Treasure Coast residents use Palm Beach International Airport or Melbourne International Airport for commercial jet flights.
John Pearsall, president of Melbourne-based Elite Airways, said the service could be expanded as demand increases. “Vero Beach marks the beginning of our plans for new winter leisure travel routes between Florida and the Northeast,” Pearsall said during a press conference on the tarmac of the Vero Beach Regional Airport.
The press conference included tours of one of the company’s 70-passenger CRJ700 that would be used for the routes. Pearsall said 50-passenger CRJ200s would also be used for the flights.
One-way fares begin at $149 and includes one free carry-on, free beverage service and a snack. The company does not charge fees if flights are changed. “We’re trying to do service in the style of a traditional airline,” Pearsall said.
Vero Beach Regional Airport also offers free parking at the main terminal, where the flights will depart. Rental car outlets also operate at the airport.
“It is estimated that the community of Vero Beach will receive a positive economic benefit of $1.8 million in the first year of operation,” said Eric Menger, airport director. “This will be a huge help to all our businesses.”
The Thursday and Sunday flights leave Vero Beach at 8:30a.m. and arrive in Newark at 11:30 a.m. The return flights leave Newark at 12:15 p.m.and arrive in Vero Beach at 3:15 p.m. The airline allows pets in the cabin at $50 per flight.
Elite Airways was formed in 2006 by Pearsall and other airline veterans. Pearsall is a former president of Primaris Airlines and was head of flight operations for National Airlines and America West Airlines and vice president of operations for Sun Air.
The airline originated as a charter service provider for college and professional sports teams, tour operators, corporate executives and celebrities before beginning commercial flights to underserved markets. These included Branson, Mo., to Houston, Branson to Denver, Rockford, Ill., to Fort Collins, Colo, Branson to New Orleans and New Orleans to Cancun, Mexico.
To reach the company or purchase tickets visit www.eiliteairways.com or call 877.393.2510.
Distributed by Treasure Coast Business, a service of Indian River Magazine Inc.