KANSAS CITY,MO – Today MetroAir Virtual Airlines announced that they will be moving their focus city operation at Chicago’s Midway Airport down the road to the much bigger O’Hare International Airport…
The news comes at a time of large changes and expansions at the airline, with new aircraft on order and now being delivered and new routes being launched almost weekly.
Airline officials have stated that the switch will occur on March 1, 2014 with the last flights operating out of Midway on February 28.
MetroAir has been operating out of Midway for many years, however, in recent months has faced a number of difficult operational challenges. Most of which have all been as a result of the airports congested terminals and short runways and lack of international facilities.
The airline’s Chief Operating Officer, William Hogarth, said “While Midway has been a key part of our successes on the East Coast and has played a major role in the airlines expansion over the years and we have simply grown to big for the airport. We have had to reduce capacity on some of our more popular and lucrative routes because of runway lengths. In addition we have also had to lose routes completely because of a lack of spare gate slots.”
One of the largest constraints that the airline had been facing is the lack of spare gates which had seen them trying to operate over 50 daily flights out of just 2 dedicated gates. This lack of gates resulted in delays and cancellations that would hit the airline at peak times. When the airline moves to ORD in March, they will have 10 dedicated gates in both Domestic and International terminals. As of right now, the airline will occupy L1, L3, L5, L7, L9 as well as M1, M2, M3, M4, M5.
Airline CEO, Matt Calsada, had this to say ” This move to ORD will enable us to breath easy for many years to come. It will give us the flexibility to reintroduce our larger aircraft on to the more popular routes as well as expand to new cities both Domestically and Internationally without the worry of having no gates.”
MetroAir has announced that all current flights to and from Midway will be transitioned over to O’Hare and will continue to operate with only minor adjustments. They have also provided a list of new cities which are expected to be launched: Newark, Minneapolis, Cancun, Charlotte, Toronto-Pearson, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Paris de Gaulle and London Heathrow. There will also be expanded service to Ft Lauderdale, Tampa and Detroit.
With this move, MetroAir will launch long haul international service to Europe with two brand new Airbus A330 aircraft, which are due for delivery in February. William Hogarth said “The move to O’Hare has really enabled us to broaden our horizons and being able to fly long haul is one of those benefits. Not only will we have more flexibility to expand our operations but the airport itself will increase our passenger figures due to the large number of long haul flights passing through the airport each day, and the overall higher passenger figures that the airport sees annually. “