People Express Airlines (2010s)

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PEOPLExpress Airlines (2012) logo.JPG
IATA ICAO Callsign
V2 (from Vision Airlines) RBY (from Vision Airlines) RUBY (from Vision Airlines)
FoundedFebruary 13, 2012
Commenced operationsJune 30, 2014
Ceased operationsSeptember 26, 2014
HubsNewport News/Williamsburg International Airport
Frequent-flyer programSMARTbank
Company sloganIt's Time To Fly Smart
HeadquartersNewport News, Virginia
Key peopleJeffrey Erickson (CEO)
Michael Morisi (Founder)

People Express Airlines (stylized as PEOPLExpress) was an airline that began operations on June 30, 2014 from Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport, targeting the no-frills budget flyer. The air carrier took its name from the original PEOPLExpress Airlines which operated in the 1980s, but was unrelated. Due to complications with its contracted fleet, including one aircraft having been hit by a ground vehicle, the airline abruptly ceased operations on September 26, 2014, leaving some passengers stranded and others holding tickets that were not transferable to other carriers. Its hub airport located in Newport News commenced eviction of the airline from the airport terminal on November 12, 2014.[1] On January 22, 2015, People Express Airlines was evicted from its offices at the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport. [2]



The airline was publicly launched during a press conference at the Newport News airport on February 13, 2012, though its organization began in April 2011 when Michael Morisi, an official at the original People Express Airlines and chief operating officer for the revived company, began bringing together a group of people to start the company.[3][4] People Express received financing from private investors and Newport News area businesses.[5]

Service was initially anticipated to begin late-2013, but several delays caused the launch date to push back to mid-2014.[6] People Express had initially intended to acquire Xtra Airways in order to expedite the airline's certification process, but the deal was never finalized due to issues identified during the due diligence process.[7] On October 5, Jeffrey Erickson, former Atlas Air President and CEO was announced as PEOPLExpress' first CEO.[8]

Start of operations[edit]

PEOPLExpress Boeing 737-400 N745VA lines up for take-off at Boston's Logan International Airport (July 2014)

At a press event on May 30, 2014, PEX announced that flight operations would commence on June 30, 2014. Flights were operated by Vision Airlines doing business as PEOPLExpress. [9] The airline utilized Vision Airlines' existing USDOT scheduled authority and FAA Part 121 certification. People Express had plans on obtaining its own FAA certification and begin operating independently within the next few years.

The airline's business model was to operate to niche markets, largely in the eastern United States, that were underserved or unserved by mainline airlines while charging about 40% less than typical fares.[5] The airline's base and hub were located at Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport (PHF) in Newport News, VA. The airport was previously served by AirTran in 2012 and Allegiant Air in 2014; however, both airlines then ceased serving Newport News. In addition, the airport had previously received jet service over the years operated by Allegheny Airlines, National Airlines, Piedmont Airlines (1948-1989) and United Airlines as well as USAir and its successor US Airways.

End of operations[edit]

On September 26, 2014, the airline announced what it expected to be a temporary suspension of all service until October 16, 2014.[10][11] The airline subsequently announced that it would not resume operations on October 16, 2014,[12] and on November 12, 2014, PEOPLExpress was evicted from the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport due to non-payment of Passenger Facilities Charges of US$100,000.[13] On January 22, 2015, People Express Airlines was evicted from its office space at the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport due to non-payment of utility bills.[14]


People Express served or planned to serve the following destinations in the United States:

State City Airport Refs
 Florida Orlando Orlando International Airport
 Florida St. Petersburg St. Petersburg–Clearwater International Airport [15]
 Florida West Palm Beach Palm Beach International Airport
Georgia (U.S. state) Georgia Atlanta Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport
 Louisiana New Orleans Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport
 Massachusetts Boston Logan International Airport
 New Jersey Newark Newark Liberty International Airport
 Pennsylvania Pittsburgh Pittsburgh International Airport [15]
 Virginia Newport News Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport Hub
 West Virginia Charleston Yeager Airport [16]

Historical fleet[edit]

People Express operated as a virtual airline exclusively flying Boeing 737-400 aircraft operated by Vision Airlines including Vision Airlines flight crew.[4] The aircraft were configured with 150 (12/138) seats.[4]

Aircraft Passengers Notes
F C Y Total
Boeing 737-400 2 12 138 150 Operated By Vision Airlines
Total 2

Frequent flyer program[edit]

People Express' frequent flier program was called SMARTbank, and it also operated Club Travelati, a group for customers to receive special discounts.[17] In May 2012, the airline was fined by the United States Department of Transportation for violating a ban on premature advertising in connection with its solicitation for memberships in Club Travelati, of which the airline claimed to have sold over 130 before suspending sales at the end of March 2012.[18]


  1. ^ Daily Press (December 20, 2014). "Year in Review: Newport News-Williamsburg airport loses People Express, Frontier Airlines and Allegiant". Retrieved February 22, 2015.
  2. ^ "PEOPLExpress evicted from Newport News/Williamsburg Airport". Retrieved February 22, 2015.
  3. ^ "New airline to be headquartered in NN". February 13, 2012. Archived from the original on February 16, 2012. Retrieved February 17, 2012.
  4. ^ a b c "Low-cost airline with familiar name hopes to fly". USA Today. February 14, 2012. Archived from the original on February 16, 2012. Retrieved February 17, 2012.
  5. ^ a b "People Express Attempts To Return". Aviation Week. February 14, 2012. Retrieved February 17, 2012.
  6. ^ "New People Express faces delays". Pittsburgh Business Times. July 17, 2012.
  7. ^ "PEOPLExpress Could Start Operations as Early as This Quarter". May 13, 2014. Retrieved May 31, 2014.
  8. ^ "People Express expects CEO pick on the money". Daily Press. October 5, 2013. Retrieved October 5, 2013.
  9. ^ "People Express announces flights from Newport News to Newark, Boston, Pittsburgh starting June 30".
  10. ^ "People Express suspends service, to relaunch Oct. 16".
  11. ^ Blachly, Linda (September 26, 2014). "PEOPLExpress to temporarily suspend service; plans to relaunch Oct. 16". Air Transport World. Archived October 12, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "Newport News-Williamsburg airport: People Express plan to resume service is delayed". Daily Press. Retrieved February 22, 2015.
  13. ^ "PeopleExpress Evicted". WAVY-TV.
  14. ^ 13News Now (January 22, 2015). "PEOPLExpress evicted from offices at Peninsula airport". WVEC. Retrieved February 22, 2015..
  15. ^ a b "Pittsburgh is PeoplExpress Airlines' 'major focus'". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. February 15, 2012. Archived from the original on February 16, 2012. Retrieved February 17, 2012.
  16. ^
  17. ^ "PEOPLExpress is Back in Business and Calling Virginia Home". Jaunted. February 14, 2012. Archived from the original on February 17, 2012. Retrieved February 18, 2012.
  18. ^ Mutzabaugh, Ben (May 11, 2012). "DOT fines start-up PEOPLExpress, which has yet to fly". USA Today. Retrieved May 11, 2012.

External links[edit]

Media related to People Express Airlines (2012) at Wikimedia Commons