SkyWest jet in Johnstown

Workers prepare to begin loading passengers into a United Express jet at John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport on Dec. 4, 2020. 

Ticket sales continue to soar for United Express flights at John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport.

In June, 901 people boarded flights from Johnstown to Chicago O’Hare and Washington Dulles international airports, most on their way to destinations across the country or around the world, station manager Sam Faoliu told the airport authority Tuesday.

That’s the most enplanements for one month in more than a decade, enplanements committee chairman Mike Parrish said.

“It’s better than anything we have in our data,” Parrish said. “They are eclipsing those numbers, and the expectation is, it’s only going to get better.”

The United Express twin-jet flights began in December after SkyWest took over Johnstown’s federally subsidized air service from Boutique Air. The service includes one daily round trip each day to Dulles and O’Hare.

Faoliu said the 50-passenger aircraft have been operating at or near capacity on weekends, with between 15 and 30 passengers during the week.

The larger planes will provide a first for Johnstown later this month as a 25-member New Orleans baseball team and support staff will fly into Johnstown for the All American Amateur Baseball Association tournament, Aug. 2 to 8.

“They have flown into Pittsburgh before, but never into Johnstown,” airport authority member George Arcurio III said at the meeting. “It has worked out, and that’s a plus for the airport, too.”

Arcurio is president of the Johnstown Oldtimers Baseball Association, which sponsors the AAABA tournament.

United even worked out a discount for the team’s luggage, acting airport manager Heather Tomasko said.

The success of the new air service has brought more vehicles to the airport parking lot. Josh Keyser, airport operations supervisor, said he’s been monitoring the situation and reported the lot has been at about 33% capacity.

Flair of Country Catering and Event Planning owner Corey Crocco reported the increased traffic in the terminal has encouraged his business to consider opening a cafe catering to passengers boarding flights. The cafe would be located outside the former restaurant, which Flair of Country uses as an event venue.

“I think it would be a great opportunity to rebuild the restaurant concept out here,” Crocco said, explaining that the airline’s continued success could justify reopening a traditional restaurant in the terminal. “I’m always open to growing back to having a restaurant here,” he said.

Randy Griffith is a multimedia reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at 532-5057. Follow him on Twitter @PhotoGriffer57.

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