BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. (WBOY) – The North Central West Virginia Airport (NCWV) finally welcomed its new airline partner, Contour Airlines, on December 1 with a ribbon cutting.

Ribbon cutting ceremony before the flight (WBOY Image)

The inaugural flight took off at 8:25 a.m. from the CKB terminal to fly to Charlotte International Airport (CLT) in North Carolina. This new airline will provide convenience, non-stop, and connecting access to and from NCWV Airport.

NCWV airport director, Rick Rock, along with a number of other officials, took the 8:25 a.m. Round-trip flight to CLT in celebration of the partnership. While most were flying back, Rock took the opportunity to visit with family and learn more about the CLT community. Dr. Joshua Hall, WVU’s Milan Puskar Dean of the John Chambers College of Business and Economics, also took this flight the attend a business trip in Charlotte.

Contour Airlines is offering 12 weekly trips to Charlotte, with two round trips available each day. These services are not offered on Wednesdays and Saturdays. All of Contour’s aircrafts are Embraer Regional Jets, which traditionally seat between 37 and 50 passengers. However, CEO, Matt Chaifetz, mentioned that they have reconfigured it to where they will only seat 30 passengers, giving every passenger on board the equivalency of first-class legroom. The contract between NCWV airport and Contour Airlines will last for at least three years.

As of December 1, the airline was offering an introductory fair for just $59 to Charlotte. This new partner is also an interline partner with American Airlines, which means that contour offers travelers the ability to ticket from CKB, through CLT, and connect to a variety of worldwide destinations that American Airlines offers. Passengers can book connections through American Airlines here.

Rock feels that this partnership will add a lot of value and growth in West Virginia’s economic development. He said, “Air service is so important. I mean, to be able to bring people into West Virginia, to do business, for leisure, the easier it is to get people into our community, the better it is for our community. And this economic impact, with the vibrancy of it, there’s so many things going on in West Virginia that are positive. And with tourism, business, air services helps make that thrive.”

Chaifetz revealed that an aircraft will be based at the NCWV Airport so that there will be overnight flights every night. They are also an operator of bombardier equipment. MHI RJ Aviation Inc., located in Bridgeport, purchased the Canadair Regional Jet (CJR) line from Bombardier Inc., and so, the airline and airport struck a deal to have all of the maintenance on our CRJ fleet, as well as some maintenance on its Embraer fleet.

The NCWV Airport is also planning to start building its new terminal at the first quarter of next year which they hope will be completed in 2024.