The competition between Virginia airports for your cash is heating up. Now that Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport (SHD) has a non-stop flight to Orlando, Florida with low fare and free parking, Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport (CHO) says they are actively pursuing markets in Florida. But CHO representatives say they have to charge for parking.
Having four legacy air carriers and almost 50 daily flights, they maintain an operational budget well over $4 million. Parking revenue is the largest single contributor to that budget. CHO says that unlike SHD, they are not subsidized by surrounding cities and counties, and they do not utilize local tax money for operational costs.
Friday one customer says she hopes CHO gets a direct flight to Florida.
Keila Rader of Charlottesville said, "I've got three kids living there so I would love to be able to just get on in my hometown, a direct flight, two hours and be able to be over there."
CHO expects to lose customers to SHD's new flight to Orlando come November. They hope to stay competitive because a short 45 minute flight to a connector airport like Charlotte, may make up for the time required to make that drive over the mountain.