ASHEVILLE, NC – Vision Airlines announced last week that service to nine of its 15 destination cities – including Asheville – will be discontinued as of August 19, a move that was not a surprise to Asheville Regional Airport (AVL).
“Vision Airlines entered the commercial air service market in a big way last spring,” said Lew Bleiweis, airport director. “Their business model included tapping into vacation destination markets and drawing travelers between those markets. The summer season in the panhandle of Florida – where Vision is based – is nearing its end, so their exit from many markets is somewhat expected.”
Vision began a two-day-a-week service from Asheville to Ft. Walton Beach, Florida in March, and served approximately 600 passengers each month, or 1.5% of total passengers at AVL . The loss of Vision from AVL will have a minimal impact on the organization’s budget.
Vision has indicated that the reduction of service to and from Northwest Florida Regional is temporary. The airline will resume a fuller schedule of flights starting April 1 of next year, and some of the discontinued destinations will be brought back while new destinations likely will be added. Vision has not indicated which cities will be served again in the spring.
“As we leave the busy summer travel season, it is very common for airports to see changes in air service,” said Bleiweis. “Asheville will continue to see air service come and go – that’s the nature of the business. What we, will continue to do is communicate with airlines, advocate for needed routes, and keep Western North Carolina top-of-mind with airline planners. We have a proven market, and an exceptional airport, and I look forward to what’s to come.”