HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — More Midstate jobs are on the way as Harrisburg International airport is just three days away from having its first airline crew base in more than a decade.
Even if you can’t buy a ticket on Piedmont Airlines, the name and logo are the same as a big old airline that, through a series of mergers, became part of American Airlines.
But today? “Piedmont is a regional airline that is owned and operated by American Airlines. They fly the 50-seat regional jets every year, 145 from here to Chicago, Charlotte, Philadelphia, and Boston,” HIA Spokesman, Scott Miller said.
Planes painted in American’s colors, flown by Piedmont’s people, who will now have the crew base here. “It means they will live here,” Miller said.
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Made possible by the fact that starting Sunday, their trips will begin and end in Harrisburg. “Whether they’re flying in Philadelphia or Charlotte or one of the other hubs, they’ll start and end here,” Miller said.
Good news for a region that’s doing rather well economically, but is losing some good jobs with the Rite-Aid and Harsco headquarters leaving town. So the Piedmont news?
“The more employees that they have based here, the better it is for the local economy. More people living here, buying housing, buying food, buying gas, going to stores, being involved in schools in the community,” Miller said.
About sixty pilots and flight attendants joining Piedmont engineers, who already live here, because the airline already has what’s called a maintenance base.
“Airplanes are cycled through here on a daily basis. They’re going through routine maintenance checks. They’re cleaned, they’re fixed, and they’re well maintained in a hangar here,” Miller said.
One thing the crew base doesn’t bring, at least, not necessarily, is more flights and lower fares. For now, American’s flight schedule is similar to before. It’s just that the pilots and flight attendants working aboard those flights can now be our neighbors.