Elite Airways, a regional airline based in Portland, Me. and Melbourne, Fla., starts daily nonstop jet service between the Westchester County Airport in White Plains, N.Y. and Martha’s Vineyard Airport on May 28.
About an hour in length, the flights will depart seven days a week from Westchester at 12:30 p.m. and from the Vineyard at 2:30 p.m., Elite Airways public relations executive Rebecca Emery told the Gazette Wednesday.
“We envision we ARE going to have vacationers and seasonal residents from the New York city and Tri-state area,” Ms. Emery said.
Serving Vineyard-based customers is also part of the carrier’s plans, she said. “We’re looking into excursion fares for Islanders.”
Martha’s Vineyard Airport manager Geoff Freeman said the new Westchester service offers a seasonal alternative to the New York area’s larger airports.
“It’s giving another option to travelers to Martha’s Vineyard,” Mr. Freeman said.
Elite, which is adding daily Nantucket flights as well, joins American, Delta and Jet Blue in providing seasonal Vineyard service, Mr. Freeman said. Cape Air flies year-round.
The Elite schedule will bring the number of daily flights into and out of the Vineyard airport to about six or seven at the height of the summer, Mr. Freeman said.
“It’s not a lot of flights, but the aircraft are a little bit larger,” he said.
Elite flies Bombardier jets that can carry 50, 70 or 90 passengers in two-seat rows. Ms. Emery said the airline plans to begin the Vineyard run with its smallest jet, but can scale up if passenger demand warrants a larger plane.
Jet Blue flies 100-seat planes to and from the Vineyard, American’s Island-bound planes seat 85 and Delta is flying 50-seaters, Mr. Freeman said.
Founded in 2006, Elite currently serves Vero Beach, Fla., Newark, N.J. and Portland, Me.
The airline encourages frequent travelers and families with policies including fee-free booking changes, free in-flight snacks and dog-friendly cabins.
“We hope the fact that we are very pet-friendly will appeal to families,” Ms. Emery said. “We don’t put pets underneath. They’re always in the cabin with us.”
Smaller pets in carriers may ride under the seat in front of their human companions, Mr. Emery said, while larger dogs will need a ticket to sit on the floor in front of an adjoining seat.
Not including pet charges or oversized luggage such as golf bags, introductory fares between White Plains and the Vineyard or Nantucket begin at $129, Ms. Emery said.
More information is posted at res.eliteairways.net/.