UPDATE (4:14 p.m.): The following is a statement from Chicago Rockford International Airport (RFD) regarding the discontinuation of flights to Newark, New Jersey:
After several days of consulting with our air service partner Elite Airways, we have been notified by Elite, that tickets between Rockford and Newark are not selling at the level necessary to sustain the service. RFD completely understands and supports this decision. As I have said in the past, RFD will try new destinations but the minute they become economically unfeasible we will end the service and pursue another destination. We have been told by Elite that they are very pleased with the success of the Rockford to Fort Collins, Colorado route. The airport and Elite have begun to determine where another destination may be to take the place of Newark that will be successful for Elite and the airport. We are very pleased with our relationship with Elite and look forward to a long and successful partnership. Elite will be refunding all tickets purchased through Elite Airways for flights between Rockford and Newark after October 19.
-Mike Dunn, executive director, Chicago Rockford International Airport
UPDATE (2:48 p.m.): Elite Airways President and CEO John Pearsall tells ‘Eyewitness News’ that the decision to discontinue flights between RFD and Newark was mutual, and due to very low bookings.
Pearsall says flights through Elite to Fort Collins, CO have been extremely successful and they’re looking into expanding those flights. They’re also looking to work with RFD to offer additional non-stop flights to popular destinations.
Comment from Chicago Rockford International Airport was not immediately given.
Almost before it began, Elite Airways has canceled its non-stop service from Chicago Rockford Airport to New York’s Newark Airport. That’s according to emails sent to travelers who had booked flights on Elite after October 19th, which is the last day available to book the flight on the Elite Airways website.
Elite Airways flights to Newark haven’t even begun yet, as the first service was scheduled for October 9th.
‘Eyewitness News’ has reached out to airport officials for comment.
Elite also announced direct service to Fort Collins, CO the same day as the Newark flights, and those flights appear to be unaffected.