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Breeze Airways takes first flight out of Norfolk International Airport

Passengers were eager to take the first trip out of ORF to Charleston, South Carolina, at 9:35 a.m. Thursday.

NORFOLK, Va. — New discount airline Breeze Airways made its first flight out of Norfolk International Airport Thursday morning.

The airline flew its first trip to Charleston, South Carolina, at 9:35 a.m.

Aviation enthusiasts, Owen Haesler and Joseph Genco, were on the first flight out. 

“I think it's always exciting to get a new airline with so many cities at my home airport," said Haesler.

Gencor says it’s been a while since they bought a ticket to the skies, saying, “This is my first flight in over a year, almost two years, so I'm really excited to be flying again."

Breeze Airways will invest $5.2 million to establish an operations center in the city. The new airline will create 116 new jobs. Norfolk’s Economic Development Director, Jared Chalk, said this means more business for the city.

“They're going to have new pilots, new maintenance crew moving here. It's a big deal," said Chalk.

Chalk says with lifted mandates and a pent-up demand from travelers, he hopes it’ll take Norfolk to higher levels, saying, “having those tourism and business opportunities to come down to our region is big for us."

The low-cost carrier connects Norfolk to cities such as Columbus, Ohio; Hartford, Connecticut; New Orleans, Louisiana; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Providence, Rhode Island; and Tampa, Florida.

Norfolk will be one of Breeze Airways’ first four operations based in the United States, and the airline also plans to offer flights out of Richmond International Airport.