PeoplExpress, the Virginia-based startup named after the no-frills carrier that failed in the 1980s, has pushed back its proposed launch from late summer to early 2013.
The carrier filed its formal application for operating authority with the Transportation Department on March 19, and had hoped to begin all-coach service in August from its Newport News, Va., headquarters to Pittsburgh; Orlando; Providence, R.I.; and West Palm Beach, Fla.
The initial schedule called for eight daily departures from Newport News/Williamsburg Airport, using leased gates vacated by AirTran when it was acquired by Southwest.
"We are reevaluating our route network to make sure that it is the best plan for us," said Christine DeZarn, vice president and chief marketing officer.
"Although we had envisioned an earlier startup, the process is taking longer than we anticipated and we are not ready at this time to talk about specific plans or dates, but we are moving forward," DeZarn said.
The carrier has "not encountered any problems with regulatory agencies, but it is an intense certification and approval process," according to DeZarn.
However, PeoplExpress did run afoul of the Tranportation Department's enforcement office in May when DOT claimed the carrier violated a ban on premature advertising by soliciting memberships for its travel club before it had received a certificate to fly.
The carrier withdrew the offer from its website and paid the $10,000 penalty.
Although DeZarn said that the carrier "has a ways to go" in regard to securing all necessary financing to meet DOT requirements, "we continue to move forward and hope to have an announcement within weeks." Follow Gay Nagle Myers on Twitter @gnmtravelweekly.