- Associated Press - Thursday, October 16, 2014

MARTINSBURG, Pa. (AP) - Sun Air Express will start offering daily flights from Altoona-Blair County to Pittsburgh International Airport starting Nov. 17.

The U.S. Department of Transportation in July picked the Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based airline to provide the service under the federally subsidized Essential Air Service program. The program is designed to provide connecting service from secondary airports to larger hubs.

Mark Cestari, the marketing vice-president for the Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based confirmed the expected launch day for The Altoona Mirror (https://bit.ly/1pgwJLW ).

Airport officials had previously announced Sun Air would take over for Silver Airways on Oct. 1 and then Nov. 1.

Cestari says Sun Air has had to purchase, equip and paint new planes as it prepares to replace Silver Airways at the central Pennsylvania airport and others.

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