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Valujet Roars Forward at RDU

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RALEIGH — March 18, 1996, 1:45 pm ESTThe corporate logo on Valujet planes may be a cartoon figure, but the airline is being taken more and more seriously by pleased passengers -- and by others in the airline industry. It is doing so well at Raleigh-Durham International Airport, it is moving into an expansion area at Terminal A.

For two years, the carrier with the yellow, blue and white cartoon character on its jets has been serving RDU. Passengers like it because the rates are very competitive, and because often the flights are non-stop so there's no need for change of planes, racing through hub airports or lay-overs.

The Valujet expansion of service is welcome news for an airport that recently learned that Air South will be pulling out, citing its inability to be competitive.

The airport authority has revamped Terminal A in record time, just a few months' work. Not only has Valujet already moved in and opened up its check-in counters, but Continental will move in later this spring as well.

One kink that remains to be worked out is installation of handcapped access. Valujet's old location provided that feature, but the new spot requires that passengers walk up stairs to get to their flights.

By 1997, six gates should be open in the new terminal, and the hope is for more gates to draw passengers looking for a good deal on fares

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