By Dennis Seid
Three of the four airlines bidding to provide commercial air service in Tupelo will be in town this week to state their cases.
The three – Air Choice One, SeaPort Airlines and Sun Air – will make their presentations at Universal Asset Management’s classroom.
The first will be Air Choice One today from 10 a.m. to noon.
The company is offering four options, ranging from 30 round-trips per week between Tupelo and Memphis for $2.9 million, to a combination of 18 trips between Tupelo and Memphis and 18 trips between Tupelo and Nashville for $3.9 million.
On Wednesday, Sun Air will make its case from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
The company proposes 31 round-trips per week between Tupelo and Memphis for $2.87 million.
Later in the day, SeaPort Airlines will talk about its bid from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
SeaPort is offering 12 round-trips between Tupelo and Memphis and 18 trips between Tupelo and Nashville for $2.5 million.
The airlines are bidding to provide service after Silver Airways said in April it would not seek to renew its contract in Tupelo via the Essential Air Service program.
Silver began service in October 2012 and was paid $7 million for the two-year agreement.
The U.S. Department of Transportation has ordered Silver to continue service through at least Aug. 7. The DOT may also extend the order until a carrier is found.
Two years ago, Air Choice One and SeaPort proposed service in Tupelo, but Silver won the bid.