By Carlie Kollath/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – If you are going to board a plane this summer, please use the Tupelo Regional Airport.
That was the message from city and airport officials Friday at a press conference to kick off the “Fly Tupelo” campaign, which emphasizes flying in and out of the Tupelo airport for business and leisure purposes.
“It’s an investment in our city to support this airport,” said Mayor Jack Reed Jr. “You can make a difference and this summer is our chance to prove it.”
Starting June 10, Delta Airlines, through its subsidiary Mesaba, will offer three daily departures and arrivals.
The flights are subsidized by the U.S. Department of Transportation, which earlier this month agreed to pay the airlines more than $921,000 through the Essential Air Service program to provide service from Tupelo.
Delta is expected to revert to the two-flight schedule sometime in August.
When Reed met with a Delta representative last week, he was given the indication that if Tupelo could fill the planes, Delta would look at keeping the three-flight schedule.
So, Reed issued the call to arms Friday to Tupelo and Northeast Mississippi residents to fly in and out of the local airport, instead of using the Memphis airport.
“We have an opportunity to prove that Tupelo, given reliable, affordable service, we can support” the airport and the flight schedule, he said.
He added that he and his wife will lead by example, flying out of Tupelo for a trip to Kentucky this summer.
The numbers already were showing hope Friday. On the flight from Atlanta, 31 of the 32 seats were filled.
Contact Carlie Kollath at (662) 678-1598 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
– The flight schedule for the Tupelo Regional Airport, starting June 10
– 7 a.m. Memphis
– 10:26 a.m. Atlanta
– 5:23 p.m. Memphis
– 9:15 a.m. Memphis
– 4 p.m. Atlanta
– 7:20 p.m. Memphis