SAE to resume Oxford service in June



Southern Airways Express will resume regular service from University-Oxford Airport June 7, offering Saturday flights to Destin, Florida. Based in Olive Branch, the hybrid air service – not quite conventional airline, not quite charter – began flights into and out of Oxford last summer, connecting to Destin and Panama City, Florida, along with a downtown airport in New Orleans, before ending its seasonal service in late fall.

“It is important to both (CEO) Stan Little and me to continue our commitment to the Oxford market,” said Keith Sisson, the company’s chief operating officer. “This summer, there will only be Saturday service to and from Destin, but we have high hopes for further developing Oxford in the future.”

Company officials believe their weekday Memphis-Atlanta shuttle will also serve Oxford business travelers well. On June 2, SAE will fly Monday through Friday mornings from Olive Branch Airport to Atlanta’s DeKalb-Peachtree Airport, with return flights later the same day. SAE also flies from Olive Branch to Destin and Birmingham and will add flights from there to Nashville-area airports in coming weeks.

“We think the daily service to Destin and Atlanta’s Peachtree Dekalb Airport will be a great benefit for Oxford travelers willing to take a quick drive to Desoto County rather than a long drive to the beach or to a Braves game,” Sisson said.

With late summer and autumn being prime travel seasons for people not tied to school schedules, Southern Airways Express anticipates adding more Oxford service then.

“We will resume our service … to forthcoming destinations directly out of Oxford, plus game day flights for Ole Miss home games this fall,” said Arthur Randallson, the company’s manager of communications.Sisson said Oxford connections to large cities proved popular in 2013.

“Our weekend service to Atlanta from Oxford was wildly successful last fall,” he said. “We are certainly wanting to bring that back for the students from Georgia wishing to commute home on the weekends, and there is also lots of consideration of adding weekend service to the John C. Tune airport in Nashville this fall as well.”

Southern Airways Express aims its service at small towns as well as commuter airports in major markets. The use of such airports allows passengers on its 9-person twin-prop planes a 15-minute check-in process, online security clearance and avoidance of baggage and parking fees.

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About Errol Castens

I'm a news reporter and columnist for the Daily Journal and the Oxford Citizen. Focusing on Oxford and Lafayette County, I've been a part of the L-O-U community since 1991.