SeaPort looks to shift more flights to Nashville where demand is highest

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TUPELO, Mississippi — Faced with a demand for more flights from Tupelo to Nashville, SeaPort Airlines is considering moving some Memphis flights to the Nashville route.

"Demand is running 10-to-1 with Nashville over Memphis, even though we don't even have a three-to-one frequency advantage in flights," SeaPort president Rob McKinney told the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal (http://bit.ly/1qEqh7s ).

Portland, Oregon-based SeaPort began subsidized air service in late October in Tupelo, providing 18 round-trip flights per week to Nashville and 12 round-trip flights per week to Memphis.

McKinney and SeaPort executive vice president Tim Sieber said they will talk with Tupelo Regional executive director Josh Abramson soon to look at the possibilities of switching more flights to Nashville.

The airline held a reception Thursday at the Tupelo Regional Airport to meet with business and community leaders.

SeaPort is getting an annual $2.5 million subsidy through the federal Essential Air Service program, and one of the requirements is to average 10 passengers a day.

The airline flew one of its brand new Cessna's into Tupelo airport. It is one of three the air carrier is operating out of Tupelo.

The figures for Tupelo haven't been revealed after the first six weeks of service, but Sieber said things are "going well.

"We've had a few hiccups, but the people who we've talked to, I think we've done a good job taking care of the issues. It is a different experience from the regional jets or the Saabs that people have been used to in the past, but it seems like the community has really started to embrace us," he said.


Information from: Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, http://djournal.com

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