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Four airlines bid on Tupelo Regional service

TUPELO — Four airlines have submitted bids to provide commercial air service at Tupelo Regional Airport.

The airlines include Air Choice One and SeaPort Airlines, which had earlier bids rejected by the city.

The other two airlines are Blue Sky and Sun Air.

The companies are hoping to get a federal subsidy to provide air service through the Essential Air Service program, administered through the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Last July, Delta said it could no longer serve 24 small airports across the country. Included on the list were Tupelo, Greenville and Hattiesburg. Delta gets EAS subsidies to fly in those cities.

The USDOT ordered Delta to continue serving those cities until a substitute carrier could be found.

Airport Executive Director Josh Abramson said Tupelo Airport Authority and the city would have liked to have seen better bids.

“We would like to have better service than what’s been submitted and what we’ve had,” he said.

Abramson has cited the lack of interline and code-sharing flights as the biggest concerns. Without interline agreements, two separate tickets have to be issued, and passengers have to take their bags to their connecting airline for check-in.

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