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USDOT requests more bids for service at Tupelo Regional Airport

TUPELO — The government has announced another round of bids for the essential air service contract at the Tupelo Regional Airport.

Airport executive director Joshua Abramson told WTVA-TV bids would be accepted through April 10.

It marks the third time the U.S. Department of Transportation has requested bids for service at TRA.

The city requested the last round of bids because there was no direct tie to Delta Airlines to allow for seamless transition when people fly from Tupelo.

Abramson said he has had discussions with Delta and they have endorsed one airline. He wouldn’t say which one.

He said the challenge is for the airline to submit a bid, and whether USDOT would be willing to accept the costs of the proposal.

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.

In February, Greenville Mid-Delta Regional Airport officials rejected service bids from four airlines competing to replace Delta Air Lines. Airport director Lane Rodgers said the decision gives the airlines more time for the airlines to negotiate with Delta.

The issue in Greenville also was “code share” agreements with Delta or another airline, where someone leaving from Greenville can book passage to wherever they wish to go.

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