AROUND MISSISSIPPI — Silver Airways will begin selling tickets by Aug. 1 for passenger service from three Mississippi locations.
Mickey Bowman, vice president of essential air service at the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based airline, tells the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal flights from Tupelo, Greenville and Hattiesburg-Laurel in Mississippi, as well as for Muscle Shoals, Ala., and Lewisburg, W.V., will begin Oct. 1.
Last month, Silver was tapped by the U.S. Department of Transportation to take over service in those areas from Delta Air Lines. Delta Air Lines announced last year it was ending service from those communities to Memphis.
The USDOT, through its Essential Air Service program, had provided subsidies for Delta to continue service until a new carrier was found.
Silver will fly 34-passenger twin-engine Saab 340 turboprop planes.
Silver is formerly known as Gulfstream International Airlines.
It has six Saab 340s in its fleet. It is in the process of adding six more after reaching a deal with Saab Aircraft Leasing in March. They are expected to be delivered by September.
Silver will provide 18 weekly round-trip flights between Tupelo and Atlanta — with a link with Greenville — and 12 weekly flights between Hattiesburg-Laurel and Atlanta. Silver also is providing 12 weekly flights between Muscle Shoals and Atlanta and 12 weekly flights between Lewisburg and Atlanta.
Silver will receive a two-year guaranteed subsidy totaling nearly $16.1 million. The Hattiesburg subsidy will cost $2.97 million, while the Greenville-Tupelo subsidy will cost $7.04 million.
Silver operates more than 100 daily scheduled flights including to and from 29 Florida gateways, the Bahamas, Montana, Ohio and New York.