AROUND MISSISSIPPI — Silver Airways flights to three Mississippi cities now appear on Delta Air Lines’ website, and programmers are working to include flights to Greenville.
Steve Bennett, a spokesman for Silver Airways Corp. of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., said the changes were made by Thursday.
Silver began flying from Atlanta to Greenville, Hattiesburg, Meridian and Tupelo this fall when Delta affiliates gave up service to the cities.
Passengers accustomed to finding flights at Delta.com couldn’t book service because Silver and Delta didn’t immediately link reservation systems. Those systems can now communicate with each other.
Travelers will still have to use Silver’s website, travel agencies or travel websites to book flights between Mississippi and Atlanta. Delta’s reservation system will only show connections when travelers begin or end their journey with a Delta flight between Atlanta and another destination.
Airport managers say a significant fraction of travelers book through airline websites and that being able to see the flights on Delta.com will improve the number using the service.
Bennett said that the flights have been performing “pretty well” in terms of the number of passengers, but said Silver welcomed the change.
“Any time you can make your product more available, you’d expect a boost,” he said.
Memphis-based regional carrier Pinnacle Airlines Corp. had served Greenville, Tupelo and Hattiesburg-Laurel from Memphis, but Delta dropped service as part of cuts at the shrinking Tennessee hub. Another Delta affiliate flew between Meridian and Atlanta.
Silver, based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., contracted to fly between the cities and Atlanta beginning Oct. 1 in exchange for a subsidy from the federal Essential Air Service program. As part of the deal, the flights were supposed to show up on Delta’s website and the larger airline was supposed to award frequent flier miles.
U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., asked Silver and Delta to speed up the computer link last month.
“I appreciate the work of Delta and Silver to ensure that Mississippi travelers have an efficient, convenient and seamless booking experience this holiday season,” Wicker said in a statement Thursday.