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Board selects SeaPort Airlines to replace Silver Airways

Silver_AirwaysTUPELO — The Tupelo Airport Authority Board has chosen Portland, Oregon-based SeaPort Airlines for local passenger service.

If approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation, SeaPort will replace Silver Airways, which in April announced it was leaving Greenville, Hattiesburg, Meridian, Tupelo and Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Greenville and Muscle Shoals, Alabama, also are recommending SeaPort.

Tom Sieber, SeaPort Airlines’ executive vice president, says the Cessna Grand Caravan the company uses can seat nine people, in addition to a pilot and co-pilot.

Board members say SeaPort is offering 12 weekly round-trips to Memphis and 18 round-trips to Nashville for a federal subsidy of $2.5 million.

Tupelo Airport Executive Director Josh Abramson says if the government approved SeaPort, then flights will most likely begin in October or November.

 

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About Megan Wright

One comment

  1. Why am I not surprised?

    Amazing government efficiency at work.

    Surely something is wrong with my math – 30 weekly trips with 9 passengers for 52 weeks = 14,040 potential revenue seats – for $2.5M = $178 subsidy for each available seat on each flight – for a 100 and 200 mile trip.

    Not that Tupelo could not be advantaged by air service – but $1,692 per scheduled flight in taxpayer subsidy seems a bit unreasonable. Add a charged fare of an equal $178 and it is a $5M “business.” Generating $96,150 / per week.

    Is flight service to one “major” air market (Memphis)and one minor air market(Nashville) worth $100K per week? The market is telling us no.
    Is flight service worth $50K taxpayer dollars per week? The subsidized model that has failed in all these rural markets tells us likely not.

    WOW – God Bless America!!

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