By JACK WEATHERLY
Southern Airways will connect Jackson and Nashville starting Sept. 26, the carrier announced Monday at Jackson-Evers International Airport.
The Southaven-based airline is moving its Jackson-area connection from Madison’s Bruce Campbell Field, where it has been based since May 2014, and will continue to offer flights in nine-seat Cessna turboprops.
The airline will use the Atlantic Aviation executive terminal at Jackson-Evers.
“Passengers will not be required to pass through TSA security screening, and they may arrive at the terminal only 25 minutes prior to departure,” the airline said in a release, adding that passengers will undergo an electronic background check, and that random security checks may occur before departures.
Months of planning with the greater Jackson business community led to the expanded service, according to the release.
Pam Ware, chief operations officer for Metropolitan Bank said in the release that “Southern Airways has been working with our bank and other businesses in our community to offer this much needed connection to the Nashville market.”
Stan Little, chairman and chief executive of Southern, said in an interview that the airline serves short-haul needs of 200 to 400 miles.
“The big airlines ceded that space to the automobile,” Little said.
That airspace includes Jackson and Memphis and Nashville, the two largest Tennessee cities, which are important to large law firms in Jackson such as Butler Snow and Baker Donelson, as well as Horne LLP, Metropolitan Bank and Nissan, Little said.
Direct flights to Nashville will be offered four days a week, with a 20-minute layover in Memphis, said spokesman Andrew Randallson.
Southern has continued to offer service to Memphis from the Jackson area.
Nonstop flights to Destin, which have been offered since September 2014, are scheduled to start this fall on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays, Randallson said. Return flights from Destin are set for Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, he said.
Randallson said that Southern dropped its service to Atlanta, though it could be restored next year.
Tickets are available at iFlySouthern.com and major online travel sites.
Southern’s service comes more than two years after Southwest airlines dropped Jackson in June 2014. The airport is served by United, Delta and American.
Perry Miller, chief operating officer for the airport, said, “We’re all excited about the service.”
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