TUPELO • Air account has apparent a arresting turnaround in Tupelo the accomplished four years beneath Nashville-based Contour Airlines, extensive commuter boardings concealed in a decade.
“It’s acceptable to see so abounding absorbed in account in Tupelo,” said airport Executive Director Cliff Nash.
The accepted arrangement expires Sept. 30, and four added airlines are proposing to alter Contour, which hopes to abide its run.
Under the Alternate Essential Air Account federally subsidized program, Contour is paid by the Tupelo Bounded Airport Ascendancy rather than the U.S. Department of Transportation. The DOT still oversees the affairs and funds it, but the bounded airport ascendancy has a little added adaptability in negotiations.
The 30-month arrangement active in 2017 is admired at $10.1 million, and Contour provides 15 round-trip flights amid Tupelo and Nashville account on 30-passenger bounded jets.
Another amateur has emerged alms account beneath Alternate EAS: SkyWest Airlines. While no academic angle has been submitted, Nash said the airline is alms access to Houston and Chicago. A beyond 50-passenger jet would be used, and the cardinal of roundtrip fights would be 14.
SkyWest provides bounded jet account amid Meridian and Dallas.
As for the added three proposals, those airlines are gluttonous accepted EAS contracts, and two companies accept bid abominably before: Boutique Air and Southern Airways Express. The added aggregation is Cape Air. All three airlines use abate 9 to 12-seat distinct or twin-engine aircraft.
The Tupelo Bounded Airport Ascendancy hasn’t developed a recommendation, however. At a appropriate alleged affair Tuesday, the lath voted to advanced all the advice to the Department of Transportation to seek its guidance.
Nash is autograph a letter to the DOT account the behest action and what the association wants in air service.
“Their acknowledgment to our letter will announce the administration that the lath needs to head,” he said.
The airlines’ proposals aren’t abundant account agreements, but they do accord an abstraction of what they intend to provide. However, Nash said the lath is actual aloof until it hears aback from the DOT on what it prefers.
“We’re aloof requesting advice from them on how to advance with the action of the proposals and accepting to a point of advising which air account beneath what plan – EAS or Alternate EAS,” he said.
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