Wednesday, November 09, 2011

St. Louis airline looks to board in Tupelo

TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - The first of two airlines have now made their pitch to take over air service in Tupelo.

St. Louis-based Air Choice One took less than an hour to make its presentation.

Air Choice One's Grand Cessna Caravan, has one engine and can carry 9 passengers.

The price for a flight one way to Memphis is $59 regardless of when you buy the ticket.

"It gives an advantage not only for the airport but us as a carrier. Therefore they (passengers) are not guessing if its too expensive (to purchase a last minute ticket)," said Air Choice One's CEO Shane Storz.

The airline plans to increase flights to Memphis from two to five times a day.

After the short presentation, those who attended the meeting were treated to a short flight around Tupelo.

The Caravan offers leather seating and spacious leg room. While the passengers seemed to enjoy the flight, airport leaders still have a few concerns.

"Initially the big concern we have is that we need the ability for passengers to flow through the airport system. We want them to be able to check their baggage once, and fly to their destination," said Tupelo Regional Airport director Josh Abramson.

Another concern Abramson said is the publics buy in. He said the challenge, if they decide to go with this airline, is to convince flyers of the planes safety.

"It's a very dependable work horse of an airplane," said Abramsom. "One of the issues that people comment about is that it's a single engine aircraft. We want to reiterate that it's a jet engine aircraft. While there's a propeller on the front, it's a jet engine that turns it."

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