Saturday, November 21, 2015

Airline to present bid to public

TUPELO – Corporate Flight Management, one of four airlines bidding to provide air service in Tupelo, is presenting its case to the public Monday.

The company, based out of the middle Tennessee city of Smyrna, is flying one of its Jetstream planes to Tupelo Regional Airport to show it to airport and city officials, as well as anyone interested in hearing its case.

The presentation will start at 11 a.m. at the airport terminal.

The Jetstream plane CFM uses seats up to 19 people, but should it win the bid to provide service, it said it would renovate the planes to accommodate nine passengers.

In addition, the Jetstream is a twin-engine aircraft.

The bids from the other airlines: Air Choice One, Boutique Air and Sun Air, are either single-engine Cessna Grand Caravan or Pilatus planes.

Corporate Flight Management is offereing three options from Tupelo, all of which connect with Nashville with 30, 18 or 12 weekly roundtrip flights.

CFM is asking for an annual subsidy of $4.29 million (for 30 flights), $2.97 million (18 flights) or $2.34 million (12 flights).

The company says it has “six Jetstream 31/32 aircraft in its fleet, providing ample reserve capacity to address planned and unplanned requirements. CFM also operates four Jetstream 41 aircraft configured with 30-passenger seats.”

Corporate Flight Management was formed in July 1982, with annual revenue of almost $40 million and employing more than 175 employees.

Earlier this week, Sun Air presented its case at a private meeting.

Sun Air is partnering with Memphis-based Southern Airways.

Sun Air proposes to have three daily flights from Tupelo to Atlanta and two daily flights to Memphis Monday-Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, the airline will provide one flight each day to each city.

The company is asking for an annual subsidy of $2.89 million.

While Sun Air will provide the aircraft, Southern Air will handle marketing and the ground operations from its hub in Memphis as well as provide the personnel to manage the station in Tupelo.

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