Monday, November 23, 2015

Corporate Flight Management Makes Pitch To Provide Air Service To Tupelo Regional Airport (KTUP), Lee County, Mississippi

TUPELO, MISS. (WCBI) – A Tennessee based airline makes its case to provide air service in Tupelo. As WCBI’s Allie Martin reports, the company, along with airport board members, believe the area can support and sustain a reliable airline.

Corporate Flight Management’s CEO spent a good part of his morning, talking about Essential Air Service and subsidies.

CFM brought one of its 19 seat Jetstream planes to Tupelo Regional Airport, for its presentation to airport board members and several city council members. Less than one month ago Seaport Airlines stopped providing service in Tupelo, after a dismal record. Corporate Flight Management is proposing flights to Nashville .

“We’re the only carrier offering a twin engine, pressurized aircraft flown by two pilots, it’s a very comfortable airplane, typically configured with 19 seats, we’re willing to reconfigure it to seat only nine if the airport would prefer to operate under the traditional EAS model,” Matt Chaifetz, CEO of CFM Airlines.

CFM has been in business since 1982 and operates in several cities under the EAS program. The company also touted its safety record and its attention to punctuality. In fact, CEO Chaifetz says there will never be a cancelled flight because there are no pilots. That was an ongoing problem with Seaport.

Still, airport board members say it’s vital to have reliable air service for Tupelo.

“Being able to pull up and park your car, come in and leave from Tupelo and come back to Tupelo , I hope we will be able to maintain that, and keep that, we’re looking also long term,” said Ty Robinson, vice chairman of the Airport Authority.

Executives with Corporate Flight Management know they have to regain the flying public’s trust, they’re considering offering free, or nominal priced introductory fares, if they get the contract.

Three other airlines are hoping to provide air service to Tupelo. It typically takes 60 to 90 days to begin service once the Department of Transportation awards a contract.

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1 comment:

  1. Only 9 seats, huh. Is that for passenger comfort or to avoid the requirement of having a copilot that has more than 1,500 hours experience? Tupelo, would you like a 250 hour pilot flying you and your family around in a 30 year old out-dated turboprop in bad weather? All the respectable regional airlines fly turbojets now and require copilots with 6 times that experience. The fact they chose Jetstream's as their choice of airplanes says all you need to know about this fly-by-night company. Good luck guys!