- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 22, 2014

TUPELO, Miss. (AP) - SeaPort Airlines’ inaugural flight will leave Tupelo for Nashville around 6:30 a.m. on Monday.

“All the pieces are in place for a successful transition,” Tupelo Regional Airport executive director Josh Abramson told the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal (http://bit.ly/1uz6Qsr ). “And it couldn’t come at a better time, as we continue to have cancellations and delays through Silver.”

SeaPort is taking over for Silver Airways, which began Tupelo-to-Atlanta service two years ago. Silver’s last flight from Tupelo will be Sunday at 12:15 p.m.

When Silver announced earlier this year it was pulling out of Tupelo, as well as Greenville, Meridian and Hattiesburg/Laurel, the U.S. Department of Transportation ordered the airline to stay put until a substitute carrier could be selected through a bidding process.

Portland, Oregon-based SeaPort got city and airport leaders’ support, and the Transportation Department awarded the airline a two-year subsidized contract for $2.5 million a year.

SeaPort will provide 18 round-trip flights between Tupelo and Nashville and 12 flights between Tupelo and Memphis per week.

An open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held Monday at the airport at 11 a.m.

Abramson said he’s gotten positive feedback about the Tupelo-Nashville route. Demand for flights to Memphis in the past prompted SeaPort to offer the route, but officials have said they’re willing to swap more flights to Nashville if there is demand.

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Information from: Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, http://djournal.com

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