GREENVILLE, Miss. (AP) - SeaPort Airlines’ long-awaited and twice-delayed inaugural flight out of Greenville Mid-Delta Airport is set for departure.
SeaPort executive vice president Tim Sieber tells The Delta Democrat-Times (https://bit.ly/1C1WStp ) company signage is expected to be hung in the terminal Friday.
The Portland, Oregon-based regional carrier’s inaugural departure to Memphis International Airport is scheduled for 6 a.m. March 16.
The U.S. Department of Transportation last summer announced that Greenville no longer qualified for federally subsidized Essential Air Service because average daily boardings for SeaPort’s predecessor, Florida-based Silver Airways, had fallen below the program’s minimum 10 passenger-a-day threshold.
The city appealed, and in late October, the Department of Transportation reversed course, allowing SeaPort to restore passenger service to Greenville, which has been without a carrier since Silver departed Sept. 30.
SeaPort flies to 28 airports in 10 states and Mexico’s Baja Peninsula.
Sieber says the company is investing $100,000 in getting its Greenville operations off the ground, exceeding its anticipated first-year profit of $94,000.
The federal government, under terms of its two-year contract with the airline, will provide SeaPort with an annual subsidy of $1.48 million for service to and from Greenville.
SeaPort anticipates fares in its first year of service will generate $484,000.
The airline expects total first-year operating expenses of $1.9 million.
SeaPort initially announced it would begin its Greenville to Memphis service Jan. 12.
That was put on hold when the airline and the Memphis Shelby County Airport Authority failed to reach terms on a lease between the carrier and the airport for use of a gate at its main terminal.
The issue was resolved in mid-January.
SeaPort will fly nine-passenger, single-engine Cessna Caravans on 18 weekly round trips between Greenville and Memphis.
Sieber says the flights, one way, are “55 minutes gate to gate; 47 minutes flying time.”
Fares, through April 30, will be $39 each way, including fees and taxes.
Information from: Delta Democrat-Times, https://www.ddtonline.com
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