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Airport officials recommend Southern Airways Express as essential airline choice at McKellar-Sipes

JACKSON, TN (WNBJ) - Airport officials met this week to select an airline for essential service at the McKellar-Sipes Regional Airport in Jackson. Southern Airways Express was the company chosen and I talked with them about why they thought they were the best choice.

“By being known as reliable, dependable, low flares, and we hope to bring that service to Jackson, TN sometime later in 2022,” said Mark Cestari, the Chief Commercial Officer with Southern Airways Express.

The Chief Commercial Officer with Southern Airways Express explains the process of the recommendation by the essential air service committee.

“In terms of the process the committee made a recommendation, but since this is a federal-funded program, the U.S. Department of Transport does have to review things and make final approval. That usually takes about 45 to 60 days. So, if that happens in that time frame our goal will be to begin service in April,” said Cestari.

Southern Airways Express explains what the airline would offer for flight destinations.

“A combination of flights to Atlanta, Hartsfield, and Chicago, O'Hara. Our proposal included 18 flights a week 11 to Atlanta and 7 to Chicago,” said Cestari.

The airline company also has a personal motivation for becoming an essential service for the airport.

“To allow folks from your market to go to a major hub to connect to destinations all over the world. Our interest in your market, ironically, our CEO is and founder Stan Little is from Humboldt, TN so this is his hometown airport, so we obviously had a strong interest in providing service to MKL airport,” said Cestari.

Southern Airways Express also says they look forward to offering reliable and affordable flights to customers in the area.

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