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Jackson Airport To Accommodate More Passengers Despite Southwest Withdrawal

By Paul Boger | Published 10 Jun 2014 08:29am | comments
Mississippi's largest airport will soon be able to accommodate more passengers despite the withdrawal of one of it's most popular carriers. As MPB's Paul Boger reports both Delta and United have added flights to compensate for Southwest's withdrawal.
After 17 years of continual service, Southwest Airlines departed Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport for the last time over the weekend. Dirk Vanderleest with the Jackson Municipal Airport Authority says travelers still have plenty of other options available at the airport.
"We've got commitments from Delta Airlines that actually increases seats available, and they've brought in some additional aircraft. they replaced their regional jets with their Boeing 717." says Vanderleest. "We also have United Airlines have additional flights to their hubs in Chicago and Houston. Which is really good for this market."
However, Delta and United will have problems matching Southwest's low-cost tickets say Mike Right with Triple-A. It's an organization that monitors traveling trends in the U-S. He says Southwest's budget conscious airfare might route fliers to other airports.
"It might be more economical to drive to another airport that is serviced by Southwest perhaps Memphis, perhaps New Orleans." Right says. "Just to take advantage of the low airfares they offer as well as the direct flights to a multitude of destinations. The travelers options are obviously are no longer going to be quite as broad."
Jackson-Evers might also have to compete with other regional terminals like Gulfport, Starkville or Meridian. Airports hoping to cash in on Mississippians who don't want drive to larger out-of-state hubs. Yet, Officials with Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport say they also hope to attract smaller, regional carriers like Spirit or Jet-Blue to help compensate for Southwest's absence.




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