Macons mayor said Friday that someone once told him passenger service from the Middle Georgia Regional Airport was a Mickey Mouse operation.
Now Silver Airways, the new passenger carrier at the airport, will be taking people to a real Mickey Mouse operation -- Walt Disney World and other Orlando, Fla.-area theme parks, Mayor Robert Reichert said.
About 50 local officials, airport workers and airline representatives listened to Reichert and others Friday afternoon behind the airport passenger terminal, as Silver Airways was officially introduced.
On the tarmac was a 34-passenger Saab 340B+ turboprop, which Silver Airways will use for nonstop round-trip flights to both Atlanta and Orlando, starting April 1.
Were here to bring something that we feel Macon hasnt seen in a while, said Mickey Bowman, Silvers vice president for Essential Air Service: comfortable, dependable flights to destinations that local residents want.
Silver Airways won the latest round of bidding to provide flights under the federal Essential Air Service subsidy program. Previous providers, like current subsidy-holder GeorgiaSkies, flew only to Atlanta and back. But for its $2 million annual subsidy, Silver Airways promises six round-trip flights a week to Atlanta, and six more to Orlando.
Prices will vary somewhat, depending on market rates, Bowman said; but he expects to charge about $49 one-way to Atlanta, and $120 to Orlando. When other airlines hold sales, Silver Airways will match their Atlanta-to-Orlando ticket prices, perhaps as low as $100, he said.
Silver Airways has reciprocal ticketing and baggage-check agreements with many major airlines and will land inside the secure area at Atlanta and Orlando airports, allowing passengers to catch connecting flights without hassle.
To contact writer Jim Gaines, call 744-4489.