Silver Airways began passenger service Monday from Macon to Atlanta and Orlando, Fla. Though passengers were few, outbound flights on the 34-passenger Saab 340B+ turboprop went smoothly, airport and airline officials said.
It seems like were off to a seamless start, said Mickey Bowman, Silvers vice president for Essential Air Service. Everythings on time so far.
There were few passengers on the morning flights, but thats not unusual for the early days of service, Bowman said. Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Silver provides similar service at several other airports under the federal EAS subsidy program.
The transition from GeorgiaSkies, the former EAS contract holder, went off without a hitch, said Airport Manager Doug Faour. Silvers first flights took off with no issues or complaints, he said.
Everybody seemed in a very upbeat, positive and happy mood at the airport today, Faour said.
Silver will fly to and from Atlanta and Orlando six days a week, Monday through Saturday.
The daily flight to Atlanta leaves Macon at 9 a.m. and arrives at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport at 9:45 a.m. The flight to Orlando leaves Macon at 10:10 a.m. and arrives at Orlando International Airport at 11:55 a.m.
The return flight to Macon leaves Atlanta at 6:20 p.m. and arrives at 7:05 p.m. The return flight from Orlando leaves at 4:15 p.m. and arrives at 5:55 p.m.
The current price for restricted seating on an Atlanta round trip, including taxes and fees, is $57 on Silver Airways website, Bowman said. One-way fare is half that.
Thats probably an introductory fare, he said. The price will probably climb a bit after a month or so.
A round-trip ticket between Macon and Orlando is $139.50, or $67.50 one way, for restricted seating. Thats also an introductory price, according to Bowman.
At the March 1 introduction of Silver Airways at the airport, he said prices would vary depending on fuel costs and other airlines rates for similar trips, but a one-way Atlanta flight was likely to be about $49 and one-way to Orlando about $120.
Passengers can buy tickets at the airport counter, through online booking firms such as Orbitz and Travelocity, or direct from the airline at Gosilver.com, Bowman said.
Silver Airways won the latest round of bidding to provide flights under the federal Essential Air Service subsidy program. Previous providers, including GeorgiaSkies, flew only to Atlanta and back. But for its $2 million annual subsidy, Silver Airways promised service to Orlando as well.
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.