Monday, November 06, 2006

Airline Named for Marion - Chicago Flights

The long-awaited news that commercial air passenger service from Marion to Carbondale would resume is old news to us here in Southern Illinois, but it's made the Chicago Tribune now, so it must be real.

Seriously, the free publicity in the Tribune will trump the entire marketing budget for the Williamson County Airport Authority spends to promote flights to St. Louis, and soon, Chicago.

Although the new flights won't be non-stop to Chicago, Airport Manager Doug Kimmel has said publicly in the past he believes ridership will grow to a level that makes non-stop flights feasible.

Airport leaders made the official announcement this afternoon. I'm certain more details will be in tomorrow's Southern.

Air Midwest joins American Connection in offering flights out of Marion, the only airport in Southern Illinois with scheduled commercial air service.

There's only one detail unclear. The newspaper stories all described the name as Air Midwest, but the company's news release says Air Midwest will operate the flights under the name Mesa Airlines.

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