UPDATE from Southern Airways Express Facebook page:
"WEBSITE IS LIVE -- TICKETS ON SALE!! At long last, we have perfected the website security, and we are booking tickets for summer travel. Please visit www.iFlySouthern.com and get your tickets to Destin, Panama City, and Gulf Shores from Memphis, Olive Branch, and Oxford."
The new airline in town takes flight.
The first Southern Airways Express flight took off from Olive Branch Wednesday afternoon, but it's going to be a few days before the airline starts selling tickets.
The airline is still waiting on some paperwork from the Department of Transportation, but they're hoping to start selling tickets and offering flights by next week.
The inaugural trip was a chance for Southern's employee's to check out the flight to Destin, Florida.
Stan Little is Southern's chairman. He says, "This has been our lives for the last 8 months so yeah, it's pretty exciting to finally have flight one ready to take off."
Southern will start flying to Destin and Panama City Beach in Florida, Gulf Shores, Alabama and New Orleans. The flights out of Olive Branch and Dewitt Spain airport in Memphis will range in cost from 129 dollars to 249 dollars each way.
North Mississippi lawyer Little says he partnered with local investors to launch the business. "Starting an airline is not as easy as you might think."
Little says safety is their number one concern, and once they've gotten all the clearances from the government agency, they'll be good to go.
Southern Airways Express' pilots have experience flying for major carriers, They're flying Cessna Caravans, turboprop airplanes that can carry nine people. But, they're looking to expand quickly with slightly bigger planes and new routes.
"We have a long-term plan for Memphis and this is our home and our hub and this is where we're going to grow," says Little. Investors hope this inaugural flight is the first of many.
Little says, "We're essentially going to start selling tickets then flying the next day and if we're flying a plane that has two people on it the first day we're going to do it.
The airline expects to start flying passengers next week.
They'll start booking tickets on-line in the next few days.
Because Southern will be flying out of small airports you can show up 15 minutes before your flight and there's no security to go through.
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