Passenger airline confirms plans to serve Destin Airport

Published: Friday, May 17, 2013 at 03:26 PM.

A new Memphis-based airline has announced plans to offer direct flights between Destin Airport and cities around the Southeast.

Southern Airways Express has confirmed it plans to launch service to Destin, Panama City and other destinations in the region at the end of the month. Instead of large passenger jets, Southern Airways Express will operate three nine-seat turboprop Cessna Caravans with luxury executive-style seating.

The start-up airline hopes to bring a sense of fun and luxury back to the aviation business.

 “This is very much like what executives travel in, and it’s very much like what people who are used to traveling in nice corporate aircraft travel in,” said Keith Sisson, chief operating officer for Southern Airways Express. “We’re just taking that experience and transferring it to the general public, and we’re doing so at very affordable rates.

“We’re trying to make flying fun again,” Sisson added. “Flying hasn’t been fun in quite awhile. This is a fun flight. These planes, they’re like sight-seeing tours that have a destination. There’s not a TSA security hassle. You don’t have to wait two hours at the airport. We’re telling people to show up 15 minutes before the flight takes off, check in at the airport and we’ll get you to where you want to go and we’ll make it fun.”

Southern Airways Express announced its summer routes Monday in Memphis. By late June, Sisson said he anticipates offering up to 106 flights a week.

The airline will offer flights between Destin Airport and Memphis, Oxford, Miss., Birmingham and New Orleans. The airline also will serve Panama City.

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