For all those who were on the edge of their seat:
Air Midwest/Mesa, dba USAirways Express, will take over EAS at Columbia Regional, MO
(COU), on Thursday, October 5 from Trans States Airlines, dba American Connection. The B1900 will now be the dominant turboprop above Mid-Missouri, replacing the J41. The Air Midwest changeover had been announced a few months back ( DOT Selects USX-Air Midwest To Provide EAS At COU (by A330323X Jun 21 2006 in Civil Aviation)
#ID2838143 ), but the start date of 10/5 was just revealed. Reservations should be available soon. The transition was detailed in the Columbia Missourian
Mesa Air flights to take off Oct. 5
The airline chose the date to ensure continuous service.
By JOHN TORBITZKY
Mesa Air has set the date.
The airline will start U.S. Airways Express service out of Columbia Regional Airport on Oct. 5. The service includes 12 round-trip flights to St. Louis and 12 round-trip flights to Kansas City each week, and they will begin immediately after Trans State Airlines ends its St. Louis-only service.
Greg Cecil, an Airport Advisory Board member, is excited about the date.
"I'm ready," he said. "And I think the community is excited about it. With me, the sooner the better."
The establishment of the date will clear up confusion on which airline to book a flight with this fall.
"There's been some confusion in the public on when to start booking with U.S. Airways Express," Airport Manager Kathy Frerking said. "This date means we know for sure when the transition will be made."
Jeffrey Hartz, Mesa Air senior planning analyst, said the airline set the date to ensure uninterrupted service for Columbia fliers. Trans State's stop date is scheduled for Oct. 4.
Hartz estimated that the first Mesa Air flight could be at 6:35 a.m. to St. Louis, followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony before a 9 a.m. flight to Kansas City.
Fliers will be able to check travel Web sites for the airline's flight schedule beginning Saturday, and it will be released publicly on Monday.
Mesa Air was selected by the U.S. Department of Transportation to provide service to the Columbia airport and will receive a federal subsidy of $598,751.
"The nice thing about flying with Mesa Air is you can connect with any airline," Frerking said. "You can book with any Internet travel site to anywhere you want."
A fixed price tag offered by the new airline is also an incentive to fly.
"They have guaranteed a $59 one-way walk up fare," Frerking said. That price does not include taxes or fees, and it will remain the same regardless of date or time.
"I think it's great," Cecil said. "I'm ready for these guys to get here and start."
It's funny when I tell people I love planes and they think I'm weird.