Since I am probably the only A.net member residing in the state of Mississippi, and probably nobody else has started any thread dedicated to civil aviation in Mississippi, I am starting one here. I reside in Cleveland in the Mississippi Delta. While the closest airport with scheduled airline service is Greenville (GLH), I always use the next closest such airport (MEM) for my air travels during my 10+ years in Mississippi, as I am not comfortable with flying in small turboprops serving GLH (First Saab 340's and later PC-12's).
Disclaimer: I am raised in Hong Kong, and HKG (either Kai Tak or Chek Lap Kok) has been 100% jet for passenger flights for decades. Consequently, I never had a chance to fly on any prop-driven planes of any kind all my life. I arrived in the US 16 years ago, about the start of the RJ mania at the regional partners of the US majors, and the two closest airports during my stay in Florida (PBI and MCO) were already largely jets back then other the occasional DH8's from Bahamasair serving the former..
Back to the scheduled passenger flight scene in Mississippi, I am summarizing the airlines and aircraft types serving each of the airports receiving such flights (from north to south), together with the major destinations served (Plus isolated notes on historical airline service):
Tupelo Regional (TUP)
Contour Airlines (LF) to BNA with ERJ-135's. Previously saw J31's from the same carrier (also to BNA), Saab 340's from NW Airlink/DL Connection Saab to MEM, similar planes from Silver Airways (3M) to ATL and CRJ-200's by DL connection to ATL.
Tunica Municipal (UTM)
Previous saw B717's from AirTran (FL) to ATL. No scheduled flights serve here right now.
Greenville/Mid-Delta Regional (GLH)
Boutique Air (4B) chiefly with PC-12's to ATL and DFW (Previously served with Cessna 208's from SeaPort Airlines/K5, and NW Airlink/DL Connection Saab 340's). Historically served by DC-9's from Southern Airways and then Republic Airlines (before merger with NW).
Columbus/Golden Triangle Regional GTR)
DL Connection to ATL with CRJ-200's.
Jackson/Medgar Wiley Evers International (JAN)
AA Eagle to CLT with a mix of CRJ-700's and ERJ-145's, to DCA with CRJ-200's and to DFW with a mix of CRJ-900's and ERJ-140's. Summary: Mostly CRJ family and a couple of ERJ flight's but no E-Jets.
DL to ATL mostly with B717's but also 1 flight each with MD-88 and Connection CRJ-900.
F9 to DEN and MCO with A320's (The only non-US3 carrier there).
UA Express to IAH with ERJ-145's and ORD with a CRJ-200 flight. In other words, exclusively with 50-seaters.
Previously saw WN to BWI, HOU, MCO and MDW with various B737's until 2014, AA Eagle to ORD (presumably with ERJ-145's?) and CO Express to EWR with ERJ-145.
Meridian Regional (MEI)/Hattiesburg–Laurel Regional (PIB). Grouped together since they are served by a single carrier.
AA Eagle with CRJ-200 to DFW and ORD (from the former only)
Gulfport–Biloxi International (GPT)
AA Eagle solely with the CRJ family (CRJ-700's to CLT and CRJ-900's to DFW).
DL mostly with Connection CRJ-900's to ATL, but also a mainline flight with B717.
G4 to Orlando Sanford (SFB) with A319.
SY to AUS, MSP and RSW with B738.
UA Express to IAH with ERJ-145's.
To sum up the air service to Mississippi by the US3, it is mostly served by RJ's and especially the CRJ family - with the CRJ-900 being the most common sight. UA serves it exclusively with 50-seaters and DL is the only one that send mainline planes there. Embraer is decently represented by ERJ-140/145's, but E-170/
E-175's are remarkably absent.
Here are my questions for everyone:
1, What is the prospect of scheduled passenger flights returning to Tunica?
2. When did Republic Airlines pull out of GLH?
3. Did DL Connection send CRJ-100/200's to GLH?
4. When did DL Connection cease serving GLH?
5. Does AA Eagle still fly between MEI and PIB?
6. Did NW Airlink/DL Connection serve one or both of MEI and PIB, and with what kind of planes if they did?
7. Why is air service to Mississippi seems to be relatively paltry, especially in term of flights with mainline planes? (In my opinion, MEM probably siphons potential traffic from GLH, TUP and UTM. MSY and to a lesser extent MOB do the same to GPT.) Is Mississippi's lack of affluence also a factor?
8. What is the prospect of new routes to Mississippi (Like AA Eagle to LGA/PHL, DL Connection to DTW/MSP/SLC and UA Express to DEN/EWR/IAD)? And how about longer flights with mainline planes like LAX/SEA/SFO), or entry by new airlines?
9. How about upgauging of existing flights? (I could see UA Express eventually using CRJ-550's from ORD, and consolidation of some closely spaced flights as the following: AA's JAN-DFW from CRJ-900 to A320 family, DL's GPT-ATL and JAN-ATL from CRJ-900 and B717 respectively to A220 or A320 family and UA's JAN-IAH from ERJ-145's to E-175/A319)
10. Finally for now, are there any opportunities for air service consolidation in exchange for upgauging of flights at the remaining airports? Based on the distance passengers nowadays willing to drive to catch flights, I could see GLH and TUP flights abolished in favor of MEM (ideal for the latter but still drivable from Greenville) and JAN (better for replacing the former). Similarly, I could see JAN taking over the traffic from GTR, MEI and PIB and GPT doing the same from the latter two.
Plus 1 side question:
When did the last scheduled propeller passenger flight serve HKG?
Sorry for the length of the post and the number of question raised, but I believe Mississippi is woefully under-discussed here. Happy discussion!