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CX773W
Topic Author
Posts: 57
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:29 pm

Mississippi Aviation thread 2019

Sat Nov 02, 2019 8:18 am

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!
 
ibthebigd
Posts: 369
Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:12 pm

Re: Mississippi Aviation thread 2019

Sat Nov 02, 2019 10:00 am

With the Toyota plant near TUP I am surprised AA hasn't added DFW.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 
Delta28L
Posts: 341
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:00 pm

Re: Mississippi Aviation thread 2019

Sat Nov 02, 2019 10:20 am

Considering MS is one of the poorest states in America, so the level of air service reflects that. Plus MS isn’t the exactly the next big tourist hotspot. Ya theirs some big industry but it’s not enough to warrant a flight. You can drive two hours or three hours and you’ll be at MEM or BHM or MSY to catch a flight on the big airlines. So the airlines probably use CRJs so much because that’s how they figure they can still make money. The lost of MEM being a hub for NWA and then DL really hurt the state. My old airport KGTR use to have service to MEM on NWA and DL to ATL at the same time. We even briefly saw service to DFW during the DL hub that was there. They are still pushing for a flight to a western hub (DFW or IAH) but nothing has materialized. Major inconvenience having to fly east to ATL then west to your destination. Now we have four daily flights to ATL. I wouldn’t be surprised to see AA make a push into the state to feed their growing DFW hub since CLT can’t compete on the same level as ATL for East cost and international connections.
 
WaywardMemphian
Posts: 1502
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2014 9:05 pm

Re: Mississippi Aviation thread 2019

Sat Nov 02, 2019 11:14 am

ibthebigd wrote:
With the Toyota plant near TUP I am surprised AA hasn't added DFW.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk



Too easy a drive from MEM , it is damn near a direct drive down I-22 , less than an hour as the plant is to the east of Tupelo proper. Plus Toyoto has a big plant that produces axles and stuff for the Tupelo and San Antonio assembly lines in Marion AR, just across the river from Memphis.

Flight to Tunica on a commercial scale will never return. Gaming in Tunica is struggling as it was legalized widely. The biggest and best(Grand/Harrahs) closed shop years ago. The massive hotels sit empty and the golf course returns to nature. Tunica never took the other step and added stuff plus, insanely close to MEM in the grand scheme of things. Sadly the allowed mergers in the airline industry perpetuate the battle between major urban areas and the rest of the country, you seeing in every thing, even politics.

My suggestion would be regional rail with stations at airports like MEM from places like Tupelo. It will never happen, though.
 
TYSflyer
Posts: 315
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:44 pm

Re: Mississippi Aviation thread 2019

Sat Nov 02, 2019 11:34 am

Delta28L wrote:
Considering MS is one of the poorest states in America, so the level of air service reflects that. Plus MS isn’t the exactly the next big tourist hotspot. Ya theirs some big industry but it’s not enough to warrant a flight. You can drive two hours or three hours and you’ll be at MEM or BHM or MSY to catch a flight on the big airlines. So the airlines probably use CRJs so much because that’s how they figure they can still make money. The lost of MEM being a hub for NWA and then DL really hurt the state. My old airport KGTR use to have service to MEM on NWA and DL to ATL at the same time. We even briefly saw service to DFW during the DL hub that was there. They are still pushing for a flight to a western hub (DFW or IAH) but nothing has materialized. Major inconvenience having to fly east to ATL then west to your destination. Now we have four daily flights to ATL. I wouldn’t be surprised to see AA make a push into the state to feed their growing DFW hub since CLT can’t compete on the same level as ATL for East cost and international connections.

Well said. I lived in Starkville many years ago and the state is near and dear to my heart even though I seldom make it back there. The state is perpetually struggling economically in comparison to other states and as said above that is reflected with the level of air service. Jackson has a nice amount of service but clearly took a hit when WN pulled out. I anticipated G4 to jump in once WN pulled out but that obviously never transpired. F9 has since come in but their level of service is pretty meager. I agree that the drawdown of MEM as a hub hurt the state of Mississippi as it provided easy connections.
 
indywa
Posts: 137
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2007 1:25 am

Re: Mississippi Aviation thread 2019

Sat Nov 02, 2019 4:22 pm

Mesaba/XJ flew as NW Airlink from MEM-PIB on the Saab 340!

Worst flight I’ve had as a (now) 20 year flight attendant was MEM-GLH with 6 passengers on it (Don’t ask!)
 
ehaase
Posts: 141
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2016 1:06 am

Re: Mississippi Aviation thread 2019

Sat Nov 02, 2019 9:20 pm

I live in Jackson, MS and the 3 primary airlines provide adequate service to their hubs to take us anywhere in the world. I don't really see Mississippi's economy ever taking off.
 
CX773W
Topic Author
Posts: 57
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:29 pm

Re: Mississippi Aviation thread 2019

Sat Nov 02, 2019 11:00 pm

ehaase wrote:
I don't really see Mississippi's economy ever taking off.


Why do you think so?
 
uclax
Posts: 172
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 12:16 am

Re: Mississippi Aviation thread 2019

Sat Nov 02, 2019 11:08 pm

Thank you for starting this thread! I lived in MS many years and still visit frequently.

First, I really miss the RC/NW/DL hub at MEM. It made getting to lots of other places in the Southeast very easy. MEM is such an easy connect, and the flight crews on both the mainline and Airlink/Connection legs were consistently among the kindest, most professional I've seen in lots of travel. When booking, I look first to DL via ATL to get to smaller airports, but oftentimes will take AA or WN to MEM via TX hubs and drive if scheduling issues necessitate.

Getting nostalgic, MS had lots of RC and DL jet traffic when I got interested in airliners in the early 80s. Look back through websites of old timetables, and you'll be surprised.

RC had multiple daily DC9's from GPT to MSY; the noise and smoke lagging behind the old JT8D's were quite a sight on the beach! GTR had multiple daily DC9's too.

In the early 80's DL still had some milk runs between ATL and DFW with various stops including BHM, MEI, JAN, and MLU (Monroe, LA-DL's birthplace), using DC9-30s, 727-200s, and later even DC8-70s and 757-200s (I think just to BHM and JAN).

One additional note is that MS tourism has really been advertising a lot in in-flight magazines lately. There was a multi-page section in DL's magazine last year, and last month there was an ad for Columbus tourism in AA's.

Looking forward to more MS talk!
...those who wait for the Lord�s help...rise up as if they had eagles� wings Isaiah 40:31
 
Rememberthe80
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2019 4:14 pm

Re: Mississippi Aviation thread 2019

Sun Nov 03, 2019 12:07 am

A good thread and questions by the OP. Regarding Republic and GLH, that service transitioned to NW in the merger. NW Airlunk SF3 used to buzz all over the Magnolia state and were the workhorse type in 1990s for NW service in MS.

The MEM hub was a small but convenient hub and easy to connect.

JAN used to have several turns on AA on the ATR-72 and DL even had a daily 757-200 flight. GPT was also served by ASA E120, BAE 146, ATR-72 and finally the CRJ family. GPT had a mainline flight on CO to IAH for a while, they were about to add a second when Katrina hit and washed those plans away.

I spent 3 years in Cleveland at Delta State in the Commercial Aviation program and a few trips to GLH on the SF3, which I enjoyed flying on.
 
RJNUT
Posts: 1846
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 1999 1:58 am

Re: Mississippi Aviation thread 2019

Sun Nov 03, 2019 1:08 am

I helped open the GLH station summer of 1985 for Republic Express ,taking over the market from Republic. Quite an interesting summer. They went from DC9-10 series to Jetstream 31's overnight!
 
RJNUT
Posts: 1846
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 1999 1:58 am

Re: Mississippi Aviation thread 2019

Sun Nov 03, 2019 1:19 am

oh and another MS note, the American /Contour Airlines interline agreement just went live this morning and one can now book TUP to AA network booking via Expedia, Cheapoair, etc. Its not showing on AA.com yet. But this helps TUP back into the global network of air travel
 
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LAX772LR
Posts: 13278
Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2014 11:06 pm

Re: Mississippi Aviation thread 2019

Sun Nov 03, 2019 5:38 am

CX773W wrote:
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

:shakehead: :shakehead: :shakehead:

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1413429
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
sprxUSA
Posts: 423
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 5:17 am

Re: Mississippi Aviation thread 2019

Sun Nov 03, 2019 5:53 am

Well Miss specific and general Gulf Coast airports are two different ideas. Be like having a west coast thread and seeing a SEA PDX specific thread frowned upon?
Gem State Airlines..."we have a gem of an airline"

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