Southern Airways Express moves to MEM

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Southern Airways Express started by giving Mid-Southerners low-cost flights mainly to the coast from airports in downtown Memphis and Olive Branch.

But now Southern says it’s ready for prime-time with a move to Memphis International.

It’s always cost a lot to fly out of Memphis. Just ask Jennifer Pearson.

”My ticket today is $1,500, so I would really like some low costs, definitely," she said.

After massive flight cuts at Memphis International, airport authority chairman Jack Sammons started re-imagining the airport, getting the attention of Southern Airways Express.

”When we saw what Jack and the airport authority had done out here as far as getting new flights in here, beautifying the airport, that sort of thing, it made us take another look and say Memphis International is a great home for Southern,” Southern Airways Express CEO Stan Little said.

But Southern’s not flying out of the main terminal. Instead, it’s flying from across the street in the original terminal building.

It offers a restaurant, free parking, and, perhaps more importantly, no security hassles.

”You can fly in from New York, and catch a Southern flight or down to Destin or to one of our other airports, or on down to Oxford, Mississippi on game day from Los Angeles, California,” Little said.

He says it fits in with his airline’s transformation from a leisure service to an airline that also services business travelers to new destinations like Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Jackson.

Those fliers can also connect now with the majors, just across the street.

”I think that’d be a great idea. I think it would definitely boost business and make it more accessible for travel to the coast,” said Pearson.

Does this mean Southern has totally abandoned Olive Branch and DeWitt Spain? No. Little says he’ll use those airports on a seasonal basis, for leisure travelers.

The Memphis International flights take off October 1.

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