WEST BAY — The scheduled liftoff of Southern Airways Express had a slight glitch Thursday, but the airline’s first flight into Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP) is expected just after 6 p.m. today.
Keith Sisson, chief operating officer for Southern Airways, said the first flight will be arriving from Olive Branch, Miss., a suburb of Memphis, Tenn.
“We had slight problem with reservations, but we’ve got it all straightened out now,” Sisson said.
Sheltair Aviation Services general manager Mike Lerma said Southern Airways management told him flights were scheduled to begin Thursday.
Sisson said that once the airline is completely up and running, it will have flights to places like Birmingham, Ala.; Memphis; New Orleans and Oxford, Miss.
“The New Orleans flight will go along the coastline,” Sisson said. “It’ll be like a sight-seeing tour of about an hour and 15 minutes.”
The first flight into Destin landed Thursday, with a return flight to Olive Branch slated for later in the day.
The company began selling tickets from their website, http://iflysouthern.com, Thursday.
Southern Airways Express will operate three nine-seat turboprop engine caravans with luxury, executive-style seating. Officials with the new startup airline say they hope to bring a sense of fun and luxury back to the aviation business.
One-way ticket prices will range $129 to $249, according to Southern’s Facebook page.