They say reducing the number will help improve reliability
Here’s a letter from Tupelo Regional Airport executive director Josh Abramson to Mayor Jason Shelton.
I recommend that you and Greenville Mayor John Cox request that Silver Airways reduce their service from 36 flights a week to 24 in order to facilitate an increase in reliability. Due to Silver’s reliability issues, passenger traffic is extremely weak as reflected in our monthly boardings. There are many reasons that contribute to Silver’s reliability. I believe that new regulations for commercial pilots have been the largest contributing factor.
A reduced schedule will relieve Silver’s pilot schedule of the pressure and time constraints of these new regulations. At this time, 24 reliable flights are a far greater benefit to the community than 36 unreliable flights. Here are some facts associated with Silver agreement with DOT on the Essential Air Service program. Silver is being paid $3,500,000 per city to provide each city with 3 trips a day to Atlanta, GLH is one stop and TUP is nonstop. $7,000,000 in total for the two cities per year.
- Silver flights, that do operate, have very few passengers on them putting both cities over the $200 EAS subsidy cap per passenger. A reduction in subsidy could bring the subsidy per passenger down as long as the boardings remain the same or increase.
- If Silver agrees to the reduction, it saves DOT $2.33 million a year or $194,000 a month is subsidy payments.
- The request from Silver will be in exchange for a commitment to flying those trips to a 98% completion rate and at reasonable fares.