Local Air Carrier Sold

In a nutshell, Meridian airport officials say the impact of the sale of Atlantic Southeast Airlines, or ASA, to Utah-based Skywest Airlines will likely be minimal.

Meridian Airport Authority president Tom Williams says it is a good thing.

"Skywest is known as an excellent airline. They have a good reputation. They're strong financially," said Williams.

Williams says it will likely only benefit Meridian's airport. For the past three years, ASA has been the only provider of air service from Meridian Regional. Over the years, its business in Meridian has been one of its strong points.

In fact, by this time last year passenger count was up by more than 40 percent. It was this that persuaded Delta to add a fourth flight to Meridian earlier this year.

With Skywest at the helm, Williams says fares and scheduling at Meridian Regional will likely not change.

"What it will do, though, is get stability for the ASA employees and frankly, people like us here in the airport who have been wondering what will happen when Delta files bankruptcy," said Williams. "Well, this gets ASA away from that bankruptcy and we're not as concerned as we had been."

Currently, all flights from Meridian Regional Airport connect in Atlanta. Airport officials say it's still too early to say whether the sale could lead to an additional connecting flight to Dallas or somewhere out west.