Jets Return to MRA

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The good news came at Key Field Thursday from Sam Watts, vice president of Planning Development for ASA Airlines.

"Beginning on May the 4th, ASA will introduce three non-stop CRJ air non-stop regional flights between Meridian and Atlanta," Watts announced.

The present service to Dallas will be discontinued. However, the jets will increase seating availability on flights between Meridian and Atlanta.

"It has two by two passenger seating for up to 50 passengers," said Watts. "The plane cruises at up to 530 miles an hour, can fly at altitudes as high as 41,000 feet, and it is recognized as one of the quieter commercial aircraft operating in the world today."

Airport manager Tom Williams said this new service would make Meridian different from the rest.

"Meridian, Mississippi, on May 4th will become the only all-jet airport in the state of Mississippi," said Williams.

Watts said there were several reasons ASA decided to institute jet service for Meridian.

"The thing is that, of course, we're looking for markets where there is sufficient demand to support these regional jets and also, of course, the fact that the airport came to us with an offer for some incentives that would help us to promote the service and to make it successful was certainly an important factor that we considered as well," Watts said.

Other speakers at the announcement emphasized the future of this service will be dependent on how well Meridian supports it.