Challenging Times following Airline Transition

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Meridian, Miss. The transition from one airline provider to another has made for some challenging moments.

Silver Airways began flying in and out of Meridian about 14 months ago. Airport Authority President Tom Williams says flights these days are averaging about 11 people. That's about a third of the plane. He's hoping that number will rise in the coming months, but admits the past year has had its moments.

"You know, we put our best spin on it," Williams says. "You know, we were trying to make lemonade out of lemons. And you know, we tried to have a good attitude, but frankly, it was a lot more difficult than any of us anticipated."

Williams tells Newscenter 11 that one of the main issues at first was centered around not being able to sell tickets online for the first three months the airline was operating in Meridian. Then there's the issue of not being able to transport the military.

"And allegedly, they're going to get reinspected by the Department of Defense sometime after the first of the year," Williams adds. "We hope that will solve that problem. But it's just been one thing after another."

Williams says passengers and airport staff in Meridian aren't the only ones who have noticed the bumpy moments. He says the owners of Silver Airways have too.

"And over the summer, they changed out the entire management team at Silver," Williams points out. "So, there's a new president, there's new administrative folks, and we're seeing a difference as an airport."

The flight scheduled to arrive in Meridian on Sunday night at 8:50 was delayed until 12:45 a.m., according to the Silver Airways website.