Southern Airways Express says its first full calendar month as the Essential Air Service provider in Chadron couldn’t have been much better with no cancellations and the most passengers in the city since January of last year.
Chairman and CEO Stan Little says Southern flew 537 passengers on 106 flights in July with every scheduled flight completed, which he calls a “stark contrast” from previous carrier Boutique Airlines.
Little says “It’s great to see so many folks take advantage of our easy connection to Denver in just our first month of service,” adding that the airline’s “pleased to have proven that reliable and affordable air service is back” in Chadron.
As good as July was, Little expects passenger numbers to be even better after Southern completes an upgrade of its fleet.
The airline is currently using newly-renovated single-engine Cessna 208 Grand Caravans, but is replacing them with the twin-engine Beechcraft King Air Super 200. Delivery of the new plains is expected within the next 60 days.
In addition to being a bit more spacious and comfortable, the King Air is also faster than the Grand Caravans. Little says the change will cut the flight time between Chadron and Denver by 20-to-25 minutes.
Southern is also bringing a trio of 2021 Jeep Wranglers to the Chadron Airport to launch its Wheels by Southern rental car brand and has partnered with Ace Car Rental to provide online booking of the 3 Jeeps.
Little says offering rental car solutions at the airport for inbound travelers is an essential service and one that the airline is proud to offer.
Another essential service Southern offers is ticketing and baggage agreements with United, American, and Alaska Airlines for seamless baggage transfers to every airport across the country served by them
Under the Essential Air Service contract awarded this spring, Southern is to provide 18 flights a week between Chadron and Denver, but currently has 20 with 2 flights in each direction every day except Tues and Sat when there are no flights.