TAMPA — Southern Airways Express said Tuesday it will launch air service between Tampa and West Palm Beach on Nov. 8, just three days after another carrier discontinues the route.
Southern Airways, the third largest commuter carrier in the nation, is opening a new hub in West Palm Beach that initially will offer flights to Tampa and Key West.
For the Tampa-to-West Palm Beach flights, Southern expects about 80 percent of the passengers to be business travelers who don't want to spend four hours or more driving across Florida.
"There will be some leisure folks, but not like" on a flight to "Key West," said Mark Cestari, Southern's chief commercial officer.
Southern, which is based in Hernando, Miss., will fly three or four flights a day, depending on the day of the week, from the Signature Flight Support Terminal next to Tampa International Airport. Its fleet consists of nine--passenger Cessna Caravan turbo-prop airplanes. Tickets start at $149 one-way and can be booked at www.iFlySouthern.com or through travel web sites such as Expedia. Southern's service begins as Silver Airways cancels its flights between Tampa and West Palm Beach.
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