MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. (WHNT) - There is an air carrier now serving the Shoals once again. At 7:30 Tuesday morning, Boutique Air landed on runway 29 at Northwest Alabama Regional Airport to begin providing flights to Atlanta and Nashville.
The regional carrier was recently approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation to provide service to the airport. The process sped up under the Essential Air Service program.
“We’re really lucky to have gotten that process moved along so quickly and to have the aircraft availability and come in and fill in where the other airlines kind of dropped off and left Muscle Shoals in a bad spot,” explained Truett Davis with Boutique Air.
Airport administrators said the past two carriers fell short when it came to providing reliable service.
Many of their flights were cancelled, leaving passengers scrambling to find other ways to get to their destinations.
Davis said Boutique Air recognizes the challenge they face with earning the public’s confidence.
“People can count on us reliability wise,” stated Davis. “We’re not going to be cancelling flights like prior carriers, and that’s what is really enabled our success to grow all the way from San Francisco all the way out to Atlanta now.”
Airport administrators are hopeful this new partnership will be a successful one.
“The key component here is reliability and consistency,” explained Airport Director Barry Griffith. “As long as Boutique follows their published schedules, I think passengers will utilize them.”
At the airport's peak, administrators said nearly 10,000 people boarded flights in the Shoals per year. They said they would like to reach that number again, and surpass it.
Boutique Air is offering daily one-way flights to Atlanta for $59 and $39 to Nashville.
Reservations can be made through boutiqueair.com or most travel sites.