HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Huntsville's newest airline is grounded, even before takeoff. Silver Airways had plans to launch in two weeks. But now, company leaders are canceling all of their flights.
Airport leaders say the airline is still coming, but it's going to take about four more months before they can board.
That's frustrating news for families who were planning trips around Memorial Day, who now say it'll cost hundreds of dollars more to re-book.
The large pink banner at the Huntsville airport is hard to miss, offering low-cost flights to Orlando.
"I wouldn't be exhausted getting to Disney World, which was a nice thing," said Susan Barrontine, who had booked a trip for her family to Orlando.
But the new machine isn't yet a well-oiled machine, which means Huntsville airport's fourth carrier isn't quite ready.
"We got a message last night after about six changes, they were canceling the flight," Barrontine said.
And that meant a day of frustrating phone calls for parents like Susan Barrontine. With only a couple weeks' notice, she doesn't have many more options for getting her kids to Disney World.
"Pay four times as much for airfare, or drive," Barrontine said.
Leaders at the Huntsville Airport say the problem with Silver isn't a question of 'they don't have enough planes,' but more so that the brand new fleet of ATR-600s haven't been certified by the FAA.
"They did give me the refund. They didn't refund my travel insurance, which I thought, this is kind of what travel insurance is for," Barrontine said.
Huntsville airport leaders say Silver won't be ready for takeoff until after Labor Day. But that'll be months after Susan and her kids return from their minivan trip to Florida.
Silver Airways company reps say they're planning to launch on September 12. They'll fly Huntsville to Orlando, with connections to Florida and the Bahamas.
If you haven't yet been refunded for your canceled flight, you can contact Silver Airways at their webpage or by calling (801)401-9100.
Below is an official statement from Silver Airways, shared on Thursday evening.
"We remain very enthusiastic and committed to providing daily non-stop service between Huntsville, Alabama and Orlando. However, as a result of factors outside our control, we unfortunately have to postpone the start of this new service.
The route will be operated with Silver’s fleet of new, eco-friendly ATR-600 series aircraft. However, this will be the first time this aircraft is flown in the U.S. and the necessary FAA certification process is taking longer than anticipated.
We are currently working with passengers to provide full refunds on all booked flights through September 12, 2018."