MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. (WHNT) - Seaport Airlines is officially open for business at the Northwest Alabama Regional Airport in Muscle Shoals.
Economic development leaders and frequent flyers in the Shoals have waited 20 years for the direct flight to Nashville. Airline leaders are calling it the "last hometown airline in the Shoals."
"We really see ourselves as the Shoals' hometown airline, and you won't be needing to look for another one," said Seaport Airlines President Rob McKinney. "We are your last hometown airline because we're here to stay."
For just $39 one way, nine flyers can book a seat on one of the four flights daily out of Muscle Shoals. Stephen Holt, President of the Shoals Chamber of Commerce, said he's excited to work with Seaport.
"Seaport has the reputation for being really involved with the communities they serve," Holt shared, "and we're really looking forward to that."
For skeptical flyers, McKinney said he guarantees this time will be different.
"We make it affordable, we make it easy, and we make it so that you can count on your airline," he said.
With flying time less than an hour, Holt said it's a deal he hopes flyers will check out, and check in.
"It's important for our citizens to fly the Shoals," said Holt. "I'm hoping it will bring some traffic back into this market that's maybe been going to other places, certainly in the last couple of years, and we've had that record of having really good boardings."
They're aiming to board 10,000 travelers on the two planes in 2015. Holt said he's seen it before and knows that goal is possible.
Just in case a $39 flight from Muscle Shoals to Nashville isn't incentive enough to fly hometown, the airport offers free parking.
Here's a link for flight times.