For the first time in three years, flights are departing from Central Georgia. Thursday morning, Contour Airlines' inaugural flight took off to Washington, D.C. Yvonne Thomas checked in at the Middle Georgia Regional Airport to see the all the action.
It's the first takeoff of many, and on Thursday morning, The Middle Georgia Regional Airport opened its doors to a new airline and passengers. “We knew that Washington DC was the second highest destination for people in this area,” said Chris Floore, spokesman for Macon-Bibb County.
Contour CEO Matt Chaifetz says his team has a plan in place to keep passengers on board to the Baltimore Washington Airport, which is about 30 miles from D.C. “To see it all come together and to see the Contour team grow is really satisfying for me,” said Chaifetz. “Our recipe for success is simple. Make sure that the service is reliable and that they operate on time. We think we have a great onboard product.”
Apart from the Contour experience, Chaifetz says their ticket prices are hard to beat.
Flights start at $69, one way. “You don't have to pay for parking at the Middle Georgia Regional Airport. You don't have to travel all the way into Atlanta traffic, and you can go up and back in a day,” said Floore.
Chaifetz says they've even added new jobs to the region. “We've created over 20 local jobs in this area. Between mechanics, ticket agents, pilots that will be based here in the Macon area.”
And city leaders say they're happy to have a new airline on the ground to carry passengers to their next destination.
General public flights will take off on Friday morning. The airline is getting more than $9 million in federal subsidies to help pay for those flights over the next two years.