MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Middle Georgia Regional Airport (MGRA) hasn’t had scheduled flights in nearly two years.
Now, they want to send Middle Georgia residents to the nation’s capital.
All the airport needs is a $4.6 million subsidy from the Department of Transportation to bring in Contour Airlines. The airline, headquartered in Tennessee, has seen recent success operating out of Tupelo, Miss.
“D.C. is the second largest market out of the Macon area, and we are uniquely qualified to serve that market because we are a Department of Defense approved carrier meaning military personnel can travel with us,” CEO of Contour Airlines, Matt Chaefitz said.
One-way tickets to Washington D.C. could start as low as $49, according to Chaefitz. Round-trip tickets under $90.
Stephen Adams, Director of Economic Development with the Macon-Bibb Industrial Authority, says the proposal is great news for job growth.
We’re very excited about this, MGRA right now has an economic impact of 200 million dollars with nearly 2,000 indirect and direct jobs,” Adams said. “So I think that, along with rebuilding the passenger air service will help support, sustain and grow that.”
Washington D.C. isn’t the only place the Contour Airlines CEO is considering as a destination for MGRA travelers.
“We’re looking at some Florida markets,” Chaefitz said. “If we conclude that the demand is there for markets besides D.C. I think that’s absolutely something we would consider.”
Previous airlines to fly out of MGRA were Delta, which left in 2008. Georgia Skies offered trips to Atlanta, they left in 2013, and Silver Airways – they offered flights to Atlanta and Orlando but they terminated service following poor business in 2014.
Chaefitz is confident his airline is more reliable and takes people “where they really want to go.”
“The past two carriers that have served Macon have really done the community a disservice,” Chaefitz said.
There isn’t a timetable for when the proposal could be approved or denied by the Department of Transportation.