Veterans Airport of Southern Illinois looking into new bids

Southern Ill. airport looking at bids for new routes

MARION, Ill. (KFVS) - Getting to major travel hubs just outside the Heartland could be getting much easier soon as the Veterans Airport of Southern Illinois is looking at proposals for new services in the near future.

According to Airport Director Doug Kimmel, if the airport decides to go with two proposals they are leaning towards, people will be able to take a short plane ride to Chicago and Nashville on top of the service to St. Louis they already offer.

Cape Air currently runs the services to St. Louis according to Kimmel. There are six flights to and from St. Louis each day Monday through Friday and three round trips on the weekend.

Kimmel said Cape Air’s bid suggests continuing that service, but cutting back on a couple of flights to make room for a number of flights to Nashville.

He said Skywest would be a new airline at the airport, offering flights on a 50-seat jet that would operate two flights a day to Chicago.

“You’ve got a smaller aircraft on Cape Air. A nine seat airplane that can operate with high frequency and a low fair, generally under $100 round trip,” Kimmel said, “and then you have a larger aircraft, 50 seat capability offered by Skywest, and less frequency, and a fair that would be higher.”

These proposals will be presented to the public in coming days.

According to the release from the airport, SkyWest will be presenting their proposal on Thursday, July 18 at 2 p.m. and Cape Air will present theirs on Tuesday, July 23 at 3 p.m.

These meetings will be held in the Charter Lounge at the airline terminal.

Obviously for travelers, these new services would be a great way to get out of Southern Illinois for a little while. Kimmel agrees, but added that it could make the region more attractive for prospective businesses.

“It’s a means of transportation not only for businesses and people to get out of Southern Illinois to points that they need access,” he said, “but more importantly, it’s an ability for the outside world to access this region and not have to drive from Missouri or Tennessee to get here."

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