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sleepy

Tunica MS airport to begin scheduled commercial flights

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I put this in the Tennessee forum since Tunica is in the Memphis msa and there's no Mississippi forum.

According to the article, Tunica should be getting scheduled commercial flights shortly. The airport's about 20 miles southwest of the Memphis airport. No word on the airline. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in terms of passenger service at MEM.

http://www.commercialappeal.com/mca/busine...4130033,00.html

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This should really, really help the casinos there. Not that they need any, but still. It is a great thing for the Tunica area. I had heard that there is really a big push to get Conventions down in the Tunica area. If that is so, then the flights are a step in the right direction.

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This should really, really help the casinos there. Not that they need any, but still. It is a great thing for the Tunica area. I had heard that there is really a big push to get Conventions down in the Tunica area. If that is so, then the flights are a step in the right direction.

doesnt that hurt memphis though. instead of the conventions being in memphis?

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1. We do not know what airline. We only know that it is not one of the two major cost cutter airlines, Southwest or Jet Blue. 2. We do not know how many flights or to where. We do know that this is a group that had done flights for sports teams. We are talking about small planes that could run on regular schedules to Tunica. 3. To start off, the casinos will be trying to funnel people into their casinos. 4. Tunica and Memphis can bonus off of one another on this, just as they have on other things. Extended stays to go to both Memphis and Tunica. Overflow for hotel rooms or exhibition facilities in both directions.

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This should really, really help the casinos there. Not that they need any, but still. It is a great thing for the Tunica area. I had heard that there is really a big push to get Conventions down in the Tunica area. If that is so, then the flights are a step in the right direction.

The Memphis airport is only 30 minutes away, so I'm not that sure it'll make much difference in a practical sense. Maybe in a marketing sense.

1. We do not know what airline. We only know that it is not one of the two major cost cutter airlines, Southwest or Jet Blue. 2. We do not know how many flights or to where. We do know that this is a group that had done flights for sports teams. We are talking about small planes that could run on regular schedules to Tunica. 3. To start off, the casinos will be trying to funnel people into their casinos. 4. Tunica and Memphis can bonus off of one another on this, just as they have on other things. Extended stays to go to both Memphis and Tunica. Overflow for hotel rooms or exhibition facilities in both directions.

Right. The article was certainly more than a little vague. I guess that's what happens when a deal is probably still being negotiated. It implied that it wasn't going to be charter service, though a charter airline could still run scheduled, non-charter flights I suppose. It also said it wasn't an airline that serves the MS Coast--rules out NWA, Delta, and American. The only low cost airline after SW and JetBlue would be AirTran, and they run frequent service from MEM to ATL, so I think they're out. Who knows?

I suspect that whoever goes there will run regional jets. Probably 60% of the flights by the majors are regionals nowadays anyway.

I've never really understood the argument that the Tunica casinos hurt Memphis. Those casinos were built by Memphis construction companies and probably 3/4 of the casino employees come from Shelby County. As you say, most likely the folks from outside the area who go to Tunica also go to Memphis. In fact, probably as many do the reverse--go to Memphis for a visit and then to Tunica. Tunica is just another attraction in the Memphis area.

And the presence of the casinos--and their sponsorships--helps Memphis attract the big name boxing events.

Tunica County has a pop. of something like 11,000. I wonder what its transient population is on something like 9 pm on a Friday night? Probably something like 50,000. What a lot of people don't realize is that Tunica has always been larger than the MS coast for gambling--as measured by gambling revenue.

Anyway, it's all part of the same metropolitan area.

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This will be a good marketing tool for Tunica, but as others have stated I doubt it will have any noticable negative impact on Memphis's airport.

@ Sleepy - No problem posting Tunica stuff on here with me, so feel free to do so. Northern Mississippi is linked to Memphis pretty heavily, so Oxford, Tunica, etc are all fine since there is currently no Mississippi forum. It could also bring out some Mississippi forumers, which would be great.

On a side note I know alot of southern Mississippi news is reported on the Louisiana forum.

Edit: Typo

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I thought the article mentioned possible talks with Southwest. Of course, Southwest is famous for not disclosing their new venues until the deal has been completed. SWA in Tunica would make a lot of sense. They certainly aren't getting into Memphis. I heard that there was once a shuttle to Little Rock called the "Betty Bus" which was expressly for people from Memphis who wanted to take Southwest. It is very difficult to persuade SWA to fly in to a city, as they are in great demand with just about any airport. The transformation at BWI is remarkable since they have been flying there.

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I thought the article mentioned possible talks with Southwest. Of course, Southwest is famous for not disclosing their new venues until the deal has been completed. SWA in Tunica would make a lot of sense. They certainly aren't getting into Memphis. I heard that there was once a shuttle to Little Rock called the "Betty Bus" which was expressly for people from Memphis who wanted to take Southwest. It is very difficult to persuade SWA to fly in to a city, as they are in great demand with just about any airport. The transformation at BWI is remarkable since they have been flying there.

I think the article stated that it wasn't Southwest or JetBlue.

If anything, I suspect that whoever does the flights would be doing nonstops from large cities--Chicago, Atlanta, NYC, etc. Southwest has a lot of nonstops, but many of their flights involve a stop or two. I'm not sure that SW would alter their proven route structure to accomodate Tunica. The reason I say that this unknown carrier would run nonstops, is the fact that it would have to compete with all the Northwest nonstops into Memphis. A gambler from NYC most likely wouldn't take a flight to Tunica if it involved one or two stops. He/she would take the nonstops to MEM.

You're right about Southwest siphoning off Memphis' "natural" traffic base. Most of East Arkansas would go to Little Rock. Most of TN traffic from Jackson TN east would go to Nashville. Like you say, many Memphians themselves go to Little Rock to get Southwest. I have cousins in Forrest City AR--30 miles west of Memphis and 90 miles east of Little Rock. They wouldn't dream of using the Memphis airport.

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The Memphis airport is only 30 minutes away, so I'm not that sure it'll make much difference in a practical sense. Maybe in a marketing sense.

Right. The article was certainly more than a little vague. I guess that's what happens when a deal is probably still being negotiated. It implied that it wasn't going to be charter service, though a charter airline could still run scheduled, non-charter flights I suppose. It also said it wasn't an airline that serves the MS Coast--rules out NWA, Delta, and American. The only low cost airline after SW and JetBlue would be AirTran, and they run frequent service from MEM to ATL, so I think they're out. Who knows?

I suspect that whoever goes there will run regional jets. Probably 60% of the flights by the majors are regionals nowadays anyway.

I've never really understood the argument that the Tunica casinos hurt Memphis. Those casinos were built by Memphis construction companies and probably 3/4 of the casino employees come from Shelby County. As you say, most likely the folks from outside the area who go to Tunica also go to Memphis. In fact, probably as many do the reverse--go to Memphis for a visit and then to Tunica. Tunica is just another attraction in the Memphis area.

And the presence of the casinos--and their sponsorships--helps Memphis attract the big name boxing events.

Tunica County has a pop. of something like 11,000. I wonder what its transient population is on something like 9 pm on a Friday night? Probably something like 50,000. What a lot of people don't realize is that Tunica has always been larger than the MS coast for gambling--as measured by gambling revenue.

Anyway, it's all part of the same metropolitan area.

I think this would benefit Memphis in a number of ways. One being to attract an NBA All-Star game. NBA Commission David Stern suggested that Memphis indeed has enough hotel capacity when Tunica is put into the equation. With an airport that can support larger planes in Tunica, we'll definitely have an even greater shot at getting and estimated $750 million economic impact from the All-Star game for the area. As far as the conventions are concerned, no major conventions would bypass Memphis for Tunica because there isn't much else down there. This may be an issue in 15-20 years after the area develops more, and even so, the 2 areas do indeed benefit from the other's presence.

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I think this would benefit Memphis in a number of ways. One being to attract an NBA All-Star game. NBA Commission David Stern suggested that Memphis indeed has enough hotel capacity when Tunica is put into the equation. With an airport that can support larger planes in Tunica, we'll definitely have an even greater shot at getting and estimated $750 billion economic impact from the All-Star game for the area. As far as the conventions are concerned, no major conventions would bypass Memphis for Tunica because there isn't much else down there. This may be an issue in 15-20 years after the area develops more, and even so, the 2 areas do indeed benefit from the other's presence.

That must be a typo--$750 billion for the AllStar game? Must be $750 million.

The MEM airport has the capacity to support any increased flights as it is, plenty of gates, etc. In fact, it's one of about 5 airports nationally that's ready for the "flying whale" A380.

I do think Memphis will land the NBA AllStar game at some point, and while much might depend on Tunica's hotel rooms, I'm not really sure that the Tunica airport itself means that much for the game.

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I thought the article mentioned possible talks with Southwest. Of course, Southwest is famous for not disclosing their new venues until the deal has been completed. SWA in Tunica would make a lot of sense. They certainly aren't getting into Memphis. I heard that there was once a shuttle to Little Rock called the "Betty Bus" which was expressly for people from Memphis who wanted to take Southwest. It is very difficult to persuade SWA to fly in to a city, as they are in great demand with just about any airport. The transformation at BWI is remarkable since they have been flying there.

It's the Bette Bus. I've used it. Would much rather have a low cost carrier at Mem, obviously. But they're making the bucks out of it.

I think the carrier might be something like Frontier or Independence (I think one or the other flies out of Mid America in the metro StL area).

W/ respect to the all-star game, I think there would need to be a way to get the folks from Tunica to downtown in a speedy fashion. High speed rail might be preferable, but unlikely. An alternative would be some riverboat hotels.

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This is probably somebody like Champion Air rather than one of the scheduled air carriers. Champion is a charter service that also uses a "vacation wholesaler" to sell tickets to certain destinations. They would probably have flights scheduled around weekends, coming from major markets. According to their website, Champion also does charters for sports teams.

Tunica's airport really doesn't pose any threat to Memphis International as for scheduled service, now or in the forseeable future. Yes, Tunica makes sense for casino junkets, but otherwise there's no reason to fly there instead of MEM. The Memphis Airport Authority has been very accomodating to new carriers wanting to start service, landing fees are relatively low, and new entrants can contract ground service and some maintenance functions out to Northwest or another airline that has a larger presence there. Not to mention that, obviously, MEM is more convenient to 99% of the metro area's population.

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I thought the article mentioned possible talks with Southwest. Of course, Southwest is famous for not disclosing their new venues until the deal has been completed. SWA in Tunica would make a lot of sense. They certainly aren't getting into Memphis. I heard that there was once a shuttle to Little Rock called the "Betty Bus" which was expressly for people from Memphis who wanted to take Southwest. It is very difficult to persuade SWA to fly in to a city, as they are in great demand with just about any airport. The transformation at BWI is remarkable since they have been flying there.

Southwest would probably come here if either (a) Northwest closed the MEM hub, (B) the Wright Amendment was repealed, allowing them to fly direct between Dallas Love Field and Memphis, or both. They've traditionally avoided major hub airports, but have proven in Philadelphia that they are willing to make exceptions...especially when the carrier (USAirways in that case) is on the ropes.

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I have to agree with Cdarr. I've heard Champion Air mentioned many times as the airline getting ready to offer service to Tunica. World Airways and Miami Air have also been dropped as possible flights due to the fact that they all rely heavily on sports charters and have a "schedule charter" plan. Transmeridian Airways had actually been a possibility, but they recently filed for bankruptcy. As far as mainline, I really don't see any legacy carrier going into Tunica unless it was United...However, USAirways could be a possibility due to its evolving low-cost image. I seriously doubt that US Air would fly into Tunica considering that MEM is close and seems to be growing momentum with more mainline service and flights to Pheonix, Charlotte, and soon-to-be Vegas. Air Tran actually offers service to Gulfport, so that's not a possibility. I'm gonna say it's gotta be Champion Air or some other cheapo service that. As far as LCCs at MEM...Jet Blue is poised to start service sometime next spring. Also, I feel that Southwest would certainly be game if/when the Wright Ammendment is repealed. Just a side note, there is talk that Air Canada will start MEM-Toronto service in January. Yay!

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I have to agree with Cdarr. I've heard Champion Air mentioned many times as the airline getting ready to offer service to Tunica. World Airways and Miami Air have also been dropped as possible flights due to the fact that they all rely heavily on sports charters and have a "schedule charter" plan. Transmeridian Airways had actually been a possibility, but they recently filed for bankruptcy. As far as mainline, I really don't see any legacy carrier going into Tunica unless it was United...However, USAirways could be a possibility due to its evolving low-cost image. I seriously doubt that US Air would fly into Tunica considering that MEM is close and seems to be growing momentum with more mainline service and flights to Pheonix, Charlotte, and soon-to-be Vegas. Air Tran actually offers service to Gulfport, so that's not a possibility. I'm gonna say it's gotta be Champion Air or some other cheapo service that. As far as LCCs at MEM...Jet Blue is poised to start service sometime next spring. Also, I feel that Southwest would certainly be game if/when the Wright Ammendment is repealed. Just a side note, there is talk that Air Canada will start MEM-Toronto service in January. Yay!

Jet Blue is scheduled to start in Memphis?! That'd be grreat. What's your source on it? I know that I saw the Air Canada news on airliners.net.

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Jet Blue is scheduled to start in Memphis?! That'd be grreat. What's your source on it? I know that I saw the Air Canada news on airliners.net.

The newspapers in the past few months (Wall Street Journal, USA TODAY, and a few local papers) have all asserted that with Jet Blue operating the 100-seat ERJ-190s, many more markets will open up. Memphis is on the list according to Larry Cox and a few of my Dad's friends on the airport commission. Furthermore, my brother is a pilot at USAir, and he said that a friend at Jet Blue has been told that they are hiring people to work at a Memphis station to be opening sometime in the Spring. There's talk of Independence Air coming in, but that's just because Memphis is on a list of cities to be added in the unknown future (and IA isn't exactly in the best financial conditions right now).

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Thanks!. Great news, and hopefully it happens. That's probably even better than getting SWA... I guess a lot depends on how many and which connections they have...

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Thanks!. Great news, and hopefully it happens. That's probably even better than getting SWA... I guess a lot depends on how many and which connections they have...

I'm pretty sure that there will be at least 3 daily flights to JFK (that's pretty much where all the flights go), but it would be nice to see one to LA and one to the Ft. Lauderdale focus city!

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The Tunica officals are still keeping quiet but expect an announcement on March 21. East coast carrier and flights begin in May. Here are some hints on who the airline is

"The provider, recently immortalized in a feature film starring Leonardo DiCaprio, will transport passengers to and from Atlanta on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, according to Airport Director Cliff Nash. The planes can hold a maximum of 141 passengers."

http://www.tunicatimes.com/default.asp?sou...catimes&he=.com

My guess is Pan Am

http://www.flypanam.com/dest.html

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Pan Am does seem like a good guess, though I'd hoped for something a little less...well, dodgy. There's something transitory about the new Pan Am...I hope it will last.

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The Tunica Times announced today that it's PanAm, with three RT's weekly between ATL and Tunica. It'll be interesting to see what their prices are. That's only about 420 passengers a week (141x3), so I suspect it will be nothing but gamblers, and I doubt if it will directly compete with Memphis flights in terms of offering lower fares than MEM. Probably about the same as AirTran.

http://www.tunicatimes.com/

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The fares appear to be $55.00 each way for coach. Business class is $249.00 each way. I can't see too many people jumping on the latter, but you never know. The $110.00 r/t fare is certainly cheap.

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