BURLINGTON, Iowa — Tickets are now on sale for the newest commuter airline to fly out of Southeast Iowa Regional Airport in Burlington.
Southern Airways Express celebrated the launch of their tickets sales with an informational presentation at the airport on Tuesday Feb. 14.
Southern Airways will be flying 24 roundtrip flights a week to Chicago and St. Louis.
Flights will go to Chicago O'Hare two times a day, seven days a week. Flights to St. Louis Lambert will run once a day Monday through Thursday, twice on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
"We are going to have special St. Louis flights Friday, Saturday and Sunday to facilitate trips to ballgames, baseball, hockey games and the like," Mark Cestari, chief commercial officer of Southern Airways Express, said.
Southern Airways is one of the largest commuter airlines in the country, with service to 54 cities, after adding 11 new cities to their network in 2022. They also employ more than 300 pilots.
“Our regular reliability rate, controllable completion, in 2021 and most of 2022, was 99.3%, controllable completion…People in this community need to know if they come out here, they got a 99% chance that they're gonna get out of here," Cestari said.
Reliability is one of their four keys to success, according to Cestari. The others are low fares, interline partnerships and community engagement programs.
Cestari said that fares range from $39 to $89 one way.
“In order to get the community on board, we keep the fares low. We have three levels of fares: 14-day advance, 7-day advance, and walk up. $39, $69, $89. You're never gonna pay three digits to fly here. So low fares, we're committed to them, despite the rising costs, despite the rising fuel costs," Cestari said.
For most customers of Southern Airways, St. Louis or Chicago is not their final destination. The airline offers a dedicated helpline if any of their passengers experience issues with their flights or connections.
“If either your major airline flight or your Southern flight is disrupted, you can call our 24-hour call center and we will re-accommodate you. You don't have to stay on hold for seven hours with United, or wait for them to call you back. That's a major, major benefit," Cestari said.
Tickets out of Southeast Iowa Regional are on sale now and can be purchased through the Southern Airways Express website.