Appalachian Air takes off

PIKEVILLE, Ky. (AP) – Appalachian Air is celebrating its first round-trip commercial flight.

WYMT-TV ( reports the airline flew from Pikeville, Kentucky, to Nashville, Tennessee, on Monday and returned about 12 hours later.

The maiden flight had fewer than 10 aboard, but Appalachian Air officials say they think seats will fill up as more people learn about the service. The Jetstream J32 turboprop aircraft holds 19 passengers.

Appalachian Air spokesman Luke Schmidt says officials hope that bringing commercial air service to eastern Kentucky will help the economy.

The flight came about six months later than originally planned because airport officials had to wait to get the proper certifications.

The service will offer daily flights from Pikeville to Nashville.