First commercial flight to Atlanta leaves from Jackson’s McKellar-Sipes Regional Airport

MADISON COUNTY, Tenn. — Getting a flight to one of the busiest airports in the world is getting a lot easier for West Tennesseans.

With a simple cutting of a ribbon, the first flight of many to Atlanta departs from Jackson’s McKellar-Sipes Regional Airport.

“It’s going to be really simple for people to make their connections, and we’re really excited about it,” said Steve Smith, executive director of the Jackson-Madison County Airport Authority.

After nearly three years of commercial service solely to St. Louis, residents can now fly to one of the biggest cities in the country.

“When we first started talking about [Air Choice One] becoming our carrier,  [the CEO] sat in the terminal and said, ‘I see us going to Atlanta,'” Smith said.

But officials say easier transportation isn’t the only benefit.

Air Choice One CEO Shane Storz says the additional service to Atlanta will help grow industry.

“We’re really excited about what this does for the Jackson community as far as opening the community to the world,” Storz said.

While airport officials just announced a new destination, they say they’re already planning to add another one.

Smith says a survey conducted by Union University shows many residents are interested in flying to Florida’s Gulf Coast.

“We’re excited about by the end of this year into the middle of summer, Jackson could have three destinations to fly to,” he said.

And while Smith says nothing is set in stone for the third destination, the sky is the limit.

“It’s one stop from here to Europe now, and that stop is in Atlanta,” Smith said. “We’re ready to go.”

Airport officials say they plan to offer two nonstop flights to St. Louis and one nonstop flight to Atlanta every day.

Airfare prices for those flights start at $45.

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