Southern

Southern Airways Express is building passenger counts at Bradford Regional Airport, and is working to attract more traffic by making presentations to groups in the community.

MOUNT ALTON — In a report to the Bradford Regional Airport Authority Wednesday, Airport Manager Alicia Dankesreiter said Dean Construction of Smethport has begun the first phase of constructing the access road to the airport’s industrial park at the southwest corner of the airport property.

In February, the airport authority members adopted a resolution that authorized airport officials to accept a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission for funding this project.

Ryan Dach, Bradford station manager and director of stations for Southern Airways Express, the low-cost commuter regional airline that provides daily service to Pittsburgh, said the airline’s report at Bradford for June showed 332 enplanements and 323 arrivals for a daily average of 13.1 passengers. All of the 101 scheduled flights for the month operated for a 100 percent completion rate.

Southern also achieved this 100 percent completion rate for the airlines’ system, according to Mark Cestari, chief commercial officer, who attended Wednesday’s meeting.

Cestari also mentioned Southern’s new round of outreach to local groups. Cestari, Dach and Dankesreiter spoke at the new student orientation program at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. Cestari also promoted the airline at a meeting this week of RISE, Revive, Inspire, Succeed and Empower, a group of leaders between the ages of 21-40, who live and/or work in the Bradford community.,

Again this season, Southern is a sponsor of the Bradford Creative and Performing Arts Center’s “Tuesday Tributes,” five weekly shows of the summer concert series.

Additionally, Southern is working on a partnership with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Cestari also shared Southern’s June report that shows Bradford and Smethport are the top two ZIP codes for passengers leaving Bradford. Of those passengers flying out of Bradford, almost 25 percent report Pittsburgh at their final destination. Of the 75 percent who make connections at Pittsburgh, American Airlines is the preferred carrier. Dallas-Fort Worth is the most popular destination.

Besides its interline agreement with American Airlines, which makes a seamless travel experience for Southern passengers, Southern is working on a similar agreement with Alaska Air for flights from Pittsburgh to Seattle-Tacoma, Wash. Developed for the convenience of passengers who can only arrive at their final destination by traveling on two different airlines, these agreements allow each carrier to accept the other’s tickets and coverage for baggage transfers.

Southern has acquired Mokulele Airlines, becoming the nation’s fastest growing airline and largest commuter carrier in the 50 states. “We expect to finalize the Mokulele reservation system by July 17,” Cestari said.

The authority members agreed to schedule a meeting with all the parties involved with the door project at the Forest Oil hangar.

Dankesreiter also noted The Runway Bar and Grill opened ‘to rave reviews” on July 3; the airport’s new website is online now and is also available on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter; and a study is now in progress to determine if Runway 5/23 is eligible for federal funding from the Federal Aviation Administration.

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