THE SHOALS – The Muscle Shoals Trojans High School Band was ready, politicians and dignitaries were all there, the support personnel had everything in ship-shape order and the news media were ready to roll. However, the rain-god wasn’t cooperating between here and Atlanta where Silver Airways was originating its inaugural flight to The Northwest Alabama Regional Airport.
So, instead of the first flight arriving at 8:55, it was rescheduled for Noon. But today’s glitch is small potatoes compared to the long term benefits to the Community of having a reliable and safe airline providing daily service to Atlanta-Hartsfield International Airport. And when the beautiful Saab 340s turboprop arrived at the ramp beneath the twin water -cannon streams of celebration, those folks who had continued to brave the weather cheered its arrival.
The celebration marks the beginning of air service between Muscle Shoals and Atlanta by Silver Airways, an air carrier based out of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida that
serves destinations throughout the eastern United States and the Bahamas. “We wanted to greet the arrival of the first Silver Airways flight with a traditional
ceremony,” explained Barry Griffith, Director of the Northwest Alabama Regional Airport. “Water cannons are used to celebrate maiden flights, and can also be used
to mark a captain’s retirement or some other significant event. Having Silver Airways as our carrier is significant to our region, and we are excited to be able to
welcome them here.”
Silver Airways replaces Delta service, which had been offering flights between Muscle Shoals and Memphis. “We’re also glad to be flying back to Atlanta, with two
incoming and two outbound flights a day,” said Griffith. “Our travelers appear to favor Atlanta because of the ease of connection there, and we anticipate an increase
in boardings because of the new service and our new destination.” The Silver Airways aircraft are Saab 340s, with fuel-efficient jet turbine engines.
The planes seat 34, and service will include a flight attendant on board. The planes will travel at 300+ miles per hour.
On weekdays, Silver Airways will offer a 9:15 morning departure for Atlanta, and a 5:15 afternoon departure. On Saturday, Silver’s plan is to offer a 12:00 noon
departure, and on Sunday, travelers can leave for Atlanta at 4:35 p.m.
“In addition to great service from a great company, our air fares are competitive,” said Griffith. “The fact that our parking charges are so low and you don’t have to
spend an hour or more on the highway to get to another airport means that we represent a serious and cost-effective traveling option. We hope the traveling public
will seriously consider Flying the Shoals.”
The following video features Chairman of The Airport Board of Directors, Rick Elliot and Barry Auchly, Chairman of the Shoals Chamber of Commerce’s Airport Committee.
These photos are suitable for printing on your photo printer or at a photo kiosk. So make yourself a copy to remember the day. These photos are free to reproduce for NON-COMMERCIAL USE only.