MUSCLE SHOALS — On the first Monday in October, a 34-passenger Saab aircraft will arrive at the Northwest Alabama Regional Airport to be greeted by a plume of water from two fire trucks, a traditional welcome salute for the maiden flight for a new carrier.
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 aircrafts 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.”