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Southern Airways acquires commuter airline

Southern Airways, which operates flights out of Destin Executive Airport in Okaloosa County, announced Monday that it had acquired Fort Lauderdale-based Sun Air Express, a commuter airline serving eight cities in the mid-Atlantic region.


Sun Air has developed a connecting hub model at the Pittsburgh International Airport. where passengers can connect to more than 50 cities around the United States and around the world.

“Passengers from across Pennsylvania, Maryland and New York State are able to connect to both legacy and low cost carriers through the world-class terminal at Pittsburgh,” said Stan Little, chairman and CEO of Southern. “We look forward to expanding those connections and adding additional cities in the near future.

“We have always striven to be a part of the communities that we serve, and that spirit will continue as we adopt our new markets in the mid-Atlantic,” Little added.
The financial details of Monday’s deal were not released.

Southern Airways has offered flights to and from Destin Executive Airport, including destinations such as Memphis, New Orleans, Atlanta, Jackson and Olive Branch, since June 2013.

“Memphis-Destin frequency will be expanded for the fourth summer in a row, and we’re carefully looking at shuttle service to Nashville, St. Louis, and Knoxville,” LeFevre said. “We also may take Atlanta/Buckhead to twice daily to assist our business commuters.”
Sun Air Express currently operates a fleet of Piper Chieftain aircraft, most of which will be retired over the next year, in favor of Southern’s flagship Caravan 208 planes.