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From Mississippi Nonstop

by: Sen. Trent Lott       Filed 1/28/07 GCN

        This week I was pleased to join Continental Airlines and the Metro Jackson Chamber of Commerce to announce the first nonstop, direct commercial flight between Mississippi and the New York City Metropolitan Area.

As the ranking Republican and former chairman of the Senate’s Aviation Subcommittee, I worked with Continental to secure this service between Jackson and New York.  In fact, this flight is as much about visitors coming here as it is about Mississippi travelers going there.

The more nonstop flights we have between Mississippi and major cities, the more connected we are to the nation and the world’s economy.  The more direct links we have, the easier it is for the world to see what opportunities for investment and job growth our state provides. 

In fact, just a few years ago I worked with Northwest Airlines to initiate a direct flight between Jackson and Detroit.  Why Detroit?  Because from Detroit departs a flight to Tokyo.  That’s much appreciated by Mississippi’s second largest private employer, Nissan Motor Company, headquartered in Japan and with a number of design and marketing operations in Michigan. 

That link makes it a lot easier for this company to do business in our state, and for its employees here to access the training and support they need to remain globally competitive.

I’ve worked with other airlines like Southwest and Delta to improve Mississippi’s direct service as well, resulting in direct flights from Mississippi to Chicago, Baltimore, Washington, D.C. and Dallas/Ft. Worth.  We’ve added regional jet service, replacing smaller turboprop aircraft from some of Mississippi’s smaller regional airports to Atlanta.

New York City is the nation’s business and financial center.  As our state seeks to attract more investment and jobs, this flight can certainly help.  When national or international companies ask me about potential sites for investing in our state, their top questions are:  Where is the nearest commercial airport, and what cities are served?  They want to know how easy and fast it is to access a global hub or their home office.

The Continental flight to the New York area will begin September 6, and reservations are now available.  The flight will be on Continental’s 50-seat regional jet, operated by their subsidiary ExpressJet.  It will travel daily between Jackson/Evers International Airport and Continental’s hub at Newark, New Jersey, just minutes from Manhattan. 

Mississippi’s business travelers will be able to leave Jackson at 7 a.m., arrive in the New York area by 11 a.m. and return to Jackson that night around 9 p.m. – enough time for a one-day business trip.  From Newark travelers not staying in New York can connect to dozens of U.S. cities and 150 cities worldwide.

This flight and others available must work financially if they are to continue in the long term.  So, I encourage Mississippians to learn more about our expanding local flight options and use them when possible.

You’ll find that Mississippi’s airports have dramatically increased flying options and greatly improved their facilities, particularly at our two largest commercial airports, Gulfport/Biloxi and Jackson, which now offer commercial flights that rival or surpass many airports in neighboring states.

Now is the time to plan a vacation, or book that business trip using Mississippi’s runways.  Nonstop from Mississippi to just about anywhere, has never been easier. 

Senator Lott welcomes any questions or comments about this column. 

Write to: U.S. Senator Trent Lott, 487 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510 (Attn: Press Office) or Email

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