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