The Cape Girardeau Regional Airport is reviewing proposals from new air carriers. The addition comes at the end of a two-year contract set to expire in November between Cape Air and the Department of Transportation, which provides flights to St. Louis.
Cape Girardeau Regional Airport manager Bruce Loy said the airport board expressed interest in changing their popular hub from St. Louis to another destination that wouldn’t compete with Interstate 55.
“We can always drive to St. Louis,” Loy said. “Not that we don’t feel like St. Louis is important, [but] I wish we could do that and other things. But the Department of Transportation only allows us one carrier with one of those proposals.”
Several different airlines have proposed potential services to the area. Southern Airways has proposed charter flights to St. Louis, Nashville, and Memphis. Boutique Airlines has proposed multiple options going to St. Louis, Nashville, Chicago and Atlanta. Air carrier SkyWest offered flights to Chicago.
Loy said it’s difficult offering multiple destinations with a limited number of flights offered daily, as the flights become “watered down,” and fewer people would book flights to further destinations. Still, they are seriously considering Nashville and Chicago as potential destinations.
Their last interview took place on Monday, and one carrier will be selected for another two-year contract with the Department of Transportation, who provides subsidies to carriers offering services to Cape Girardeau. The airport will submit their recommendations to the Cape Girardeau City Council after making their decision for a new carrier. Recommendations are due by July 28, and the airport will know within four weeks which proposal will be accepted.