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American Eagle coming to Hattiesburg airport

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Transportation has signed off on American Eagle as well as an Essential Air Service annual subsidy of about $7 million to provide air service from Hattiesburg-Laurel and Meridian airports.

Hattiesburg-Laurel Regional Airport Executive Director Thomas Heanue told the Hattiesburg American (http://hatne.ws/1r4cxOP ) American Eagle will offer two daily flights to Dallas-Fort Worth.

Heanue said the daily service on the Canadair Regional Jet 200 will be shared between Hattiesburg-Laurel and the city of Meridian.

"This is the culmination of a lot of hard work by a number of people," Heanue said. "We took our best shot at the last shot we had, and we believe we hit a home run. We've got a great service to a great hub, and now we've got to put people on the planes."

American Eagle was selected among three bids to replace Silver Airways, which currently connects passengers to Atlanta.

Silver Airways notified the Department of Transportation in April that it intended to pull out of four Mississippi markets, including Hattiesburg-Laurel, Meridian, Tupelo and Greenville, as well as Muscle Shoals, Alabama.

Silver Airways is continuing service to those areas until a replacement carrier is found and approved.

Heanue said the new flight schedules still were being coordinated, as were pricing and hooking into the American Airlines world-wide system.

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Information from: The Hattiesburg American, http://www.hattiesburgamerican.com

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