Slow ticket sales ground new TCRA-to-Myrtle Beach flights

Hank Hayes • Mar 14, 2008 at 12:00 AM

BLOUNTVILLE — Slow ticket sales have caused planned nonstop air service from Tri-Cities Regional Airport to Myrtle Beach, S.C., to be canceled, TCRA announced Thursday.

With fuel prices rising, regional carrier Southern Skyways apparently didn’t think it could fill up planes with sufficient loads to turn a profit.

The new low-fare service, offered on the Internet through the airline’s Web site at $59 each way, was scheduled to begin Memorial Day weekend.

Southern Skyways is expected on Monday to begin processing refunds for customers who have purchased tickets.

Myrtle Beach is within a day’s driving distance from the Tri-Cities, and the airline thought it could snare enough tourists who didn’t want to make the drive.

“We have had this summer program on sale since the first of the year, and the response has been below expectations,” said Cary Evans, the airline’s executive vice president. “We assume the proximity to Myrtle Beach makes it more attractive for families to drive instead of flying to the destination.”

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