Southern Airways Express has announced it is acquiring Air Choice One (St. Louis):
Southern Airways Express, one of the largest commuter airlines in America, has acquired St. Louis-based Air Choice One (Multi-Aero, Inc.). The move will strengthen the Essential Air Service offerings to the marketplace on the heels of the recent announcements of regional airline SkyWest and commuter airline Boutique’s intention to terminate service to at least 31 cities in the program.
Air Choice One (Multi-Aero, Inc. dba) (St. Louis) has been awarded a two-year Essential Air Service (EAS) contract to provide scheduled passenger airline service for Ironwood, Michigan. The regional carrier will operate Cessna 208B Grand Caravan aircraft (above) to Chicago (O’Hare) effective on June 1, 2014. The contract expires on May 31, 2016. Air Choice One also operates Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain aircraft. The company started scheduled airline service in 2010 with service to Decatur, Illinois and Burlington, Iowa.
The company issued this statement:
The Department of Transportation (DOT) awarded a 2 year EAS contract to St. Louis based airline, Air Choice One. Air Choice One is pleased with the decision and is excited to be expanding their service area further North. Ironwood, MI has been without air service since February 2014. Air Choice One will begin service out of the Gogebic-Iron County Airport in early Summer 2014. The area’s new air carrier is also introducing a new hub to the citizens of Ironwood, Chicago O’Hare International Airport. Chicago O’Hare is the 5th largest international airport in the United States and the Company hopes the change will drive new tourism North toward Ironwood given the seamless connection.
The air carrier already has established EAS contracts in Burlington IA, Decatur IL, and Jonesboro AR, and operates a second hub at St. Louis International Airport. Ironwood’s commercial air service will be provided on the Cessna Grand Caravan, a top of the line turbine powered aircraft which offers plush leather seating and spacious leg room. Collectively, Air Choice One has grown their EAS cities 519%+ (from FY 09/10 – FY 12/13) and continues to seek opportunities to expand their air service throughout the Midwest.
Shane Storz, Air Choice One CEO, commented “We are extremely pleased to add Ironwood to our growing route system. We are hopeful that with our new hub service to Chicago, the community of Ironwood will once again come on out and support their local airport. We want to thank all of those throughout the community that have supported our effort to restore a first class connection to a great airport in Chicago. “
Air Choice One was founded in 1979 and is a family owned and operated organization.
The company describes itself this way:
Air Choice One was established and incubated as a “next generation” scheduled commuter airline by Multi-Aero, Inc., a St. Louis, MO-based aviation company. The vision for Air Choice One was to break from the classic commuter stereotype and offer the comfort and convenience of “First-Class” to all travelers. We deliver on that vision through our reliable aircraft, community-specific flight scheduling, and executive style cabins — all supported by our highly skilled team of flight operations and maintenance experts, who bring a combined resource of more than 60 years service to the industry.
Air Choice One was launched as a scheduled airline providing service to hard-to-reach communities. Our offering is predicated on providing increased flexibility of air travel at reduced fares. We support community development by increasing business productivity, as well as, enhancing the travel experience for business and leisure travelers alike.
Air Choice One offers an extraordinary opportunity for smaller communities — the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of efficient, scheduled airline service into larger cities, like St. Louis and Chicago, packaged in a “First-Class” service and seating format. Our goal is to deliver the highest quality and reliability in scheduled commercial air service.