Buzz Airways Arrives at Branson Airport

HOLLISTER, Mo. -- A company that cut it's teeth flying sports teams and actors, is now flying the general public in and out of the Branson Airport.

With it’s inaugural flight into Taney County, Buzz Airways has officially started to fill the void left by Southwest Airlines.

"The people were just very accommodating, very nice, just an all around good flight," says Tom Looman. 

The flyer says the ride on the turboprop plane was smooth sailing, but Maureen Kelly, says she had some concerns before getting on the plane.

"Initially (because) I'm not used to flying on a small plane," said Kelly after arriving at the Branson Airport, "They were very reassuring and a lot of fun." 

 When asked if she would use Buzz Airways again Kelly said, "Absolutely, it's a good experience."

Buzz Airways Chief Commercial Officer, Matt Chaifetz, says he sees the smaller size as a selling point.

"We have no middle seats, 30 leather seats, it's easy to board, it takes about five minutes," says Chaifetz, "You'll get your bags faster coming off the plane."

"They've been providing this service to actors and collegiate and professional sports teams for over 31 years," says Branson Airport Executive Director, Jeff Bourk.

Bourk says flight times will coincide with connections in Houston and Chicago, with the only off day for flights being on Wednesday.

"The aircraft has an excellent safety rating and performance record, " says the Branson Airport Executive Director.

Tickets start at $99  - one way - plus the cost of luggage.

"These aircraft operate at a lower cost than a jet aircraft, they're (almost) just as fast," says Bourk referring to the travel time of a jet plane.

Flights are scheduled through September 2, 2014.

If demand is high enough, Buzz Airways has said it would consider running flights though the winter months.

"We think that our communities and our destinations should understand that turbo-props are a benefit to them," says Matt Chaifetz, "It allows us to serve their community in an economical way."

Branson Airport Executive Director Jeff Bourk says there is the possibility of flight gap after Frontier Airlines stops running in the closing months of 2014.

However, he says with more than 300,000 people coming through the gates in Branson, in the last 12 months, he hopes the demand will help pull in a Major Airline sometime in 2015.

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