Charter Service Way Down At Local Airport

These are tough times for the nations airlines. Stunned by a sharp falloff in business travel, the airlines are cutting costs.

One airline, Northwest, recently announced it would lay off 500 employees. Some airlines are also cutting back on the number of flights to some locations. At the Gulfport Biloxi International Airport, business is off about six percent compared to this time last year.

However, its the charter business that is really hurting. That business, which predominately brings in gamblers to Coast casinos, is down almost 40-percent. Despite the signifigant dropoff the airports assistant director says there is no reason to panic. "We know the economy is going to get better, and there is disposable income out there, and people are going to travel. We have no doubt they will use our scheduled seats and fly on charters. This is only a temporary lull," says Ken Spirito.

Spirito also says Gulfport-Biloxi is in discussions with an unnamed airline, about bringing service here. By Jeff Lawson