Norhtwest Still Flying In Hub City

Northwest Airlink will continue passenger service out of the Hattiesburg-Laurel Regional Airport until Jan. 15 while they await a decision on a federal subsidy. Originally the airline notified the U.S. Department of Transportation that service to the Hattiesburg-Laurel area would be suspended next Tuesday unless the subsidy was approved. Northwest said the flights from Hattiesburg-Laurel to Memphis, Tenn., have lost money.

``We wanted to provide the community with service through the holiday period,'' said Kurt Ebenhoch, a spokesman for the airline. David Senne, executive director of the airport, said he had been expecting the extension. ``That should be enough time to get a final answer on subsidies,'' Senne said. Federal transportation officials are waiting for the approval of $57 million in subsidy money to help one-carrier airports such as Hattiesburg-Laurel keep air service.

Many more airlines have asked for subsidies since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.