Northwest affiliate to add jet service to Tulsa

Tuesday, June 13th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- More jets will be taking off from Tulsa International Airport as another air carrier makes the switch from turboprops.

Northwest Airlink, the regional airline partner o fMinnesota-based Northwest Airlines, will offer four round-trip jet flights per day from Tulsa to Memphis, Tenn., beginning Aug. 28.

Monday's announcement followed a similar upgrade announced earlier this month by Atlantic Coast Airlines, a United Airlines affiliate.

Atlantic Coast said it would begin three round-trip regional jet flights a day from Tulsa to Chicago O'Hare International Airport on Aug. 1. A fourth daily round-trip flight will be added Sept. 6.

Customers helped Northwest Airlink make the change, spokesman Philip Reed said.

"Load factors (the percentage of seats filled) on our existing service at Tulsa have continuously surpassed 80 percent, indicating that demand frequently exceeds capacity," he said.

Northwest Airlink's new service on 50-passenger Canadair regional jets will cut the travel time between Tulsa and Memphis by 20 minutes. Passengers can expect a quieter, smoother ride than aboard the 33-seat Saab 340, Reed said.

Airport Director Brent Kitchen believes the announcements are the start of trend. American Eagle, the commuter airline partner of American Airlines, also plans regional jet service to Chicago, he said.

"We have three of five regional airlines that by the end of summer will be upgrading to regional jets," Kitchen said.