A Florida-based airline has announced that it is pulling out of the Macon market before its planned flights from the central Georgia city to Atlanta's airport had started.
Fort Lauderdale-based Sun Air International told Georgia transportation officials that challenges with pilot recruiting and training and establishing maintenance bases contributed to its decision.
GeorgiaSkies, which now flies the route, said last year it wanted out of the market.
The route is one of several nationwide subsidized by the federal Essential Air Service program. At one point the subsidies amounted to $464 per passenger on the 80-mile Atlanta-Macon flights, which often took off nearly empty.
Given Sun Air's withdrawal, the DOT plans to solicit a new carrier. GeorgiaSkies will continue the flights until a replacement is found.