When the first direct flight between New Orleans and Little Rock takes off Sunday morning for GLO Airlines, the father and step-mom of founder and CEO Trey Fayard will be on board the startup company’s inaugural flight.
“And I made them pay for their tickets,” laughed Fayard. “This is not community service. I’m building an airline business here.”
Sold out Flight 102 is scheduled to arrive in Clinton National Airport at 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 15. Flight 103 returns to New Orleans Louis Armstrong International around 6 p.m.
“It’s thrilling that this is really happening,” said Fayard. “When I started this project [what he euphemistically calls his fledgling airline] five years ago, I’m not sure many people thought it was a great idea.But we’re really doing it.”
GLO will begin round-trip, nonstop air service from New Orleans to Memphis International Airport on Nov. 29 and to Shreveport Regional Airport on Dec. 14.
Fayard attributes the opening in the market for direct service around the Mid-South to consolidation of the major airlines and the hub system that they use for flight management. It’s far more cost effective he says for big carriers to utilize economies of scale by using larger planes to aggregate passengers through hub airports than offer more direct flights smaller cities.
“The hub system creates a problem of sorts for secondary and tertiary cities, and for those airports, options are only going to get more limited through major carriers. But it also gives an opportunity for smaller companies like this one.”
GLO is hoping its twice weekday flight schedule between New Orleans and Little Rock will attract business clients who can now get to The Big Easy for a day trip, something connecting flight options don’t really allow currently.
On-board service inside the 30-passenger Saab 340B aircraft GLO will operate will include complimentary beverages and snacks, with New Orleans’ local favorites such as PJ’s Coffee and Evamor Water.