Pan Am announces new service at Tunica Airport

At a press conference Tuesday morning at Tunica Airport, officials announced that Pan Am will soon start direct flights from Tunica to Atlanta.

Webster Franklin, President of the Tunica Convention and Visitor's Bureau, said the county has come a long way in the past decade.

"In 1994 we didn't have one stretch of four lane highway anywhere in Tunica County, Mississippi," he said. "Today, we're landing 727's."

Right now, the airport only serves private planes and chartered flights, hired mostly by Tunica's nine casinos. Pan Am is the first commercial carrier to have regularly scheduled flights out of Tunica.

Officials expect about half the passengers to be casino visitors.

Along with the new schedule, The Tunica Convention and Visitor's Bureau is kicking off a million dollar campaign to lure even more people from the Atlanta area.

"We're trying to build a brand here in Tunica," Webster said. "A brand of a lot of fun and excitement for people to come here and stay three or four days and then go home, and then tell their friends about it and come back."

Pan Am will start with three flights a week, but the number of flights and destinations could grow in the future.