A Florida-based commuter airline will base its recently-hatched New England operations at New Bedford Regional Airport and extend its daily flights from New Bedford to Nantucket throughout the fall and winter.

Basing includes aircraft maintenance, fueling, storage, crew basing and additional jobs at the airport, according to a media release from the office of Mayor Jon Mitchell. The regional airport is city-owned.

Southern Airways Express launched its service to Nantucket from New Bedford on Aug. 26. Its initial plan was to run the daily flights through Oct. 12. But the airline says the market response has been strong.

"In line with that, we have decided to extend our service through this winter," said chief commercial officer Michael Cestari. "We are hopeful that this will allow us to further expand here in the future."

"Southern Airways Express is a welcomed addition to our growing airport," said airport director Scott Servis. "We encourage the public to take advantage of the commercial service options that the New Bedford REgional Airport has to offer."

Southern's new schedule, effective Oct. 14, provides for an early morning departure from New Bedford to Nantucket with a late afternoon return. It will run Monday through Friday, "perfectly timed for business travelers, tradesmen, and day-trippers to Nantucket," the release said. Tickets may be purchased at iFlySouthern.com.

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