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Silver Airways to discontinue Macon service

Silver Airways plans to discontinue its flights to Macon, saying traffic has fallen far short of its forecasts.

The Fort Lauderdale-based carrier told the U.S. Department of Transportation it wants to discontinue its federally-subsidized flights from Macon to Atlanta and Orlando effective Nov. 5.

The carrier earlier this year said it was discontinuing most of its flights from Atlanta, but planned to continue some flights including the Macon service.

Yet in a filing to the DOT this week, Silver said it has suffered from a pilot shortage affecting regional carriers and that its traffic in Atlanta has been 47 percent lower than its forecasts.

Meanwhile, as the DOT moves to terminate Macon’s eligibility for the federal Essential Air Service subsidy program, Macon’s Middle Georgia Regional Airport has filed a petition asking to remain in the program. Airline service at Macon has been troubled for years, with Silver just the latest carrier to pull out.