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Category: Business

Memphis International Airport Lands New Flights

American Airlines/US Airways and United Airlines are adding new daily flights at Memphis International Airport this month.

United is adding a daily flight to Denver and American Airlines/US Airways will add an additional daily flight to Chicago and Dallas.

“We are excited that more options are available to our passengers looking to travel to Chicago, Dallas, and Denver,” said Scott Brockman, president and CEO of the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority.

Including the new flights, the peak monthly flight total  in Memphis in May is 93, up from 86 in February. The new flights bring 863 more available seats for Memphis passengers. Since Delta Airlines dropped Memphis as a hub, every other airline at Memphis International has increased its number of flight options and the Airport Authority said more additions will take place in June.

“We’ve increased our available seats by 12 percent since February, and we will continue our relentless pursuit of frequent and affordable air service,” said Brockman.

 

 

Phil Trenary and the Greater Memphis Chamber

Phil Trenary has been named the new president and CEO of the Greater Memphis Chamber.

Trenary is the second leader of the economic development agency in a row to come from the aviation industry. Trenary, the former president and CEO of Pinnacle Airlines, is taking over from former Northwest Airlines executive John Moore, who retired in January. And the previous chairman of the Chamber’s Board of Directors was former Memphis and Shelby County Authority president and CEO Larry Cox.

Though the Chamber hired the Centre Group to conduct a national search for Moore’s replacement, the Chamber Board’s executive committee selected Trenary, at least in part, because of his established roots in economic and community development circles.

City Councilman Harold Collins, who privately urged Trenary to stay in Memphis and consider the leadership position at the Chamber, applauded the selection.

“I always thought (Trenary) would be an excellent choice because he already knows the lay off the land in Memphis having spent a considerable amount of time leading Pinnacle and being a good corporate citizen in Memphis,” said Collins. “I think (Trenary) being named the new president and CEO makes it a seamless transition.”

Trenary takes the reigns of the organization as it seeks to loosen poverty’s grip on the Memphis area through job creation and retention efforts, which include an increased focus on early childhood education and local politics. Currently, the Chamber is urging the city to switch to a 401(k) retirement system instead of relying on its traditional pension program, which is severely underfunded.

Trenary said this week he has been impressed with the coordinated commitment local stakeholders – from individuals to neighborhood organizations, community groups and companies – have shown toward moving Memphis forward. Trenary also said he was particularly excited  by the prospect of a new generation of Memphians getting involved.

“The young people understand that something is happening here and we have to understand and embrace that and if we do we’ll be off to the races,” Trenary said.

Trenary, 59, lives Downtown with his wife, Bridget and their children, Justin, Brittney and Pearce.

Mural planned for underpass on Cooper Street

Volunteers and Memphis College of Art students hope  to liven up the underpass on Cooper Street at Peabody Park with a vibrant mural.

A group led by Betsy Robinson has launched a fundraising campaign on ioby to raise the $1,655 needed to bring the mural to life. The group has raised $750 so far and says work on the mural, which would be located on the railroad underpass on Cooper between Higbee Avenue and Central Avenue, could begin June 1 and be completed by August 1.

“So many people drive under this forgotten trestle on a daily basis,” the group stated in its fundraising announcement.  “It is dark and dingy, yet it is in the center of a great neighborhood.  By painting a colorful mural the aesthetics and esteem of the neighborhood and its members will be increased.”

Projects like the proposed mural, while they may seem like minor improvements in the grand scheme of things, can have a profound impact. In 2001, the Cooper-Young Historic District trestle, which hovers over Cooper near Central, was dedicated. The 150-foot long steel sculpture depicting homes and businesses  in the neighborhood has since served as the  “front door” to Cooper-Young.

Speaking of Cooper-Young, the place is booming.

The Cooper Young Business Association says activity in the neighborhood is at an all-time high, with 187 businesses, including 16 that have opened since January, operating in the area. The business association recently hung 26 banners, featuring images of Cooper-Young business owners and patrons, on street poles in the area, launched a new logo for the neighborhood and made improvements to the gazebo area at the intersection of Cooper and Young Avenue.

 

 

 

University District Neighborhood Summit On Tap

With all the efforts taking place in the neighborhoods surrounding the University of Memphis officials thought it was a good time to have a public meeting to get everything on the table.

The public is invited to attend a University District Neighborhood Summit Saturday, March 22, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at St. Luke’s Church, located at 480 S. Highland St. Residents and community leaders will discuss activities, development and safety within the University District area. If an update on all the activity in the neighborhood isn’t enough to get you to attend the meeting, organizers will be providing lunch at the event.

Memphis City Council members Jim Strickland and Wanda Halbert and Shelby County Commissioner Steve Mulroy will join the discussion. There will be presentations from Shelby County Trustee David Lenoir and from the Memphis Area Association of Governments on Greenprint partnerships.

After the main program, there will be a 30-minute training session on Memphis 311 services.

The University District represents businesses, residents and organizations in seven neighborhoods surrounding the University of Memphis: East Buntyn, Joffre, Messick-Buntyn, Normal Station, Red Acres, Sherwood Forest and University North.

RSVP to Leah Dawkins at lmdwkins@memphis.edu.

On a related note, here’s the latest from our Bill Dries on the search for a new University of Memphis president.

More on the return of Frontier Airlines

Frontier Airlines made its return to Memphis Friday. Check our homepage for a full rundown of the events. You also can check out some videos from the event on my Twitter page or Vine feed.

Each of Frontier’s 56 planes has one of the airline’s animal mascots painted on the tail. The flight that landed in Memphis Friday featured “Hector” the otter, whose hobby is “taking siestas. Lots of them.” You can learn more about Frontier’s animal mascots here.  Make sure that you bookmark Frontier’s website and follow the airline on Twitter.

Memphis International Airport officials were giddy over Frontier’s return, and for good reason. Memphis International is in a transition period, moving away from a hub airport dominated by Delta Airlines to one focused on origin and destination traffic and increased competition. Since Delta pulled the plug on the hub the number of flights at Memphis International have dropped dramatically.

The changes at Memphis International prompted a $114 million concourse modernization plan, which was highlighted when the Frontier jet from Denver arrived here in Memphis.

The Frontier flight arrived at Gate C7, one of the roughly 20 – 25 gates slated to be razed under the plan. The Frontier flight landed a little earlier than its scheduled 1:30 p.m. arrival time but had to wait to pull up to the gate because of a Delta plane that was departing. There was only one lane for both planes, a situation Memphis and Shelby County Airport Authority president and CEO Scott Brockman said would be eliminated by the modernization plan.

“When people ask why we’re pursuing this plan, you just saw why,” said Brockman.

Dansette

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