ATHENS, Ga. -- Federal officials have awarded a two-year subsidy to Oregon-based SeaPort Airlines to provide passenger flights from Athens to Nashville, Tenn.

U.S. Department of Transportation officials announced the decision to award the money from the Essential Air Service program, which is designed to help small communities provide air service.

The Athens Banner-Herald reportsthat previous subsidies granted for Athens' airport provided service to Charlotte and Atlanta.

Under the new arrangement, plans call for SeaPort to offer a dozen weekly round trips between Athens-Ben Epps Airport and Nashville International Airport

The airline began in 1982 as Wings of Alaska.

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