Ozark Air slates '99 service

WASHINGTON -- A new carrier called Ozark Air Lines is taking shape in Columbia, Mo., with plans to begin 32-passenger regional jet service to Dallas and Chicago in the last quarter of this year.

Company president John Ellis said it is not affiliated with the old St. Louis-based Ozark Air Lines, other than the arrangements his company made to use the name. The old airline was merged into Carl Icahn's TWA in 1986. Ellis said the new company wanted the name for "emotional reasons."

"Ozark was very much loved in this area of the country," Ellis said. "We believe that's a name people wanted to see back in the skies."

According to papers filed at the Transportation Department, the company plans to acquire the new Dornier 328 RJ, which is still in certification.

The airline has not yet established commission levels but budgeted $639,000 in its first full year of operations for agent fees and discounts. Ozark is projecting it will pull in $7.5 million in revenue its first year. Ellis is a former Navy fighter pilot who headed an air taxi and aviation services firm in Michigan.

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