Columbia Sorting Out Details with Delta Air Lines

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COLUMBIA - City officials spoke with Delta Air Line representatives in a conference call Wednesday, hoping to smooth over issues with the airline since the city offered incentives to American Airlines to begin service to the city.

The meeting was closed door, but Columbia city manager Mike Matthes said, "We are better informed about their concerns, we were able to explore to some length. A now we will go to our separate corners and work on what we can do."

 Matthes said although Columbia and Delta didn't come to an agreement, it was good news that the two are still talking.

The city offered American Airlines a $3 million guarantee if the airline didn't make enough money to meet its costs flying to Columbia Regional Airport.

Currently, Delta is the only company to fly out of the airport. Frontier Airlines will begin twice-weekly flights to Orlando next month. Matthes said Delta was angered it wasn't offered similar incentives. 

Delta's spokesperson Anthony Black said, "Bottom line we need a package that is going to be comparable and competitive with American."

Black also said the airline will continue to service Columbia and is glad the city is working with it to level out the playing field.

City officials and Delta representatives plan to speak again next week in another conference call to continue working on a compromise.