First Flight from Columbia to Atlanta to Begin

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COLUMBIA - The first direct flights from Columbia Regional Airport to Atlanta begin Thursday morning. Delta will offer one nonstop flight to Atlanta every day, leaving Columbia at 10:10 a.m. and returning from Atlanta at 4:15 p.m.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world, with more than 200 destinations in 60 countries. Passengers from mid-Missouri will be able to connect to international flights from Columbia without traveling to St. Louis or Kansas City.

Until Thursday, Columbia Regional Airport offered three daily flights to Memphis. The new schedule eliminates the midday flight to Memphis, replacing it with the Atlanta trip. The other two flights to Memphis remain unchanged.

The Columbia Chamber of Commerce will host two events on Thursday to celebrate the new service. Chamber members will send off passengers at 9 a.m., and greet the first flight from Atlanta when it lands at 4:15 p.m. Speakers at the inaugural celebration includes Columbia Mayor Bob McDavid, MU Vice Chancellor Jackie Jones and Columbia Chamber of Commerce Chair Vicki Russell.