Mayor Details Efforts to Save Delta Flights

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COLUMBIA - Mayor Bob McDavid outlined plans Tuesday to keep Delta Airlines service to Columbia Regional Airport--plans the airline rejected.  The airline will end service to Columbia next February just as American Airlines begins its flights to Chicago and Dallas.  Currently, Delta flies to Memphis and Atlanta non-stop from Columbia. But the airline was unhappy with guarantees put in place to secure the American service.

McDavid told reporters the city asked Delta to run two daily departures to Atlanta.  In return, McDavid said the city offered to make a $3 million revenue guarantee for those flights, spread over two years. The city also offered to waive landing fees for the length of the agreement.

Visibly unhappy, McDavid called Delta officials "blunt" and said the airline's action validates the city's efforts to secure more air carriers.