Friday, October 19, 2012
Delta Airlines is considering leaving Mid-Missouri as Columbia considers approving a minimum revenue guarantee agreement with American Airlines.
Delta, which has served the Columbia Regional Airport since 2008, is unhappy with economic incentives offered to American Airlines to attract service, citing an imbalance that does not help to create a level playing field.
The airline sent a letter to the city of Columbia stating their displeasure at the agreement with American Airlines, calling it “unacceptable.” Without offering the airline similar economic incentives, Delta may leave the market, the letter states.
Columbia city officials are poised to meet with representatives from Delta Airlines next week, said City Manager Mike Matthes, and he hopes to reach an equitable agreement, though he said it was too early to have any details on what that might be.
Earlier this month, Columbia announced a deal had been reached with American Airlines for service to Chicago and Dallas/Fort Worth. The deal was made possible through a two-year, $3 million minimum revenue guarantee, which protects the airline from any potential losses. Jefferson City and Cole County both contributed $100,000 to the minimum revenue guarantee fund.