Florence airport looking at options after Delta loss

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - Florence Regional Airport Executive Director says they're developing a team and a plan to approach Delta, and other airlines to fill a void in service.

Delta announced in January, they would stop service to the Florence Airport. Delta says poor performance in the market, and their plans to phase out smaller aircraft were the reasons for the change.

From a news release the company said, "Two of the three daily flights are operated with 34-seat Saab 340 turboprop aircraft, which are being phased out of Delta's fleet. A third daily flight was operated with a 50-seat CRJ-200 regional jet, approximately 50 of which are being retired through 2012."

Florence Regional Airport Executive Director, Hartsell Rogers says he didn't expect the announcement because flights leaving Florence are full.

"You can see our numbers have been good, they've been extraordinary since 2006 in fact the delta enplanements have more than doubled," said Rogers. "In our case the planes are full."

Delta also is cutting service to 3 other markets, including Hilton Head in South Carolina.

Rogers says he wants to meet with Detla to see if there is any way to get Delta to reconsider. He says if that option doesn't work he'll seek other options, including working to U.S. Airways, the only other airline in the airport, to expand service or even recruit a new airline all together.

"I wouldn't even rule out a US Airways flight to Atlanta," Rogers added. "We'll just have to see what's best for the airport and see what's best for our customers."

The news release says that Delta will work with customers who've already bought tickets to give them refunds, or find different transportation.

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