Airline seeks to drop Columbia flights

Tuesday, January 22, 2008 | 5:51 p.m. CST; updated 8:17 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Air Midwest intends to discontinue airline service between Kansas City and Columbia Regional Airport as of April 20, City Manager Bill Watkins said in a Tuesday evening news release.

The city and the U.S. Department of Transportation have a two-year agreement with Air Midwest to provide essential air service through October. Watkins said that the city has 20 days to file an objection to Air Midwest's notice and that it fully intends to do so.

Mesa Air began providing round-trip flights from Columbia to St. Louis and Kansas City on Oct. 5, 2006. This past summer, it eliminated flights to St. Louis and instead doubled its number of flights to Kansas City.

Watkins said several other cities, including some in Missouri, have received similar notices from Mesa Air that it intends to eliminate service. He said he expects the federal transportation department to enforce its agreement.

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