COLUMBIA — Delta Air Lines has rejected an offer from the city for a revenue guarantee in exchange for continuing its service between Columbia and Atlanta, Mayor Bob McDavid announced at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.
The airline will decrease the frequency of its flights between Columbia Regional Airport and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to one flight a day for the first two weeks of February. After that, the flights will end, McDavid said.
"I'm disappointed they declined our revenue guarantee," McDavid said. "I was shocked by their bluntness."
The city sent Delta an offer of a $3 million guarantee spread over two years starting in 2014, a waiver of landing fees and an unspecified "advertising component." As part of the offer, Delta would have continued running twice-daily flights between Columbia and Atlanta, and would have used larger planes than it does now.
The airline turned down the offer in a phone call this morning, City Manager Mike Matthes said.
Neither the city nor local organizations had made pledges to the $3 million revenue guarantee offered to Delta, Matthes said. The offer was a goal that the city would have tried to arrange, he said.
McDavid expressed hope that the city and Delta could reach a new deal in the future.
"That $3 million remains a standing offer," he said. "We will continue to seek new destinations."
Supervising editor is Elizabeth Brixey.