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Delta Ends Cincinnati Flights From Akron-Canton, Adds Atlanta

July 9, 2008

By Jim Mackinnon, The Akron Beacon Journal, Ohio

Jul. 9–Delta Air Lines has canceled its two daily flights from Akron-Canton Airport to Cincinnati effective today, while adding a seventh daily flight to Atlanta.

DeltaConnections had been flying two 40-seat regional jets to the southern Ohio city.

“It’s not great news, but it’s nowhere near catastrophic,” said Kristie VanAuken, the airport’s director of marketing and communications.

Delta and other airlines are being battered by rising fuel prices and the slowing economy and are trying to cope by reducing schedules and eliminating unprofitable flights. Delta on Tuesday announced that it was discontinuing its passenger service altogether at Toledo Express Airport as of Sept. 1; Continental plans to stop passenger service in Toledo on Sept. 3.

In May, Southern Skyways announced it had canceled a planned seasonal nonstop service between Akron-Canton Airport and Myrtle Beach, S.C., because of high fuel prices.

Not many local people were using Akron-Canton Airport to fly to and stay in Cincinnati, VanAuken said. It typically makes a lot more sense for Ohio residents to drive to the state’s metro areas instead of flying, she said.

Delta’s changes means Akron-Canton Airport will lose a total of 30 seats a day out of 3,500 daily, VanAuken said.

“We’re feeling less pain than others,” she said.

AirTran starting in August will add a third flight to LaGuardia Airport in New York City, she said.

USAirways recently added a second flight to Philadelphia as well as a fifth seasonal flight to Charlotte; and Frontier Airlines has added a second seasonal flight to Denver, she said.

Akron-Canton Airport reported a 5.5 percent increase in passenger traffic in May compared to the previous year, and it likely will have strong June numbers as well, VanAuken said.

“In the scheme of things, we’re hanging in there,” she said.

Jim Mackinnon can be reached at 330-996-3544 or jmackinnon@thebeaconjournal.com.

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Copyright (c) 2008, The Akron Beacon Journal, Ohio

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