Show off your holiday lights and you could win an iPad! Enter your photo by December 13. Winner will be selected by popular vote.
A lack of passengers has forced the airline to re-evaluate the viability of a weekday flight from Roanoke Regional Airport.
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Delta Air Lines has warned it could discontinue its nonstop weekday flight to New York unless Roanoke-region air travelers use it to a greater degree, a Roanoke Regional Airport spokeswoman said Monday.
The 50-seat plane is averaging 18 riders each trip, according to airport spokeswoman Sherry Wallace, who said Delta needs 25 passengers.
Wallace predicted Delta will keep its options open until the fall, perhaps October. “If it discontinues, it will discontinue in January,” she predicted.
Delta spokeswoman Sarah Lora said late Monday afternoon it was too late in the day for her to reach company officials familiar with the situation.
Delta began offering nonstop service between Roanoke and New York last summer after US Airways ended its Roanoke-New York service consisting of three daily nonstop flights in connection with a slot swap at LaGuardia Airport.
Now the service is in jeopardy.
Wallace said Delta called Roanoke airport officials with its concern a couple of weeks ago. That’s a good sign to Wallace, who said it shows Delta believes Roanoke is “a good market” and wants the New York service to survive. Delta’s longer-established flights between Roanoke and Detroit and its hometown of Atlanta are meeting expectations, Wallace said.
Wallace offered a quick primer on airline economics to explain what’s probably happening at Delta. Wallace said airlines monitor their slots at major airport terminals such as New York in terms of traffic from outlying communities such as Roanoke that they generate. When the traffic from one community lags, airline officials may cancel that service and start or expand service in another community expected to generate more traffic and profit, she said.
When US Airways first revealed it would discontinue its Roanoke-New York service, it drew reactions of concern in and around Roanoke, especially from business travelers.
In fall 2011, U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Roanoke County, announced that he had talked to Delta and that Delta had agreed to maintain the service. In addition, Delta flies a jet, while US Airways used a turboprop.
A check of ticket prices Monday for flights in September and October showed a typical fare of nearly $450.
Weather JournalPossible scrape with snow Tues