Delta pulls Columbia flights on disagreement with city

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Delta Air Lines will end flights to Columbia, Missouri, on 13 February 2013, following a disagreement with the city regarding financial incentives.

The Atlanta-based SkyTeam carrier says that it did not receive an incentive package from the city comparable to the one offered to American Airlines to offer flights to Columbia Regional airport.

Columbia provided Fort Worth-based American $3 million in revenue guarantees and other incentives over two years to fly to the airport. It will begin flights to both Chicago O'Hare and Dallas-Fort Worth in February 2013.

"The city was unable to provide us with a competitive package that levelled the playing field with the competing airlines in the market," says Delta.

Delta flies to both Atlanta and Memphis from Columbia, though it will transition to an all-Atlanta schedule before the end of the year.

The carrier has flown to the city for four years and upgraded flights to 50-seat regional jets from smaller turboprops in 2010.

Frontier Airlines will begin flights between Columbia and Orlando this month.