Pierre officials unhappy with Delta service cutPIERRE (AP) — Officials in South Dakota's capital are unhappy that Delta Airlines is providing only one flight a day to Minneapolis rather than two flights, the level of service before the airline announced it was pulling out of Pierre.
PIERRE (AP) — Officials in South Dakota's capital are unhappy that Delta Airlines is providing only one flight a day to Minneapolis rather than two flights, the level of service before the airline announced it was pulling out of Pierre.
Mayor Laurie Gill sent a letter to the federal Department of Transportation Department earlier this month expressing disappointment with the reduction and the single flight's 11 a.m. departure time, which she said negatively affects travelers needing to make connections beyond Minneapolis.
"While our community appreciates the service Delta will provide after Nov. 20, we must note that only one daily flight has been scheduled and the timing of the flight is far from optimal," she wrote.
Delta planned to cut its Pierre-Minneapolis route on Nov. 20 because of a drop in passengers, but the DOT ordered the airline to continue service through Jan. 15 while the city seeks a new carrier.
Delta said in a statement to the Capital Journal that "Delta remains in contact with the DOT and is currently providing jet service with nearly the same capacity compared to (the) previous service level."
Kristin Baur, a spokeswoman for the airline, said the DOT will give Delta a subsidy for the mandated 60-day extension of service. Transportation spokesman Bill Mosley said the agency has not determined what compensation Delta will receive.
The department also has not decided on Pierre's request that Delta be forced to provide service until a new carrier is found. Mosley said officials hope to reach a decision before the 60-day window ends.