Aug. 05--Delta Air Lines will add flights between Toledo Express Airport and Minneapolis-St. Paul on Nov. 1 but will discontinue flights between the local airport and Detroit, the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority said yesterday.
The announcement said the Minneapolis service, twice per day using 50-seat regional jets, will provide new one-stop service between Toledo and 40 cities, mostly in the western United States and Canada.
But the end of flights to Detroit will force travelers for whom that airport provides better service, such as to East Coast destinations, to drive there rather than take a connecting flight. It also will result in a net reduction of seating capacity on flights out of Toledo, continuing a long-term decline.
"We focus on air passenger service development every day at Toledo Express. The Minneapolis-St. Paul market is one that we have targeted for some time now and we are pleased to be able to offer this option to our community," said Paul Toth, the port authority's president. "The success of service to this destination depends on community support."
The port authority's statement remarked that the flights to Detroit Metropolitan-Wayne County Airport long had struggled with freeway competition. During June, for example, the Delta Connection flights to and from Detroit flew at slightly less than half-full.
The Minneapolis-St. Paul service, also to be flown by a Delta Connection carrier, will offer a combined 100 seats per day in each direction. The current four daily round trips between Toledo and Detroit use a mix of 50-seat and 34-seat aircraft for a combined 152 seats per day in each direction. The switch to Minneapolis-St. Paul will leave Toledo Express with just five daily departures to traditional hub airports -- the two on the new route plus three per day on American Eagle to Chicago. It also has flights several times per week on three tourist routes to Florida, including seasonal service to Punta Gorda, Fla., on DirectAir that is scheduled to resume Nov. 19.
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