Delta Air Lines will eliminate one of its two daily flights from Bangor International Airport to Cincinnati beginning Jan. 4, an airline official confirmed Monday.
Delta flies from BIA to Cincinnati at 5:30 a.m. and 5:40 p.m. daily, but the morning flight will stop after the January deadline, according to Susan Elliott, a Delta spokeswoman. A few morning flights will continue on Saturdays through February, she said.
Delta decided to discontinue the service after reviewing the route's customer demand and fuel prices, Elliott said.
"The airport is certainly disappointed and frustrated with this decision to eliminate one of the flights to Cincinnati because it is a traditionally popular flight with high load factors," said BIA Director Rebecca Hupp.
Delta currently has nine daily flights departing BIA - six headed to Boston, two to Cincinnati and one to Atlanta. The airline is BIA's largest carrier, flying 42 percent of the airport's passengers, according to the October passenger report.
The early morning flights are popular with business travelers and the Cincinnati route offers great connections to the West, Hupp said. She said airport officials were surprised that the morning route was the one canceled.
Bangor's location is a challenge, and will continue to be a problem as fuel prices rise, Hupp said. Airlines can centralize fleets in the U.S., spend less on fuel and pull a higher yield.
BIA has experienced a 5 percent passenger reduction this year, when compared to 2006. By the end of October, 272,725 passengers had used the airport in 2007, compared to 286,956 in 2006.
"Our decrease in capacity is a reflection of the evolving airline industry and a reflection of airlines trying to reduce costs and maximize yield," Hupp said.