BRIEF: Delta to suspend Marathon flights

Jul. 12--KEY WEST -- Delta Air Lines is suspending service to the Florida Keys Marathon Airport, beginning Aug. 20. When and if its service will resume is unclear.

The announcement came just five months after Delta Connection Flight 4719 landed at the tiny regional airport in February to great fanfare. It was the first commercial flight in Marathon in seven years.

Delta operated 16 flights a week, all to and from Atlanta on a 40-passenger regional jet. But ticket prices were high and many seats went unused, especially as the slow summer tourist season arrived.

"I am dismayed that the airline decided to take this action, as an entire community's well-being is interwoven to this decision," U.S. Rep. Ilena Ros-Lehtinen said in a statement.

She added she is optimistic it is only a temporary suspension and service will resume when the peak winter tourist season in the Keys begins.

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