Two Illinois Cities Wary of Fare Fight; Fear Loss of AirTran as Delta Enters Fray

Airport officials at the Quad City International Airport in Moline and Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington say the new service by Atlanta-based Delta is the start of a fare war that ultimately could leave the communities with less service.


"Everybody is generally trying to be reasonable," Fornaro said of the airline industry. "But these guys are last in line and late to the party right now."

At stake in the battle is more than service to Atlanta, said industry analyst Robert Mann. Both carriers are trying to maximize service to their hubs and, ultimately, the destinations beyond. Delta may be in bankruptcy, but it still has the heft and array of destinations to draw passengers, he said.

"There's probably a limit to how long AirTran will stick around if it gets ugly," Mann said. "Delta has gotten far more aggressive in the lengths it's willing to go to, to arrest the growth of AirTran."

mskertic@tribune.com

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