Delta Air Lines has sent a letter to Wichita city officials offering to add a daily, nonstop flight to Orlando in exchange for the same $2.5 million subsidy that AirTran Airways receives.
Delta alleges that giving only AirTran the subsidies is economic discrimination. The Federal Aviation Administration is challenging the city's support of AirTran.
Mayor Carlos Mayans says Delta's letter didn't say whether the company would drop its complaint if it got a subsidy.
"I just sent an e-mail to the manager and the council that we probably need to have... an executive session to discuss that letter to see what our response should be," Mayans says. "It's interesting."
But Mayans says the city has a one-year contract with AirTran and can't break it. Next year, though, is a new ball game.
During a visit with AirTran, Mayans says he explained what he expected from the airline.
"I made sure that (they understood) that we want them to actually build a network out of here," Mayans says. "We had a real frank discussion. They didn't disagree with me."
After more than a week of silence, AirTran Airways called Delta Air Lines' claim that Wichita's subsidy to AirTran amounts to economic discrimination "bullying tactics."
The city is not interested in giving Delta Air Lines the same $2.5 million subsidy it gives a competing airline, despite Delta's offer to add daily nonstop flights to Orlando, Fla.
The Wichita City Council on Tuesday approved a $2.5 million public subsidy for AirTran Airways despite complaints of economic discrimination from a rival airline and the Federal Aviation...
The city of Wichita would probably have "no problem" subsidizing AirTran Airways if a separate airport authority were still running Wichita Mid-Continent Airport, a Federal Aviation Administration...