DAYTON — Pressure rose Wednesday on Delta Airlines to honor an earlier plan to provide direct air service from Dayton International Airport to New York LaGuardia Airport with a protest from the local Chamber of Commerce and objections from Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio.
As things stand now, direct service to LaGuardia from Dayton ends July 12 when the last flight by U.S. Airways departs.
The Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce protested the LaGuardia move with a message asking members to contact Delta.
“Dayton’s business community, defense contractors and numerous others need to have efficient air service to business centers around the world and maintaining non-stop service to (LaGuardia) is a critical to this objective,” wrote Chris Kershner of the chamber.
Dayton’s director of aviation, Terrence G. Slaybaugh, called Delta’s move “a bait and switch.” He estimated that 2,500 travelers per month fly to LaGuardia. Sixty percent of travelers at the airport are business travelers. “This will have a detrimental impact on commerce in the Dayton region,” he said.
In October, the Transportation Department approved a “slot swap” at Washington’s Reagan National Airport and New York’s LaGuardia Airport, allowing Delta to expand service into LaGuardia and U.S. Airways to expand service into Reagan.
In a letter to U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Brown said that eliminating Dayton’s direct flights to LaGuardia puts Dayton’s business community at a disadvantage.
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