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Jul-11-2008 17:55TweetFollow @OregonNews
Delta Will Suspend Salem Flights in OctoberTim King Salem-News.com
The city of Salem, Oregon and the city's Chamber of Commerce have invested big in this short-lived venture.
(SALEM, Ore.) - It has been a bone of contention for many. Now, Delta Airlines says they will terminate their flights to the city of Salem as of July 26th 2008, just a few days from now. This means Delta will not be accepting reservations for flights into and from Salem. The last reservations that will be booked range through October 10th 2008. Delta says they will work directly with persons who already have reservations after October 10th 2008 to best accommodate their travel plans.
High fuel costs are the reason Delta cites for their decision to suspend these flights.
Mike Gotterba with the city of Salem, says flights in and out of Oregon's capitol city have been 70-80% full in the last few months, indicating what they view as strong community support for the service, but fuel prices are continuing to rise, thus bringing about an end to this ambitions project to better utilize Salem's otherwise off-the-map air facility.
"We are extremely disappointed but understand why this decision was made." says Salem Mayor Janet Taylor.
"The Salem community has worked very hard and we strongly believe that commercial air service is viable in Salem. We will continue to aggressively pursue all possible avenues to see if this decision can be changed."
Kevin Hays of Salem-News.com felt the wrath of city officials in relation to the Delta flights a few months ago when he published a tongue-in-cheek article comparing the costs between flying out of Salem, with costs for similar flights out of Portland. PDX prices were much cheaper than Salem Airport prices. At any rate, Delta's Salem prices were lowered after Kevin's article was published and soon after that the airline expanded its single flight from Salem to Salt Lake City, Utah to include other locations.
Airlines have been going out of business left and right under the Presidency of George W. Bush. Salem's latest loss of service does not speak well for a city that seems more intent on landing Wal Mart super stores, than attracting business and creating jobs that actually help people.
The city of Salem has also clogged up the only parking lot that people here had for watching air traffic, with new airport hangars designed almost specifically to eliminate the view. In the end it may be that the only people interested in the airport are a few wealthy citizens who own their own planes, and a few others who feel their complaints about airport-related noise fall on deaf ears.
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