Delta drops DAY flight: What’s going on at the Dayton airport?


Delta Air Lines is dropping a route at the Dayton International Airport.

The airline is halting its Dayton-New York LaGuardia nonstop route this month, according to a statement from Delta. The route will end on March 31, due to under-performance, a spokeswoman said. The airline is adding a non-stop route to LaGuardia from Chattanooga starting July 10.

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So, what’s going on at the Dayton airport? The Dayton Daily News breaks it down for you.

Why did Delta drop the La-Guardia nonstop route? 

Competition. Terry Slaybaugh, Dayton’s aviation director, said the change is primarily a result of American Airline’s increased frequency of flights to LaGuardia from Dayton. Last fall, American increased trips to three flights per day from Dayton. United also serves New York nonstop.

In 2017, Delta served approximately 20,257 passengers at the Dayton airport — a decrease from the 22,915 enplanements in 2016.

What does this mean for the overall success of the airport this year?

Slaybaugh said the airport is still “looking at a pretty flat year” in passenger traffic. The airport is honing in on a strategic plan for 2018 that focuses on business travel and improvements to help keep it competitive with airports in cities like Columbus and Cincinnati and keep one of the city’s top economic engines vibrant.

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What kind of improvements will the airport make?

The airport plan includes major efforts planned to keep passenger traffic steady, increase seat capacity, sell and develop more commercial real estate owned by the airport, and make headway on expansive terminal renovations, Slaybaugh told this news organization. Terminal renovations are underway right now.

The airport will also get a fresh look with millions of dollars in renovations — taking up to 22 months to complete. The airport’s terminal modernization project will occur in phases, and the first part will include new restrooms, HVAC upgrades, the relocation of the USO offices, lighting upgrades and other work.

“I’m optimistic about the next year, we’ve got a lot going on,” Slaybaugh said.

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Are any airlines growing at the Dayton airport?

Yes. United Airlines will add a nonstop, daily flight to Houston from Dayton starting in early June. The air carrier will also add another flight to Chicago, a city it already serves from Dayton. The new route and added flights are a clear sign that United is invested in Dayton, city officials said. Allegiant has also seen considerable growth since adding service at the airport in 2016. The airline served 3,854 passengers in 2017 and added additional routes, according to airport data.

Why did Southwest end service at the airport last year?

Southwest ended its service at Dayton last June, in favor of adding service at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. Dayton is among 21 airports that Southwest has exited since the AirTran merger was announced, according to Volaire Aviation Consulting. And more than 50 small to medium-sized hubs have lost air service completely in the last five years.

Where are growth areas for the Dayton airport?

Dayton already serves the business community with flights to major hubs like Charlotte, Dallas, Chicago, New York, Detroit and Atlanta. The airport will look to expand more options to New York and Washington. Chris Kershner, vice president of public policy and economic development, said business leaders would also like to see a route farther West than Dallas — with routes to Los Angeles or Seattle.

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