Delta scaling back on ASA flights out of Albany - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Delta scaling back on ASA flights out of Albany

April 18, 2008

Albany -- Hard economic times have certainly taken a toll on the airline industry. Hit with rising fuel prices and grounded flights, ticket prices are also on the rise and many airlines are cutting back on flights.

Those cutbacks will soon have an affect on airports throughout Georgia and here in Albany.  This will not come as good new for passengers who plan to fly out of Southwest Georgia Regional Airport this summer. According to airport officials, Delta is scaling back the number of ASA flights from Albany to Atlanta from 4 to 3 on weekdays.  With record numbers of passengers flying out of Southwest Georgia Regional Airport, this comes as a major blow.

The proposed cutback will mean only 10 seats less than the number available last summer because ASA jets were reconfigured to add more seating. But like many airlines that have made similar moves, the cutback is a reflection of high fuel costs.

"There's not really much we can do about it. When we talked to the Delta folks who are in charge of the scheduling, they said this is not a reflection and how popular we are because they said they understand we are full. We are full all day today. They understand that's going to hurt a lot of us, but they said with the extreme cost of oil and what they're dealing with with the fuel prices, they really had no choice but to trim up schedules for this summer," said Yvette Aehle, Southwest Georgia Regional Airport Director.

And it's not just Albany that will be affected by the cut backs. Several airports throughout Georgia will be experiencing flight trimming as well, including Valdosta. The cutbacks will come this summer when vacation time is at its peak.  And while the change in the number of seats available one year later may not be a big difference, for many travelers, the scheduling will be the biggest inconvenience.

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