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Published December 10, 2011, 04:41 PM

Delta, Devils Lake Agree on Plan to Keep Air Service

DEVILS LAKE (WDAZ-TV) - In a join statement issued Saturday, Senators John Hoeven and Kent Conrad, Congressman Rick Berg and Governor Jack Dalrymple said that Delta Air Lines and the city of Devils Lake have reached an agreement that would keep air service at the airport.

By: WDAZ Staff Report, WDAZ

DEVILS LAKE (WDAZ-TV) - In a join statement issued Saturday, Senators John Hoeven and Kent Conrad, Congressman Rick Berg and Governor Jack Dalrymple said that Delta Air Lines and the city of Devils Lake have reached an agreement that would keep air service at the airport.

According to the statement, the plan includes Great Lakes Airlines starting regular air service to the city on or before January 1.

The Devils Lake Airport Authority had earlier rejected Great Lakes' bid for service, saying that it would have run just two trips a day, both going through Thief River Falls. It was unclear as of Saturday if this arrangement had been changed in the new deal.

The stop in Thief River Falls would've double flight times and the planes serving that route wouldn't have restrooms or flight attendants.

Delta officials say they hope to be able to finalize an agreement with Great Lakes Airlines by next Tuesday. The North Dakota leaders say they continue to work toward a long-term solution.

In the plan, Delta will suspend air service to Devils Lake until January 1, when Great Lakes will begin serving the city.

All passengers who are booked into or out of Devils Lake until then will receive 25,000 flyer miles, enough for a free round-trip ticket, or a $300 ticket voucher. The airline will continue to provide shuttle service for passengers to and from Grand Forks as needed.

“We have continued to push Delta to provide reliable service to the community, and this is a plan they’ve proposed to the mayor and airport authority until Great Lakes Airlines is up and running, expectedly on or before January 1,” the delegation and governor said.

Last week, Delta started using regional jets to serve the area due to its retirement of the Saab prop plane, which previously served the communities. The North Dakota leaders noted that between Thursday and Monday of last week, only one out of 11 scheduled flights operated in Devils Lake.

Delta said that in certain weather conditions it cannot land the jet because the runway is too short. It is currently busing or cabbing passengers to Grand Forks when flights are cancelled, a practice the North Dakota leaders have called unacceptable.

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