23, No. 15, March 4, 2004
Delta Air Lines service to Champaign
begins May 14
By Sonya Booth
UIC News Bureau
In a move to revitalize
Willard Airport, the UI and a community development group will share
financial risk with Delta Air Lines as the airline begins service between
Willard and Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International Airport.
At a meeting in Chicago Feb. 19, the UI Board of Trustees approved a
two-year revenue guaranty to help Delta break even on the Cincinnati
The university will put $850,000 in escrow for the first year and $500,000
for the second year; Delta will draw upon these funds if the required
annual minimum passenger revenues are not met.
“We’ve been losing airlines to other regional airports,”
said Chancellor Nancy Cantor. “This will increase our ability
to keep a vibrant airport, which is so critical to the university’s
mission of service to the surrounding community.”
University officials said more than 50 percent of local air travelers
now use other airports, including Chicago, Indianapolis and St. Louis.
The Champaign County Economic Development Corp. also pledged a revenue
guaranty of $100,000 for the first year and $25,000 for the second.
Delta has announced that beginning May 14, it will provide three daily
flights in 32-passenger jets to Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International
Airport, which is a major hub for East Coast service. Ticket sales began