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Monday, August 15, 2022
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TALKS WITH DELTA NEVER GET OFF THE GROUND

Lt. Gov. Gerard Luz James II and Tourism Commissioner-designate Michael Bornn flew to Atlanta for a meeting with Delta Air Lines executives Monday in hopes of getting the carrier to reconsider its decision to take St. Croix off the Delta map as of Dec. 1. Their meeting lasted for an hour and a half, but their bid never got off the ground.
Delta's "mind was made up," James told Radio One in a telephone call from Atlanta after the meeting. "It was no longer economically viable."
The airline executives "were quite frank," he said, noting that Delta has made corporate decisions to cut back services in other markets as well, including Los Angeles and Japan. In any event, he added, the carrier sets its schedules four months in advance "and they told us it's already in writing, and there is nothing we can do."
Both James and Bornn in recent days had acknowledged the validity of Delta's rationale for terminating the service — that its passenger load did not justify the costs of serving St. Croix. In the last nine months, Delta said, it has averaged about 31 persons per day traveling to the island, even factoring in the traditionally heavy traffic over the year-end holidays.
James said the Delta executives indicated Monday that there was a possibility, depending on the growth of St. Croix as a destination, "that they would return in the future."
With the island's first casino scheduled to open in December, he said, there is reason to hope this will be the case.

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Lt. Gov. Gerard Luz James II and Tourism Commissioner-designate Michael Bornn flew to Atlanta for a meeting with Delta Air Lines executives Monday in hopes of getting the carrier to reconsider its decision to take St. Croix off the Delta map as of Dec. 1. Their meeting lasted for an hour and a half, but their bid never got off the ground.
Delta's "mind was made up," James told Radio One in a telephone call from Atlanta after the meeting. "It was no longer economically viable."
The airline executives "were quite frank," he said, noting that Delta has made corporate decisions to cut back services in other markets as well, including Los Angeles and Japan. In any event, he added, the carrier sets its schedules four months in advance "and they told us it's already in writing, and there is nothing we can do."
Both James and Bornn in recent days had acknowledged the validity of Delta's rationale for terminating the service — that its passenger load did not justify the costs of serving St. Croix. In the last nine months, Delta said, it has averaged about 31 persons per day traveling to the island, even factoring in the traditionally heavy traffic over the year-end holidays.
James said the Delta executives indicated Monday that there was a possibility, depending on the growth of St. Croix as a destination, "that they would return in the future."
With the island's first casino scheduled to open in December, he said, there is reason to hope this will be the case.