New air travel options take off in Columbia

Oct 22, 2012

The Columbia City Council unanimously approved a new plan with American Airlines for new routes to Dallas and Chicago from Columbia Regional Airport.

City Council members approved plans for a fund of three million dollars to give to American Airlines in case the airline doesn’t meet its target profits. Partners in the funding include the city of Columbia, the University of Missouri, Boone County, Cole County, and Jefferson City.

Delta Airlines threatened to leave Columbia Regional Airport after hearing about the financial buffer the city was offering American Airlines. City Council member Gary Kespohl says Mayor Bob McDavid contacted Delta several times, but never received any response back.

“The mayor told me this morning that he contacted them [Delta] a year ago to see if they were interested in providing service, but they’ve never responded. They sent a letter last week to the city saying they were not consulted although the mayor tried to contact them for over a year to get them apart of this process but they didn’t’ respond so we went on with the process,”said Kespohl.

City Council member Michael Trapp said the city will hold a teleconference with Delta on Wednesday, October 24th to negotiate opportunities for the airline in Columbia.

The City Council also set up a contract with Zimmer Radio Group to handle the advertising for Columbia Regional Airport.