Savannah tourism leaders hope Delta’s second move to drop airfares between the coastal city and Atlanta will spur a permanent uptick in business. It comes following another round of letters between Savannah-area leaders and the airline concerning market fares.
The Atlanta-based carrier says it’s dropping business-oriented fares as much as 40 percent. For the highest-priced walk-up tickets, those are cut from $650 to $400 roundtrip.
Last month, the airline adjusted its pricing structure based on different advanced-purchase tiers for connecting fliers through Atlanta.
In a letter received this week by Savannah business and airport officials, Delta wrote "we hope our actions address your concerns and speak to our continued committment to your community."
AirTran last year gave-up the Savannah-Atlanta route, leaving Delta, which boosted fares.
Patrick Graham says the move killed passenger volume and hurt tourism. The executive director of the Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport says now, it’s up to area travelers to do their part:
"I kept saying to the community ‘If you don’t fly these people (AirTran), they’re going to leave because they’re volumes aren’t high enough’. Then boom, they did, and I said ‘I’m sorry but I told you so’. And I’m basically saying the same thing to the community now...'If you want the service and lower fares to Atlanta, you have to support what they’re doing’.”
Delta’s newest fare structure is for a trial period of four months