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Photo: Mandi Albright/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Photo: Mandi Albright/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Delta to launch flights to Hilton Head from Atlanta

Delta Air Lines plans to launch flights from Atlanta to Hilton Head Island, S.C. starting in May.

Atlanta-based Delta also plans to launch Saturday flights from New York LaGuardia Airport to Hilton Head starting June 8. It will fly the routes on 69-seat regional jets operated by Delta Connection carrier Republic Airline.

“Our community asks weekly for service on Delta Air Lines and will welcome the airline with open arms,” said Hilton Head Island Mayor John McCann in a written statement.

Delta already flies to Savannah, where the airport is called the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport.

The smaller Hilton Head Island Airport recently completed a runway extension to enable jet aircraft to land and take off. Hilton Head already has service from American Airlines to Charlotte, and United Airlines has announced plans to start flights later this year to Washington Dulles, Chicago O’Hare and Newark.

The new route from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport to Hilton Head Island Airport will start May 23 with three daily flights.

Delta had previously operated the route to Hilton Head Island Airport years ago. About a decade ago, Delta retired the turboprop aircraft it once used to fly the route. It later resumed the route using different planes from its merger with Northwest Airlines.

However, because of the Hilton Head airport’s short runway, Delta said it had severe weight limitations that prevented it from being able to carry a full load on the flights. It eventually discontinued its Atlanta-Hilton Head service, saying it was difficult to make the route profitable.

The recent runway extension opened the Hilton Head airport up to regular jet service, attracting more airline routes directly to the island.

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