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      Delta flies out of Florence for the last time

      In November, Delta officials announced they were cutting ties with the airport saying it wasn't profitable anymore.

      Delta's last flight departed from Florence Regional Airport at 4:06 p.m. Monday.

      County leaders and airport officials say they did all they could do to convince the airline to stay. But it didn't work.

      Jondraia McFadden was traveling out of the airport Monday. She told NewsChannel 15, "The tickets are fairly reasonable through Delta and so it's kind of saddens me that they're going to be leaving. And, this is more convenient flying into Florence as opposed to Columbia or Charlotte."

      In November, Delta officials announced they were cutting ties with the airport saying it wasn't profitable anymore. Airport officials disagree saying the number of people boarding Delta planes is up considerably since 2007.

      Airport Director Hartsell Rogers said, "We don't understand that... Our enplanements at our airport have more than doubled the last three years. We're still confused about why they stopped flying out of the Florence Regional Airport."

      Airport officials hope to quickly find a replacement.

      "With the expansions going on at the airport and a the positive momentum I feel like we need, I feel like there's a certain things that we need to be done to bring in another carrier to take Delta's place," Victor Webster with the Florence Historic Foundation said.

      Airport officials say they're talking with other airlines.

      In the meantime, the airport's only airline, US Airways, added another daily flight and will use planes that seat 50 people instead of 34.

      Officials seem to think things are looking up and say Delta's departure won't have a negative impact on the airport.

      "I think 2011 is going to be another record year for the Florence airport with or without Delta," Rogers said.

      Delta is refunding money to flyers who have already booked tickets out of Florence.

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