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Delta says it will continue to serve Greater Minnesota

To calm worries that the merger between Delta and Northwest Airlines might curtail service to smaller Minnesota cites, an airline representative went to Bemidji Thursday and reassured the newspaper there that the airline views the “partnership with these greater Minnesota communities as hand-in-glove.”

Tammy Lee Stanoch, Delta vice president for corporate affairs, met with the Bemidji Pioneer’s Editorial Board.

“Your success here drives our success in feeding the hub, so we very much view this as a partnership,” she said.

The newspaper notes, though, that airport managers in northeast Minnesota questioned that partnership when they met in late January in Bemidji with U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar, D-8th District, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which oversees commercial airline regulation.

The airport managers had questions about Delta maintaining flights to rural Minnesota, status of regional carriers, pricing issues and being able to get queries answered in a timely manner from the new conglomeration.

Reports of that meeting “inspired us to get out on a greater Minnesota tour,” Stanoch said. So Delta officials are also meeting this week with editorial boards at the papers in Duluth, Bemidji, Grand Forks and Fargo.

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