Delta Airlines is ready to begin a new upgraded service between Charleston and Atlanta in the new year.

The airline will add a DC-9 daily flight from Yeager Airport to Atlanta International. It will be a mainline service, meaning Delta will run the flight rather than a regional carrier.

“It seats 120 people and has 12 first class seats,” said Asst. Yeager Airport Director Brian Belcher. “It will be the first daily main line service we’ve had here since 9/11 in 2001 when US Air served our market with DC9s.”

Belcher said airlines are starting to emerge from a difficult decade. The recession, 9/11, and the fuel crunch have caused airlines to eliminate seats of flights all over the country. Those belt tightening moves are starting to pay off and the airlines are showing more profits. They’ve found through the fuel crises the bigger capacity jets are more profitable from airports which can be served by them.

“I don’t think this will be the last one,” said Belcher.

Belcher said Atlanta is a great hub with connections all over the world and all over the United States. He says Delta recognized the popularity of the flights which are almost always sold out between Charleston and Atlanta when it made the decision to upgrade.

The first of the new flights will start in March 2013.

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