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Peoria losing non-stop flight to Detroit

PEORIA, Ill. - Passengers flying in and out of Peoria will no longer be able to go straight to Detroit. 

Delta has decided to drop the non-stop flight from the river city to the motor city. Peoria International Airport Director Gene Olson said the two weekday roundtrip flights end Nov. 27. He said this loss reinforces his philosophy of "use it or lose it". 

“Some of our neighboring airports are also seeing cuts,” Olson said. “The only way to keep the service we have is to consistently use it. Losing Detroit is a wake-up call. We cannot afford to take anything we have for granted.”

Olson said a market study last fall shows the Peoria airport is only capturing 58% of travelers in a 25-40 mile radius. 33% of those are flying directly from O'Hare International Airport in Chicago. 

Delta will continue non-stop flights from Peoria to Minneapolis and Atlanta. Olson said every route is being scrutinized by airlines right now due to a nation-wide pilot shortage. He said regional airports are the first to take a hit by losing flights. 

“PIA still has great connectivity. We still have daily nonstop flights to four of the five most connected airports in the U.S., but we aren’t immune from losing service," said Olson. "Flying local needs to be more than a catchphrase. It needs to be something we all take to heart.”

Passenger service is tracking 5% higher than the record year of 2015 right now, but Olson said the Detroit flight has struggled to stay profitable. 

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