03/10/05 — Delta's JetKinston takes to air

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Delta's JetKinston takes to air

By Turner Walston
Published in News on March 10, 2005 1:50 PM

KINSTON -- More than two hundred officials from Lenoir and surrounding counties and the state government attended a celebration Wednesday to welcome Atlantic Southeast Airlines to the Kinston Regional Jetport.

Beginning April 1, Atlantic Southeast, a subsidiary of Delta Airlines, will offer three daily, non-stop flights from Kinston to Atlanta. The airport, known as JetKinston, will employ the CRJ200 jet, featuring leather 2x2 seating, said Greg Eddy, a spokesman for Atlantic Southeast.

John Marshall, the secretary of the Lenoir County Committee of 100, said the three Delta representatives in attendance, "flew up from Atlanta today and drove through Clayton like we've been doing the last few years, and they understand why we want Delta to come to eastern North Carolina."

Kinston Mayor Johnnie Mosley read a letter of welcome to Delta and Atlantic Southeast. Lenoir County Commissioner George Graham called JetKinston "a major tool in our toolbox that will help grow us this ecomony."

"We think eastern North Carolina has deserved jet service for a long time, and we're glad we're able to provide it," Marshall said.

Marshall said the community had been working on bringing jet service to the area since the mid-1990s. The official announcement came on Dec. 9.

The presence of a terminal and the size of the population that lives within 60 miles of the airport were the key points in selling Delta on Kinston, said Marshall.

"Most everybody's driving to Raleigh-Durham to fly out. We feel like if we can catch the people that are here, we'll be successful," he said.

Marshall also expressed hope that JetKinston would help in recruiting industry to eastern North Carolina.

Companies "want to know how to get the people in and out, and they want a jet," Marshall said. "We think this will be helpful in terms of promoting economic development."

Early this month, the Committee of 100 launched an advertising campaign designed to promote the new jet service.