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Delta grounds RDU-Paris flight

Delta Airlines said Tuesday that it won't launch nonstop service between RDU and Paris until 2010 because of the sluggish economy.

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Delta jet
MORRISVILLE, N.C. — Delta Airlines said Tuesday that it won't launch nonstop service between Raleigh-Durham International Airport and Paris until 2010.

The airline had planned to start the flight to Charles de Gaulle International Airport on June 2.

Delta officials said the decision to delay the flight was based on the economic climate and not on the strength of the market or demand for the service.

“We are obviously disappointed by Delta’s decision, as Paris service would have opened many new and efficient international travel opportunities for the citizens of our region,” Teresa Damiano, RDU's director of marketing, said in a statement. “We understand that these are unpredictable times for the aviation industry and are confident that a strong demand for air service in our region will allow for growth as the global economy rebounds.”

American Airlines offered nonstop service between RDU and Paris from 1988 to 1994 before dropping the flight in favor of service between the Triangle and London, which American continues to offer.

RDU officials said almost 500 people travel between RDU and an overseas destination every day. Some use American's London flight, others fly on Air Canada's three flights to Toronto and others travel through gateways like Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, New York and Washington, D.C., officials said.

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