The early-bird got the worm — or in this case, the Coke — during a Sunrise Salute at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport to welcome the return of direct flights between Reno and Atlanta on Delta Air Lines.
Those boarding the inaugural flight, which departed at 7 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 20, were given commemorative Coke Cola bottles inscribed with: “Share a Coke with Delta RNO-ATL.”
A country western band opened the press conference with a fun rendition of “The Devil Went Down To Georgia.” Olympic Gold Medalist Jonny Moseley welcomed the early-morning crowd along with Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority President/CEO Marily Mora during the flight send-off.
The Delta service between Reno and Atlanta is on a seasonal for ski season. There will be three flights per week until Jan. 3, after which there will be one flight a week until March 26. Then the scheduled flights will go away until the next ski season.
“Our mission is to fill as many seats as possible,” said Brian Kulpin, vice president of marketing and public affairs for the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority. “If we can prove to Delta that we can fill seats, we hope to see daily flights.
“We’ll use the ski season as a test.”
The flight got off to a good start. Kulpin said the Tuesday morning flight was 80 percent full.
The connection also has a strong history. Delta flew the Atlanta-Reno route from 2004–2009 and had a high load factor of 84 percent, with the vast majority of those passengers connecting to domestic or international destinations.
For the schedule of flights or ticket information, go to www.delta.com.