The U.S. Department of Transportation paid Delta Air Lines nearly $500,000 to compensate for the extra time the company stayed at the Pierre Regional Airport in late 2011 and early 2012.
Delta had planned to end service in Pierre in November 2011 to save money. But the DOT required Delta to continue service there, and in 13 other communities, for longer than intended.
Delta continued service for about two months in Pierre. Delta also pulled out of Aberdeen and Watertown. The airline got about $175,000 for staying an extra five months in Aberdeen and more than $1 million for staying in Watertown.
DOT spokesman Bill Mosley says that the subsidy was to make up for lost profit. The airline was paid nearly $13 million in total.