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MINNEAPOLISDelta Air Lines is shrinking travel to small cities in the nation’s midsection, saying it can’t make money on flights that are sometimes completely empty.

Delta said its move would affect 24 cities, many of which are not served by any other airline. These cities could lose air service altogether, although some of the routes are likely to be taken over by regional airlines. Delta said it will ask for a federal subsidy to keep some of the flights.

The affected flights connect Delta’s hubs to small cities in Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Most of the affected flights are on Delta’s 34-seat Saab turboprop, which it is phasing out by the end of this year. Higher fuel prices have made it difficult to operate small planes profitably because the fuel bill is divided among a small number of passengers. Even the next-larger option, the 50-seat regional jets flown by Delta and other airlines, is often unprofitable for the same reason. Delta is retiring many of those planes, too.


State’s largest wind farm to be built on Oahu

HONOLULU — Hawaii’s largest wind power project is set to be built on Oahu now that a study of its environmental impact has been completed.

Boston-based First Wind LLC plans to build the proposed 70-megawatt wind energy project on former sugarcane land on Oahu’s North Shore, generating enough power for 14,500 homes.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Friday that construction of the Kawailoa Wind Farm is scheduled to begin later this year, and it could begin producing power next year.

The additional wind production would significantly expand the state’s wind energy output, which currently consists of 112 megawatts of generating capacity on Oahu, Maui and the Big Island.

From wire dispatches and staff reports