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When Flight 2614 arrived at Lafayette (La.) Regional Airport one night earlier this month, a ground supervisor immediately noticed a problem. The airplane’s landing gear doors were still down, touching the ground, and wouldn’t close – a maintenance and safety issue that could have delayed or even canceled the flight.

Instead, two Delta mechanics rode to the rescue – on a private jet, no less.  With the aircraft’s next flight at 6 a.m. the following morning, Proctor Boone, Delta’s Lafayette Station Manager, knew  he needed to act fast to ensure customers wouldn’t be affected.

Boone called maintenance control and learned that the aircraft required Delta mechanics to inspect and repair. That’s when the Operations and Customer Center chose to fly two mechanics to Lafayette.

“It’s rare that we’d use a charter flight for a maintenance problem, but we wanted to take the quickest path to avoid cancellations,” said Mark Finger, Team Leader, AOG Desk – OCC. “So, we contacted Atlanta Air Charter, a private charter service, who quickly loaded the aircraft with two Delta maintenance technicians and flew them to Lafayette.”

Within 30 minutes of the mechanics’ arrival, the aircraft had been repaired and subsequently departed on time, leaving the gate at 5:59 a.m. for the 6 a.m. departure.

Gary Anderson, Regional Manager – Airport Customer Service, said Boone told him he didn’t fully realize the lengths Delta would go for passengers until that night.

“Delta’s commitment to our customers goes beyond getting them where they need to be,” said Dave Holtz, Senior Vice President – OCC. “It means getting them where they need to be, when they expect to be there, whether they’re travelling from a smaller spoke city or a large hub.”

Editor’s note: This article previously named a different private jet carrier as having flown the mechanics to Lafayette.

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