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USA Today first reported on Friday that only 13 people used the discount.

Bastian explained that on February 24, Delta rescinded a one-time group travel discount for the NRA's annual meeting, and asked NRA to remove the Delta name and logo from NRA's website.

Delta announced last Saturday that it would be cutting ties with the NRA, and now pro-gun-rights activists are boycotting the brand on Twitter.

The tax break, which eliminated sales tax on jet fuel, was worth more than $40 million. Gov.

Weighing in on the gun debate following the Florida high school massacre will apparently cost Delta Air Lines millions.

In a press release, Deal explained that the move to punish Delta conflicts with Georgia's business friendly environment and may discourage other businesses from moving there.

"Unfortunately, we're looking at political gamesmanship, and trying to send ultraconservative messages for the Republican primary", Henson said.

"We can not continue to allow large companies to treat conservatives differently than other customers, employees and partners", Cagle wrote in an opinion piece published by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Deal criticized the Delta controversy as an "unbecoming squabble", but said he would sign the broader tax measure.

But state Sen. Michael Williams, a rival GOP candidate for governor, said Cagle only joined the fight after Senate Republicans agreed to block Delta's tax break.

Deal has said he intends to sign the bill into law quickly, likely early next week.

The Senate passed the tax measure 44-10, with Democrats accounting for all of the no votes.

As the controversy swirled in Georgia during the week, other USA states- including direct pitches from the governors of CT and Virginia- offered themselves as a possible new Delta home-base.

Democrats, including Sen. Steve Henson, argued cutting the tax break could make it hard for Delta to compete with other airlines and possibly hinder the state's ability to attract other businesses.

In a memo to employees on Friday, Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian defended his company's decision to cut ties with the National Rifle Association. "Our objective in removing any implied affiliation with the N.R.A. was to remove Delta from this debate".

The Republican-dominated legislature passed a tax bill that excludes a jet fuel tax exemption when had been projected to save ~$40M per year for DAL, the state's largest private employer.

Georgia lawmakers are expected to vote on a sweeping tax bill that no longer includes a proposed jet fuel tax break which had been in Republicans' crosshairs ever since Delta Air Lines severed ties with the National Rifle Association.

Delta attempted to assuage the political backlash, stating the decision to end the relationship with the NRA was created to stay above the fray in the recent fight over gun control following the mass shooting at a high school in Florida.

House Speaker David Ralston, a Republican, made it clear that there was a direct link between the vote and the NRA controversy: "I hope they are better at flying airplanes than timing PR announcements", he said.