Delta announced today that they will be shuttering their Cincinnati-based subsidiary Comair in roughly 60 days; the last flights operated by the carrier will operate on 29
July September 2012. The move comes as Delta seeks to cut the number of 50-seat aircraft in their network by roughly 70% in the next year. Comair currently operates 16 of those aircraft for Delta and they are being removed from service on the 29th. At that point the carrier will have only 28 other aircraft in service which is apparently insufficient for the company to justify continued operations.
It is not entirely clear where those 28 aircraft will be going, though the safe bet is that one of the other regional carriers affiliated with Delta will pick them up so as to keep the capacity in the network. For the employees of Comair the future is rather less certain. Even those currently flying the larger aircraft which are being kept in service will likely face some challenges as they try to follow the aircraft to the new operator. And the employees flying the smaller planes or working in the back office are likely out of a job.
So, why am I suggesting that this is a good thing? Well, for passengers it is. These smaller planes are less comfortable for passengers. They are also generally the first to be cut any time weather or other ATC issues crop up, meaning they are less reliable. They are being replaced with larger jets which should be more comfortable and reliable for passengers.
This is bad for the employees and bad for Cincinnati. But it is good for most everyone else.
Oh, and about a month ago I was questioning the future of Pinnacle, another Delta regional operator. It seems that, at least for now, the answer is no. And if those 28 planes end up flying for Pinnacle then that’s actually a pretty good thing for them and their chances of continued operations.
Additional coverage on the closure can be found here:
- Delta continues to trim hubs; Memphis on the chopping block this summer
- Is Delta working to shut down Pinnacle Airlines?
- Pinnacle files for bankruptcy protection; Delta increases stake
- Delta makes more cuts at Kentucky hub
- The continuing decline of Cincinnati’s air service
Never miss another post: Sign up for email alerts and get only the content you want direct to your inbox.