Looking to connect via Delta‘s hub in Memphis later this summer? That is going to be harder as the carrier is cutting 25 more flights from the daily schedule at the airport, dropping the total number of daily operations to about 125. The new service levels will be roughly half of what the combined Delta/Northwest numbers were immediately prior to the two carriers’ merger nearly four years ago.
The cuts aren’t much of a surprise as they are nearly all 50-seat regional jet, aircraft that Delta has been quite clear in the past few months that they are keen to retire from the fleet. And with Atlanta nearby the hub in Memphis was always a bit of a marginal operation in the merged carrier. Also not surprising is that the airport authority is now examining its budget to see what cuts they’ll have to make given lower income in the form of landing fees.
The fate of the Memphis hub seems to be running in parallel with that of the CVG hub, another operation which has seen significant cuts due in large part to another hub operation nearby which is a stronger option for the company (DTW in that case). Cuts at CVG in the past few years haven’t been quite as severe as at MEM, but they are still rather notable.
Good luck to the Delta passengers out there and to the folks in Memphis. Cuts like this generally mean higher fares and less convenient options. Unless some other airline takes advantage of the $1mm bounty the airport authority has out there for new service it seems like things are going to be rather dire for a while.
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