MEM officials find silver lining despite Delta's plans to de-hub - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

MEM officials find silver lining despite Delta's plans to de-hub, cut jobs

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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - Delta Air Lines is planning to de-hub Memphis International Airport, cut jobs, and slice the number of daily flights it operates. An internal memo sent to employees cites that high fuel costs and inefficient regional jets in a "small local-traffic market have made Memphis unprofitable as a hub".

Delta Air Lines is planning to cut the number of daily flights from 96 departures down to 60-64 per day starting September 3. The cuts will affect about 230 jobs. In addition, Memphis International Airport will no longer be considered a hub for the airline.

"We're very disappointed," said Larry Cox, president and CEO of Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority. "We depend a lot on Delta Air Lines."

Despite the disappointment, airport officials say Delta Air Line's downsizing may come with a silver lining, allowing the airport to attract more services that have been scared off by Delta's significant presence.

"As Delta gets smaller, it makes it easier for us to recruit new airlines and existing airlines to bring in new service. So, that will bring in more competition and therefore lower airfares," explained Cox.

The airline is offering eligible MEM-based ACS and Cargo employees a voluntary retirement package, transfer options with relocation assistance, or furlough with severance pay. Which jobs will be affected will depend on seniority once the company finds out how many employees choose to take the early retirement option.

Click here to read the internal memo sent to Delta Airlines employees in its entirety: http://ftpcontent4.worldnow.com/wmctv/DeltaMemo.pdf

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