(WMC-TV) - A little more than a year from now, Delta pilots in Memphis will have to choose another home base, or fly a different plane. Delta is retiring its DC9 aircraft and moving the Airbus 320a to other hubs.
Friday, acknowledging the community is anxious, Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority chairman Arnold Perl said the public shouldn't panic about Delta's commitment to the Memphis hub.
"We have gone through periods where everybody has predicted the demise of the Delta hub," he said. "As of today, it is our expectation that Delta will continue to operate the hub."
According to a Delta spokesperson, nearly 200 pilots will have to choose another base.
"This announcement has little to no impact to mainline flying in Memphis," Delta said in a statement. "The same flights will be flown with other aircraft types in our fleet after December 2012. Delta remains committed to its Memphis hub, which is an important part of our overall network."
Air Line Pilots Association, International, the union representing Delta's pilots, responded by saying, "This is a company decision. ALPA does not have any further input. Thanks for checking with us."
Delta pilots in Memphis will have the opportunity to select other bases and/or other aircraft types to fly. Flight attendants and ground employees in Memphis will not be impacted.
Airline experts say the pilot base shift may not mean fewer Delta flights out of Memphis, but certainly will not mean more in a struggling industry where cutting costs is a priority.