What does Delta realignment mean for Memphis? - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

What does Delta realignment mean for Memphis?

(Source: WikiCommons) (Source: WikiCommons)

(WMC-TV) - Delta Air Lines is making some big changes. In the coming months, it will reduce is Memphis departures from 145 to 123. They will also retire hundreds of 50-seat passenger planes.

One airline expert says it is too soon to say how Delta's fleet realignment will affect the Memphis hub.

"The market's small and that's your biggest problem and there's nothing you can do about it," said Aviation Economist Dr. Brian Campbell.

Dr. Campbell did have some potentially positive thoughts about Delta's plan to ground regional jets. He said the airline could replace them with 160 larger planes.

"Memphis may very well pick up a good number of those airplanes, so we just don't know yet," he said.

In their recently released June Quarter Financial Results, operating revenue grew $579 million, or 6 percent.

Passenger revenue increased 7 percent compared to the prior year.

Delta CEO Richard Anderson said, "Delta's solid profit this quarter (excluding special items) is evidence that our business and industry are evolving and delivering meaningful improvements."

Much of the airline's economic impact on Memphis remains a mystery. Because no one knows how much of their fleet will serve Memphis by mid-next year and beyond.

"I would be very surprised if Delta knows where they're going either at this point in time," said Dr. Campbell.

Delta's quarterly earnings may suggest to some that whatever restructuring the airline is doing is helping their bottom line.

But Campbell says part of those gains were due to a decrease in fuel prices.

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