Delta Air Lines has directed regional subsidiary Comair to shed more than half of its Bombardier CRJs over the next two years, according to a September 1 memo to employees from Comair president John Bendoraitis. The Cincinnati-based regional airline plans to cut 49 fifty-seat CRJs from next year through 2012, leaving it with 16 fifty-seat CRJ200s, 15 seventy-seat CRJ700s and 13 seventy-six-seat CRJ900s.
Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport
Delta Air Lines has directed regional subsidiary Comair to shed more than half of its Bombardier CRJs over the next two years, according to an internal memo sent today to employees from Comair president John Bendoraitis. The Cincinnati-based regional airline plans to cut 49 fifty-seat CRJs from next year through 2012, leaving it with 16 fifty-seat CRJ200s, 15 seventy-seat CRJ700s, and 13 seventy-six-seat CRJ900s.
An unsettling air of ambivalence descended on Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky Airport last month as Comair pilots ended an 89-day strike that cost Delta Air Lines at least $200 million and an untold number of non-striking employees their jobs.
Mesa Air Group last month reversed its decision to establish a new Cincinnati base and canceled all the flights scheduled to six cities from Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport for July 8. Mesa contacted all affected passengers and reaccommodated them on Delta Air Lines or Comair flights.
When UAL Corp., the parent company of United Airlines, announced in May that it would enter the business aviation market with creation of a new subsidiary to be known as United BizJet Holdings for the time being, it was big news. And it was assumed by some that this was the first venture into business aviation by a major airline. Wrong!
The world’s most commercially successful line of regional jets added a pair of new blemishes to its technical record late this spring, when both wholly owned Delta Connection subsidiaries confronted some unsettling moments during scheduled CRJ operations.
As unclear as Flight Options’ future is, the situation at Flexjet is even less defined at this time. According to industry sources, a “significant” deal is pending that would involve the assets of Flexjet and charter operator Delta AirElite Business Jets. An announcement could come as early as this month.
Comair president Randy Rademacher has left the company “to pursue other opportunities,” just weeks after DOT Inspector General Kenneth Mead launched an investigation into the Christmas weekend computer failures that stranded hundreds of travelers at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. Fred Buttrell, president of Delta Connection, will move to Comair’s offices in Cincinnati to assume Rademacher’s duties.
Delta AirElite, which has operated an aircraft management and charter service since 1991 when it was still Comair Jet Express, took a step toward further expansion last month with the announcement of its Delta AirElite Fleet Membership block-charter program.
Airline travelers on Delta, Northwest and other airlines operating under bankruptcy protection might face longer lines, delays and fuller and less frequent flights, but it’s “business as usual” at Delta’s business jet charter arm, Delta AirElite, according to a spokesman. “There will be no affect on our ability to serve our charter, membership or aircraft management customers,” he said.
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