Sounds like no jobs will be affected as of right now...
Delta to close concourse in Cincinnati
Dayton Business Journal - by Lisa Biank Fasig DBJ Contributor
Tuesday, August 26, 2008 - 1:54 PM EDT
Delta Air Lines Inc.
is planning to close the Comair
concourse at the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport
and redirect all departures to other terminals, a shift that follows a 25 percent reduction in its Cincinnati flights during the past year.
The redirection, to be complete in January, will mean passengers of Comair no longer will have to take a bus from the main terminal to Concourse C, which operates 48 gates. Delta (NYSE: DAL) expects Concourse C to be closed by January, and is working with the airport to add at least 11 passenger loading bridges, at a cost of $12 million, and other improvements at Concourses A and B to handle the added business. That process will take two to three years.
The concourse, and its roughly 30 tenants, will go dark, at least for the time being. Any job reductions are expected to be handled through attrition and voluntary buyouts.
The plan comes after Delta, and all other major carriers, have consolidated flights – and increased jet loads – to stave off the effects of rising fuel costs. Delta in November will operate 300 peak-day flights from CVG, compared with 400 one year before.
“The price of fuel is putting a lot of pressure on all of the carriers and all of the airports to which they fly,” said Don Bornhorst, senior vice president of Delta Connection. “With the schedule adjustment we have made, it is allowing us to move those flights around the amenity-rich Concourses A and B.”
Bornhorst said the airline has been looking for opportunities to improve services at Comair since late 2007, when it added its first jets with first-class service. Concourse C does not include a lot of first-class features, such a Delta Crown Room Club, and passengers have complained about taking the bus to terminal C.
“We’re working hard at making the experience on Delta Connection as much like Delta as possible, which is what this about,” he said.
Delta said there will be no impact on its employees as a result of the closure, while staff adjustment at Comair – which employs 1,200 at CVG – will be handled through attrition or through the company’s voluntary programs. Comair staff at Concourse C will be moved to Concourses A and B to handle all Delta Connection departures. Delta employees will continue to handle all ticketing and mainline flight arrivals and departures.
Delta estimates its local hub generates nearly $4.5 billion in annual economic benefits for the region.
As for operations at Concourse C, airport spokesman Ted Bushelman said Delta’s lease runs through 2025 and the airport will still get paid. Most of the tenants, he said, also operate shops in Concourses A and B, “so they just move over there with the increased passengers.”
“Right now this is all caused by fuel costs,” he said. “People can’t even afford to fly. The airlines are trying to survive and the way to survive is consolidating their flights.”
While the airport may still be paid for Concourse C, Bornhorst said Delta is working with state and airport officials to help foot the bill for the 11 bridges to be added, since such infrastructure expenses are handled by the airport. Bushelman said the bridges will cost an estimated $12 million.
The shift, meanwhile, can cause some short-term congestion. This fall, Delta Connection will operate roughly 250 flights from CVG, said Comair spokeswoman Kate Marx. Terminal A operates 22 gates, while B operates 26. After Concourse C closes, Concourse A will operate 30 gates, while Concourse B will run 38. In the interim, while the bridges are still being added, some passengers might be required during peak times to take a bus to a jet from Concourses A and B, Bornhorst said.
The transition will not directly result in schedule change, and Bornhorst said he does not expect further reductions this year.