* Memphis hub unprofitable, carrier says
* Customer service, cargo employees affected by cuts
June 4 Delta Air Lines Inc said on
Tuesday that it plans to scrap its Memphis, Tennessee, hub in
September, cutting 230 jobs and scaling back flights to make the
Delta plans to drop to about 60 flights a day in September
from almost 300 daily flights when Memphis was a hub for
Northwest Airlines, which was bought by Delta in 2008.
The carrier said in a memo to staff that rising fuel costs
and the heavy use of 50-seat regional planes that have become
more costly to operate have made Memphis an unprofitable hub.
The job cuts, involving airport customer service and Delta Cargo
workers, are effective Sept. 3, the memo said.
Larry Cox, president and chief executive of the
Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority, said the Memphis
airport was looking to attract other airlines. Southwest
Airlines Co said last month it plans new flights to
Memphis in November.
Given the proximity of Memphis to Atlanta, Delta's
headquarters city and its biggest hub, the move was not
unexpected, Cox said.
"The silver lining is that we'll probably get more airline
service from other carriers like Southwest that were reluctant
to get in here," Cox added.
Delta spokesman Anthony Black said Memphis would remain one
of Delta's top 10 departure stations but would no longer be a
hub. Workers affected by the cuts will have the opportunity to
take positions in other locations, he said.
Shares of Delta rose 1.6 percent to $18.09 on Tuesday.