Business, Economics and Jobs

Comair to be shut down by Delta Air Lines


A Delta airline's aircraft takes off from the Ronald Reagan National airport as the sun rises in Washington, DC, on June 9, 2011.


Jewel Samad

Delta Air Lines Inc. announced today that it will shut down its Comair subsidiary on Sept. 29, putting 1,700 Comair employees out of work, Reuters reported. More than 1,000 Comair employees are based in Cincinnati and the northern Kentucky region, according to the Associated Press.

Atlanta-based Delta said the decision to cease operations at Comair was based on its relatively expensive fleet, the AP reported. Comair only flies Bombardier’s 50-, 65- and 76-seat Canadair Regional Jets on regional routes, Reuters reported, and smaller planes are less fuel-efficient and more costly to maintain than larger planes.

"We just really couldn't get the cost structure to where we wanted to get it," Don Bornhorst, senior vice president of Delta Connection and a former Comair president, told the AP. "It ultimately was a cost issue; it wasn't a quality issue with Comair. They're a good airline, great employees, very innovative."

According to Reuters:

Delta recently said it plans to reduce the number of 50-seat regional jets from about 350 to 125 or fewer in the next few years.

Comair started flying in 1977, became a Delta Connection carrier in 1984 and became a wholly owned subsidiary of Delta in 2000, the AP reported.

Officials said Comair’s closing won’t significantly impact its network since Comair accounts for only 1 percent of Delta's flying, the AP reported.

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