Delta Air Lines president Ed Bastian publicly committed to maintaining ownership control over half of the company’s regional flying last month, meaning its Comair subsidiary will remain a subsidiary into the foreseeable future. Comair became a target for divestiture not long after Delta sold its Atlantic Southeast Airlines subsidiary in 2005 to SkyWest. Now, after merging with Northwest, Delta appears satisfied with the balance between owned and affiliated regionals. Delta also owns Compass and Mesaba Airlines.
“We think the balance [between wholly owned and independent regionals] is about right,” said Bastian during last month’s J.P. Morgan Aviation and Transportation Conference. “And I’d also suggest in this marketplace it would be very difficult to dispose or sell a regional subsidiary as a practical matter. We are where we are.”