Comair To Shut Down

 - July 27, 2012, 10:00 AM
Once the dominant carrier at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, Comair will fly its last passenger on September 29.

The first airline in the Western Hemisphere to fly the current generation of 50-seat regional jets will cease all operations by the end of September. Delta Air Lines subsidiary Comair, a Bombardier CRJ operator since 1993, will fly its last passenger on September 29, marking the end of a 35-year run as one of the most recognizable names in the U.S. regional airline business.

“While regional flying has [been] and will remain a key component of Delta’s network, customer expectations and the unit costs of regional flying have evolved,” wrote Delta Connection senior vice president Don Bornhorst in a memo to the officers and directors of Delta Air Lines.  “In response, Delta recently announced its plans to reduce the total number of regional jets in its network while adding more mainline flying… As a result of this reduction and changes to its customer-focused business strategy, Delta has made the difficult decision to cease Comair’s operations.”

In a separate memo issued this morning to all employees, Comair president Ryan Gumm explained that the decision by Delta to close the Cincinnati-based airline centered on the advanced age and cost of its regional fleet. Flying the oldest RJ fleet in the Delta Connection system, Comair for years has presented a target for Delta’s cost-cutting and fleet paring exercises, most notably in 2010, when the company announced it would cut 49 fifty-seat CRJs by the end of this year, leaving the company with just 16 CRJ200s, 15 CRJ700s and 13 CRJ900s. Now, as Delta moves to pare the total complement of 50-seat jets in its regional system from some 350 to 125, Comair again faces the proverbial ax.

Left with just the 28 larger regional jets, the company no longer carries the economies of scale to remain viable.

“The discontinuation of Comair’s operations is in no way a failure or a reflection of your work—it is an unfortunate necessity due to the economic limitations of our aging aircraft, cost structure, the long-term outlook for 50-seat aircraft, and our challenging industry and economy,” said Gumm.

Delta insists the move will not result in any significant changes to its network, although it will have to reallocate Comair’s larger regional jets to other Delta Connection carriers.

Comair now accounts for roughly one percent of Delta’s network capacity, meaning customers can expect “no disruption” to service and no “significant” adjustments to Delta’s flight schedule or locations served.

It also stressed that Cincinnati will continue to serve as an important market in its worldwide network.  “Cincinnati is now a profitable market for Delta and the city continues to enjoy more than 120 peak daily flights, with nonstop service to 49 destinations,” Delta said in a statement. “No reductions in the number of Delta flights are planned at Cincinnati as a result of this decision.”


Very sensitive of you Gregory. Detailing every make, model and quantity of aircraft, without mentioning the figure of 1700 individuals...fathers, mothers, sons and daughters...who will be added to the unemployment roll. 1000 in Cincinnati alone!
No mention of the suppliers and how their employees will be impacted by this "unfortunate necessity".

Still think there is a coming pilot shortage? Baloney! All the best to those who have or will lose their jobs due to this shutdown.

No mention of the fact that they have an aged fleet and un-economic seat count because management made the decisions to not upgrade their fleet or invest significant captital or brain cells to keep Comair viable. Just as Tod stated, there is a huge human cost to these decisions. Pilots who invested their lives and life savings in these jobs will be out on the street. Did they offer them mainline jobs? Is that possible?

Derugulation provided the opportunity for Comair to grow and prosper, but it also created a very unstable environment for all employees in the airline industry. We can now add these 1700 employees to the list of hundreds of thousands of former airline employees who have lost their jobs and careers due to deregulation, which failed to protect the careers of workers who have been the victims of poor management decision making in what is now a very unstable industry.

Obviously the root of this event is fuel prices. As attempts to access more oil from Canada via the keystoe pipeline that Obama blocked, we have rising oil prices and gas prices unnecessarily . Bush opend up more oil drilling areas before he left office in 2008 and oil prices fell below $ 40 a barrell. Obama immediately recinded those Bush directives and oil began soaring back above $ 100 a barrell. I wonder how many of those Employees voted for "Change" in 2008? Well they are getting that" Change" in spades today unfortunately.

Once again a "president" keeps his $Million salary while thousands of pilots, F/As, mechanics, and suppliers get the shaft. As Rick16803 said, fuel prices are mostly to be blamed for this --but-- so is a management who lacked vision. From now on I will be fixing diesel trucks, and to hell with aviation!

Hope this helps.
LITTLETON, CO (August 1, 2012) – Avjobs, Inc. makes services available to all 1700 displaced employees of Comair with the highest level of reemployment assistance. All displaced employees of Comair are eligible to receive free reemployment assistance through Avjobs Cares Reemployment Services.

Avjobs Cares
The Avjobs Cares Discount Program is designed to ease the transition of displaced aviation employees and allow the industry to recapture quality talent. The program provides Comair participants with an extended free service period added to the end of an existing accounts' regular billing cycle. The extended free period is normally six (6) months of additional service but has been extended for Comair participants to twelve (12) full months. If you have been affected by the Delta Comair announcement, you may be eligible for an additional twelve (12) months free service on your existing account.

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