Delta Pulls Comair Flights Out Of Concourse C

Delta Pulls Comair Flights Out Of Concourse C

Reported by: Jeff Brogan, Bill Price and Shannon Kettler
Web produced by: Ian Preuth

Delta has confirmed it's pulling all of it's Comair flights out of Concourse C at Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International Airport.

In 1994, Concourse C at the Greater Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International Airport opened to customers.

In order to get to Concourse C, commuters have to take a shuttle from the main terminal.

On Tuesday, Delta announced Concourse C is shutting down by January of 2009 due to a reduction of flights brought on by the high fuel costs.

"By consolidating our flights, we can put our customers in the amenity rich environment in concourse A and concourse B. So really the schedule pull down and the consolidation is making this happen," said Don Bornhorst, Senior VP of Delta Connection.

Bornhorst said less than a hundred Comair employees will lose their jobs.

"No impact to Delta employees whatsoever and the impact to Comair should be small and when we do we will work voluntary programs and normal attrition and try minimize impact to our employees," said Don Bornhorst, Senior VP of Delta Connection.

A vendor at the airport did not want to talk on camera but tells 9news the announcement is devastating.

Starting as early as next week a number of gates at Concourse C will close for good.

There are currently 23 vendors at Concourse C.

What will happen to all of them and how many jobs will be lost at this point is unclear.

"We do receive a great deal of revenue from payroll taxes here at the county government and when jobs our lost that means a reduction in payroll taxes. This will not be a major impact on the payroll but it will be a major impact on those families," said Judge Executive Gary Moore of Boone County.

Customers have mixed reaction to Delta's announcement.

"I don't like the fact they are reducing the number of flights but I like the fact I don't have to go to concourse C because taking the shuttle, it takes longer and you are in hurry so that will help out," said Chris Graham, a Comair Customer.

Delta will continue paying on their lease for another 17 years until 2025.

We still don't know how many Comair and vendor workers will find their Concourse C jobs moved to other parts of the airport, and how many could end up losing their jobs. Delta says it will move many of those jobs to Concourse A and B when it moves all Comair flights out of Concourse C in January.

Other workers at Concourse C shops and restaurants may also be affected when Comair pulls its flights out and moves them to other concourses. Some workers may be able to move to jobs at co-owned shops elsewhere in the airport, while other employees may face job losses.

Why is Delta making this change with it's wholly-owned subsidiary, Comair? A Delta news release says it wants to increase passenger comfort by eliminating the shuttle bus ride to Concourse C as well as having to board Comair's regional jets by walking outside the terminal to the plane.

The airline says it is building 11 new loading bridges and making other improvements so passengers will always have covered walkways when boarding or leaving Comair planes, after January.           

Release from Delta:

All flights to be handled on Concourses A, B, effective January 2009

CINCINNATI, Aug. 26, 2008 – Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) customers flying via the Cincinnati hub soon will have a sure way to stay dry and warm when arriving and departing from the airport.  Effective next January, Delta will relocate flights currently operated at Concourse C to Concourses A and B where customers will have improved access to jet bridges at gates, Delta Crown Room Clubs and other tools such as kiosks and helpline phone banks to ensure that the flying experience is consistent when transiting Cincinnati via Delta or Delta Connection flights.

Delta has already begun work with the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky Airport to add at least 11 new passenger loading bridges and other passenger handling improvements on Concourses A and B that ultimately will eliminate ground-level boarding of Delta Connection flights and will eliminate passenger bussing between Concourses B and C.  The transition to all-covered boarding will occur over the next 2-3 years while Delta bus transfers will cease in January when Delta Connection operations are moved from Concourse C.

"Delta's commitment is to offer our customers a seamless travel experience whether they are flying Delta or Delta Connection from any of our hubs," said Don Bornhorst – senior vice president, Delta Connection.  "Cincinnati is and will remain an important hub in our network and we are pleased to take steps to invest in the long-term efficiency of the hub and respond to customers' requests for more covered boarding, improved access to Crown Room clubs and the elimination of bus transfers to and from their flights."

The transition of Concourse C operations to Concourses A and B will not directly result in additional schedule changes as this move is made possible by changes previously completed or announced in response to record-high fuel costs.

With its fall 2008 schedule, Delta operates 298 peak daily departures between the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky hub and 93 worldwide destinations, including year-round nonstop service to three trans-Atlantic markets – London-Gatwick, Paris-Charles DeGaulle, and Frankfurt.

There will be no impact to Delta employment at the hub as a result of the closure of Concourse C as Delta employees will continue to handle all ticketing and mainline flight arrivals and departures.

Comair employees currently handling flights at Concourse C will be moved to Concourses A and B to handle all Delta Connection departures.  Any adjustment in staffing for Comair employees as a result of this move will be handled through attrition or through the company's voluntary programs.

Delta's hub at Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport generates nearly $4.5 billion in annual economic benefit for the region.  While metro Cincinnati is approximately one-quarter the size of metro Chicago – the Midwest region's largest aviation hub – Cincinnati residents enjoy access to nearly 80 percent of the total number of destinations served nonstop by the largest air carrier at Chicago-O'Hare.

Delta Air Lines operates service to more worldwide destinations than any airline with Delta and Delta Connection flights to 312 destinations in 61 countries. Delta has added more international capacity than any major U.S. airline during the last two years and is the leader across the Atlantic with flights to 44 trans-Atlantic markets. To Latin America and the Caribbean, Delta offers 393 weekly flights to 47 destinations. Delta's marketing alliances also allow customers to earn and redeem SkyMiles on more than 16,000 flights offered by SkyTeam and other partners. Delta is a founding member of SkyTeam, a global airline alliance that provides customers with extensive worldwide destinations, flights and services. Including its SkyTeam and worldwide codeshare partners, Delta offers flights to 500 worldwide destinations in 105 countries. Customers can check in for flights, print boarding passes, check bags and flight status at

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