July 28, 2012- On Friday, Delta Air Lines announced it would shut down Comair, its 35-year old regional airline in late September. The airline is shifting to larger jets and will send out termination notices to the 1,700 employees. At the present time, Comair only has 290 flights each day. Over 1,000 employees of Comair are located in Cincinnati and parts of northern Kentucky.
Over the past seven years the work force, fleet and flights have been cut at Comair. Delta said operating smaller regional aircraft is expensive since they are not very fuel-efficient and are more expensive to maintain when the fleet gets old.
Delta, which is based out of Atlanta, had over 500 50-seat jets four years ago and will reduce that number to 125 over the next two years. The majority of the flying to replace them will be done in 76-seat jets and a Boeing 117- seat aircraft that are being leased from Southwest.
Delta announced it has already stopped flying 16 of the 50-seaters that Comair has and will lease the other planes to other operators that need them. The employees will be given termination notices of 60 days.
Only 1% of all of Delta’s flights are handled by the regional airline therefore very little change will take place in their network.
The governor of Kentucky, where many Comair employees live, called the news devastating for the area.