Delta CEO Says Cincinnati Service Safe After Memphis Cuts

Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL) said it’s maintaining the number of flights and jobs in Cincinnati, after announcing plans 10 days ago to scale back in Memphis, Tennessee.

“The Cincinnati hub is doing quite well,” Richard Anderson, chief executive officer of Atlanta-based Delta, said in his weekly recorded message to employees. “We feel really good about where our service levels are there, and beyond what we’ve announced in Memphis, we don’t have any significant network changes planned.”

Delta is retiring inefficient 50-seat jets from the smallest of its eight hubs. With rising jet-fuel prices, these planes have become too expensive to operate, leading to a June 4 decision to trim flights in Memphis by more than a third and cut 230 jobs, two Delta executives told employees in a memo.

Delta has 112 daily flights from Cincinnati, a 69 percent decline from June 2008, said Anthony Black, a spokesman for the carrier. The regional unit consolidated ground operations in the Ohio city, Delta’s second-smallest hub after Memphis, about three years ago to reduce costs, eliminating 840 jobs.

Delta shares fell 0.3 percent to $18.66 at 1:45 p.m. in New York. The shares have gained 58 percent this year through yesterday’s close, topping the advance of the Bloomberg U.S. Airlines Index, which is up 42 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Leslie Picker in New York at lpicker2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ed Dufner at edufner@bloomberg.net

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