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Delta Announces Changes Due to Japan, Fuel

In a regulatory filing today, Delta announced a handful of changes due to the situation in Japan and increasing fuel prices.  Worth noting:

– Delta sees 6-9 months of financial pressure because of the earthquake in Japan.  About 8% of the company’s revenue comes from flights to/from/over Japan, and they’re going to reduce Japan capacity by 20% through May, including eliminating Haneda service for the near future.

– As you might have guessed given their strength in Cincinnati, Delta is reducing capacity at their Memphis hub by 25%.  Not a shocker, but a bummer for those in Memphis accustomed to having a robust hub.

– Reducing trans-Atlantic capacity by 4% year-over-year in the second half of 2011.  They haven’t announced specific routes, but in the past this meant cutting a handful of cities and reducing frequencies to secondary cities.

Delta says they remain committed to their focus on customer service aspects of travel, continuing their program to upgrade premium seats, add more first class seats domestically, and add Economy Comfort seating to long-haul travel (I consider this the biggest win for the consumer).  The 1-2 punch of fuel and Japan would’ve been a serious blow to Delta 5 years ago, but they a management team that has been very quick to respond to downturns without relying on fare cutting.  They’ll be fine…

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  1. Unfortunately, CVG is a shadow of its former hub self. It seems almost a misnomer to call it a hub, other than the fact that Delta still has a grip on something like 90% of the flights that takeoff. From 600+ flights/day in 2005 to only about 200 now. Even worse, transatlantic non-stops went from 5 to 1 (CDG) and most of the flights are now on RJs. CVG now sometimes feels like a ghost town on certain days compared to the past. Memphis will feel the same impact. They are the 41st metropolitan area when compared to Cincinnati’s rank at 24, so it makes a little more sense, but airline consolidation has not been kind to the smaller cities.

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