Rep. Cohen Appeals to Airlines to Expand in Memphis

Rep. Cohen Appeals to Airlines to Expand in Memphis

With Delta Air Lines dropping Memphis International as a hub and reducing its daily flight schedule, U.S. Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN) is asking two airlines to consider expanding their services in Memphis.
MEMPHIS, TN (localmemphis.com) - With Delta Air Lines dropping Memphis International as a hub and reducing its daily flight schedule, U.S. Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN) is asking two newly-merged airlines to consider expanding their services in Memphis.

Delta announced June 4 it will only continue to operate 60 of its 94 daily flights out of Memphis, and approximately 230 jobs would be eliminated as of September 3.

"Despite a series of adjustments in recent years, high fuel costs and the predominant use of inefficient 50-seat regional jets in a small local-traffic market have made Memphis unprofitable as a hub," a Delta Air Lines memo stated.

Memphis International President Larry Cox noted, "We're 300 miles away from Atlanta, in other words a redundant hub, and Atlanta is a much bigger market and a much bigger airport so it's very difficult for Memphis to compete with Atlanta."

On June 17, Cohen sent a letter to the CEO's of American Airlines and US Airways, whose companies recently agreed to a merger, urging them to take advantage of Delta's diminished presence.

"I hope that you will take this opportunity to enter into a newly competitive market in the Memphis airport that did not exist when Delta dominated in our terminals," Cohen stated in his letter. "While my constituents and I are deeply disappointed by the diminished flight schedule announced as a part of this restructuring of Delta’s Memphis presence, its permanent departure from so many of our gates provides a unique opportunity for your new airline."

Cohen has also supported boosting Memphis International as an 'aerotropolis,' with expanded amenities for travelers.

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