Wednesday, September 01, 2010

COVINGTON, KY - JULY 16:  Delta Airlines jets ... Comair to shrink fleet, staffing
Business Courier of Cincinnati Sept 1, 2010

Comair Inc.
With no buyer in sight, Comair Inc. said it will reduce the size of its fleet down to a 44-aircraft operation and cut staff in an effort to lower its cost structure.

In a memo sent to employees Wednesday morning, the Northern Kentucky-based airline said it will entirely eliminate its aging 50-seat aircraft between now and 2012. The airline will keep flying its 70-seat CRJ-700s and 76-seat CRJ-900s, bringing its total fleet from nearly 100 planes to just 44 aircraft.

With the change in fleet size will come job cuts and a possible headquarters move. The company did not provide specifics in the memo, but President John Bendoritis said all departments will be impacted by the reduction in staffing.

“By the end of 2012, staffing will be commensurate with what is needed to run a 44-aircraft operation,” he said.

A Delta spokeswoman was not immediately available to provide specifics on job cuts. The first round of crew furloughs will take place in the second quarter of 2011, according to the memo.

Comair employs a total of about 2,500, with 1,800 of those based at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.

Bendoritis said the airline also is exploring a move out of its headquarters building into smaller space near the airport.

Comair’s parent, Delta Air Lines Inc, (NYSE: DAL) has been exploring a sale of the carrier since 2007. In July, Delta sold two other regional carriers, Mesaba and Compass Airlines for $82.5 million.

Rumors emerged earlier this month of a possible sale of Comair to Skywest, but a deal has not materialized.

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