Delta Air Lines Completes Flight Reductions at DFW International Airport; Airport Seeking New Service to Support Terminal E Businesses and North Texas Economy

DFW INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, Texas, Jan. 31 /PRNewswire/ — Delta Air Lines today completed its planned reduction of daily flights at DFW International Airport, and in the process has cleared 24 gates in DFW’s Terminal E. Last September, Delta Air Lines announced it would drop DFW as one of its major hubs and greatly reduce its flight operations in North Texas. Nevertheless, Terminal E is open for business and the empty gates represent an unprecedented chance at growth for another carrier.

On this last day of Delta hub service at DFW, Airport Ambassadors and volunteers hosted a small reception for Delta employees as a way to thank them for their years of dedication to the airline and the Airport. The volunteers gave away cookies and ribbons, and HMS Host provided Starbucks Coffee for the event. In addition, DFW posted a special e-message of thanks to Delta and its employees on the Airport’s web site, http://www.dfwairport.com/ .

On February 1, DFW will regain control of 24 gates in Terminal E and the Airport is currently in negotiations with multiple carriers for use of those gates. In early January, DFW offered the gates in a package deal to any domestic airline interested in leasing at least ten of them, as part of an unprecedented stimulus plan. The offer included free rent in Terminal E for one year and up to $22-million in other incentives.

“Rest assured, we are doing everything we can to attract new or increased service to DFW,” said Jeff Fegan, CEO of DFW International Airport. “This temporary setback represents a unique and very attractive opportunity for any carrier to gain a considerable stronghold in the competitive North Texas air travel market.”

The impact of Delta’s reduction of service at DFW Airport is already having a profound impact on DFW International Airport and the North Texas economy. DFW alone will lose $50-million in annual revenues.

Delta’s restructuring also means the North Texas economy as a whole will lose 7000 jobs and more than three-quarters of a (B) billion dollars annually as a ripple effect, according to a recent study commissioned by the Airport.

“We’re working to maintain our strong business relationships with companies impacted negatively by Delta’s reductions,” said Kevin Cox, Chief Operating Officer of DFW International Airport. “We will also pass measures to relieve concessionaires of many of their minimum requirements to do business in Terminal E while we search for another air carrier or carriers to step in.”

The DFW International Airport Board later this week is expected to approve an aid measure for concessionaires, relieving them of normal rent payments until additional air service returns to Terminal E. Last month, the Board set aside minimum commission requirements from sales for concessionaires affected by Delta’s flight reductions.

“DFW has demonstrated time and again that it is committed to seeing my business interests are protected,” said Jethro Pugh, owner of one of the concession businesses in Terminal E. “We saw it in the period of time after 9/11, and we’re seeing it now. The Airport’s leadership in times of difficulty is what sets it apart.”

Formerly the second-largest carrier at DFW and one of the original carriers from the Airport’s opening in 1974, Delta will now occupy four gates in DFW’s Terminal E. Continental Airlines and Northwest Airlines will each occupy three gates, while AeroMexico and Champion Air will also continue to utilize gates in Terminal E.

About DFW International Airport

Located halfway between the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, DFW International Airport is the world’s third busiest, serving 56 million passengers a year. Offering nearly 1,800 flights daily, DFW Airport provides nonstop service to 123 domestic and 32 international destinations worldwide. For the latest news, real-time flight information, parking availability or further details regarding the many services provided at DFW International Airport log on to http://www.dfwairport.com/ .

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