Only 330 miles away from Delta’s fortress hub and world headquarters in Atlanta, it was only a matter of time before service cutbacks at Memphis would occur after the Northwest/Delta merger.
Although Delta promises that Memphis will remain a hub (at least for now), it will slash 25% of its departures from MEM in the coming months, dropping the number of daily flights from 210 to between 150-170.
Yet capacity won’t fall quite that much as Delta targets smaller and less profitable routes:
The cuts will begin in the fall and are focused on smaller planes — 50-seat jets and 34-seat turboprops — that fly to small cities. Memphis is expected to keep its Delta flights to the 50 biggest U.S. cities and a daily flight to Amsterdam. Also, Delta said it will put larger planes on some routes, so the number of available seats will fall less than the number of destinations.
Only 20% of traffic ex-MEM originates there and even though the 330 mile distance between hub isn’t inherently counterproductive (think SFO/LAX or IAD/EWR), it appears to be in this region. At least no mainline routes will be cut.
More info here. Once the routes affected are announced, I’ll post them here.