Thursday, November 10, 2011

Delta to Close Memphis Base For Some Pilots in 2012

The Memphis base for Delta Air Lines pilots flying McDonnell Douglas DC-9 and Airbus A320 aircraft will be closed in December 2012, according to an announcement from the airline’s flight operations department.

The closing of the two pilot categories with a Memphis base affects 200 Delta pilots, according to Delta spokeswoman Gina Laughlin.

They were notified with in an advanced entitlement bid the airline issued Thursday, Nov. 10. The bids are issued a few times each year and describe vacancies for pilots to either change their base or change the aircraft they fly.

The pilots could continue to live in the Memphis area but commute to New York or Atlanta as their base.

The Airbuses will continue to fly into and out of Memphis International Airport, but they won’t be based at the airport – a hub for Delta Air Lines, which is headquartered in Atlanta.

Delta had already announced its intent to retire all DC-9s in its fleet by the end of 2012.

Laughlin said the move should have “little to no impact” on flights into and out of Memphis. It will not affect other Delta employees.

Regional air service by Delta at Memphis International was cut substantially starting in late August as part of a system-wide reduction for Delta aimed at making permanent cuts in the airline’s capacity.

Delta CEO Richard Anderson has said the overall strategy for the Memphis hub is to make Memphis a destination for spillover traffic from its Atlanta hub.

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