Brown to Delta CEO: Prevent Reduction in Flights at CVG Airport

With Reports This Week of Delta Reducing Service due to Rising Fuel Costs, Brown Calls on Delta CEO to Bolster Flight Schedule at CVG

WASHINGTON, D.C. — With reports this week of Delta Air Lines reducing flights at the end of this year, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today called on Delta CEO Richard Anderson to bolster service and prevent future flight reductions at Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky Airport (CVG).

“Delta has played an important role in the growth of Cincinnati’s economic development and their presence at CVG has spurred revenue for the company,” Brown said. “Southwest Ohio businesses and consumers deserve affordable ticket prices and accessible service. I urge Delta to build a robust flight schedule and prevent further flight reductions at CVG.”

Southwest Ohio is home to major domestic and international companies like Proctor & Gamble, GE Aviation, Toyota, and dozens of foreign based companies that have chosen the region in part because of the travel access provided at CVG. As recently reported by the Cincinnati Business Courier, Duke Energy Corp.’s chief economist cited CVG airport as one major roadblock to economic growth.  

The 2008 merger between Delta and Northwest Airlines was generally supported by the southwest Ohio business community under the condition that flight levels would remain the same and that international service may even expand. 

In February, Brown wrote a letter to Delta CEO Richard Anderson, noting a dramatic decrease in flight levels and fewer direct flights from CVG as hurting southwest Ohio consumers and the Cincinnati business community. Sen. Brown also wrote to the Kenton County Airport Board Chairman urging the board to focus on attracting new airlines, lower ticket costs, and increase passenger traffic.

Full text of the letter is below.

March 23, 2011

Mr. Richard Anderson
Delta Air Lines, Inc.
1030 Delta Boulevard
Atlanta, GA 30320-6001

Dear Mr. Anderson:

I was disheartened to hear of Delta’s plans of further possible reductions in international and domestic flights.  As you announce these cutbacks, I would encourage you to preserve flight levels at the CVG airport.

Since the merger of Delta Airlines and Northwest Airlines, the Cincinnati airport has seen a dramatic reduction in international and domestic flights with a concurrent rise in ticket prices.  In 2005 Delta reported 45,656 domestic and 1,946 international flights from CVG; 2009 reports show 12,449 domestic and 991 international flights.  As you well know, the loss of direct flights is a serious detriment to the economic vitality of the City of Cincinnati and the entire region.  Further decline in services would hurt consumers and put the local business community at a competitive disadvantage.

While passenger airlines have been facing tumultuous times, Delta’s presence at CVG is showing to be beneficial to your company.  Delta’s CVG operations are showing growing revenue from international and domestic flights for the 2010 fiscal year; illustrating the mutually valuable relationship between the Cincinnati area and your company. 

As you consider potential flight reductions, I urge you to structure a robust domestic and international flight schedule at CVG.  I would welcome any discussions on how to maintain these critical services for Cincinnati. 

Thank you for your attention to these concerns.

Sincerely,

Sherrod Brown
United States Senator

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