DELTA Airlines has announced it will stop serving twenty four (24) small US cities. With fuel costs so high, these small, rural airports with passenger "load factors" between 12% and 63% will be waving goodbye to Delta.
Some of the small airports Delta will stop serving currently receive hundreds of thousands per year in "Essential Air Service" subsidies from the Federal government. It's not enough, however, to keep airlines serving them if costs for fuel stay high.
Wouldn't be surprised to see other airlines make comparable announcements for other US cities - coming at us faster than a speeding train if Republicans demand that EAS subsidies be eliminated to protect the corporate jet deduction Obama spoke of.
I'm familiar with some of the listed cities Delta will no longer stop at and noticed that several originated during the logging boom of the early Industrial Revolution - hence the Paul Bunyan metaphor. Many are definitely off the beaten path. Example: Iron Mountain, MI IMT, load factor=48.7%.The full Delta news release covering this announcement is here.
Below is presented the list of 24 small cities proposed to lose Delta service, per the Delta website page titled Essential Air Service (EAS) Market Change Summary
Off we go...into the wild blue yonder!
Growing up near Iron Mtn MI, back in the 50's and early 60's, I recall that when Dad went on a business trip it took like a week to get to some other state for a meeting and involved every possible mode of transit both ways. Something tells me that we are headed back to this travel model and that US corporations based in small cities will come to count more on the internet for basic meetings.
Too bad so many Republican governors rejected high speed passenger train development stimulus grants lasts year. Those trains, when finished, could have shaved some time off the Train Plane Bus Walk & Do It Again business trips.
Oh well...small businesses will just have to invest in corporate jets like the big boys do. Why private jets? Rural broadband infrastructure development stimulus package also got the axe.
Paul Bunyan...he's coming to a town near you.