Did you notice the most interesting quote from the Delta CEO this week? An end to regional partners!

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Delta Air Lines partner CRJ200 jet in DTW airport RenesPoints blog

I long for the day these never fly again!

Did you catch it? No, I am not talking about the quote from Delta’s CEO Ed Bastian in the Airwaysnews.com piece about SkyMiles that made me scream at my computer screen and then sigh and want to cry:

“…I realize that there is a component of our loyalty program where people are a little frustrated with what they use to expect to what is actually happening today…” – Delta CEO Ed Bastian Airwaysnews.com

Yes, that is so sad. Ed we are not frustrated, we are furious over the mega cuts and some are departing Delta over the changes your team has made. Yes, the changes this week are good. Keep thinking of ways to make things better, not worse, for us. You have a long way to go.

No what just amazed me was a little part that focused on the coming CS100 & CS300 jets that my blog broke the news about in the beginning of April. Notice what Ed said:

“The CSeries is going to be the next evolution of that strategy as we continue to up-gauge the airline out of the regional space into the mainline space.” – Delta CEO Ed Bastian Airwaysnews.com

WoW and double WoW! That is quite a statement. This is more, to me, than just a desire to dump the CRJ200s for larger aircraft that a Delta regional partner will fly. Just think about the full implications of this statement. Delta wants to get out of the regional airline space and to “up-gauge” to mainline only flying. Talk about forward (and smart) thinking.

When I went on a tour of the Delta OCC, I was shown where they track performance of all the many Delta regional partners companies and jets as well as mainline. The rep that showed me around was not at all shy about sharing the frustration with regional performance vs Delta mainline performance. He shared how hard it is to work with so many companies that are not Delta run airlines. It seems Delta’s CEO wants to change that.

Again, I am just so impressed with this and it fits the Delta culture right now. They want to own or control it all (think Virgin Atlantic, GOL & more). There is a massive pilots shortage on the way so larger jets means more folks on one jet and fly it once rather than twice. Sure it could mean less daily options at some airports but Delta will fly it not another company painted up to look like Delta. Impressive forward thinking.

What do you think about this. Did you catch this news? – René

 

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12 comments

  1. Rene, like me you often use a smaller airport(South Bend?) to connect to a Delta hub(ATL or DTW, I assume).
    As such, regional carriers run 4 of usual 5 daily flights to and from.
    One mainline early am is the only one Delta operates(usually on a newly refurbed A319!).
    I assume we can expect that if Delta wants to own their flights we will see far less frequent service to airports like these?
    After all, 4 50 seaters is roughly equivalent to 1.5 A319’s.
    Like most, I dislike the old, dirty Barbie jets, but more frequent service is better than less, right?

  2. How could they “fly it less” to MYR than the 2 flights a day on some Saturdays?

    Just retire the 200’s. I’d rather have a 20 minute delay on a 700 than spend an extra night away from home due to a reduced schedule.

  3. I am more concerned that they will cut service to my regional airports. They have made several schedule cuts recently which doesn’t make sense as the flights are usually full.

  4. Well Mr. Bastien I know I am a small fish but I used to spend north of $50k a year in Delta and I can assure you I won’t spend $10k this year. First, I decided to burn my SkyPesos for my family summer vacation. What used to be a $10k expense it turned into less than $200 in fees. Then, the most important change: IF I have to connect somewhere anyway I switched to AA. It is cheaper and it takes to where I want to go. Yes, I still give Delta money for non stop flights but not for my loyalty but only for convenience. BTW, I see many more people in my company dumping Delta to fly other airlines. It may take a while but you will soon realize you shot yourself on the foot.

  5. Rene,
    Is this the actual quote?
    “…I realize that there is a component of our loyalty program where people are a little frustrated with what they use to expect to what is actually happening today…” – Delta CEO Ed Bastian Airwaysnews.com

    Wow, editors are failing. ‘Use to vs Used to” sheesh!!! Don’t get me started on Suppose vs Supposed!!

  6. @MaineBigDaddy – Yep. I fixed one other type if you look closely at the Airwaysnews.com post. 😉

  7. Yes, when you only have 1 or 2 flights out of a regional airport (and on some days, none at all) the next step clearly is NO flights ever. Sad, but that’s the way things are going.

  8. The process of flying is no longer enjoyable.I have been a loyal Delta customer for years. But Delta cares not at all about me. Delta Airlines is not loyal to customers like myself who only fly from LAX to JFK 4-6 times a year. Use cash and no miles. You have to have a Delta Credit Card to get any respect. I don’t have one. I am just a low grade “Tin” level flyer.

  9. It’s easy to see which DC partners are struggling. I don’t think Delta will completely do away with their regional feed, at least not any time soon. Their WO sub Endeavor is putting up unreal performance numbers – 62+ straight days without a maintenance or crew cancellation. You can’t just dump that and expect mainline to deliver the same level of service to smaller markets with less frequency on bigger planes. Customers want choice, which is why they fly Delta. This statement about dumping 50 seaters gives good optics, but the reality is that in doing so, they risk eliminating a majority of their feed into markets like NYC, LAX, ATL.

  10. I love this! This is great news and anyone who thinks that delta won’t do better than regional carriers is deluded. Delta has a driving mantra to never cancel a flight unless no choice. The mainline flights now out of TRI is much more reliable that the regional.

    Great Move Delta!

  11. There are four flights from our regional airport TVC to DTW a day (a 30 minute flight). They fly their “big plane” out at 5:40 am and back at 10:00pm. Regional jets make the other two flights during the day. They are always 100% full. Layovers in DTW of 3-4 hours are pretty common in my life. 🙁 We get a *bargain* rate of $729 for the experience.

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