According to a Reuters report, Delta’s Chief Financial Officer Edward Bastian said the bankrupt airline may sell its regional carrier Comair to help raise money during restructuring. This latest development comes just a few days after Delta and its pilots union were sharply criticized by an arbitrator for failing to resolve their differences.
Comair, which is wholly owned by Delta, and operates more than 1,000 daily flights to 115 cities in the U.S., Canada, and the Bahamas, appears to be having labor problems that parallel Delta’s own. It says it needs $42.3 million in annual cost cuts, and is asking for $8.9 million from its 970 flight attendants. Unfortunately for the attendants, this translates to about $10,880 in salary reductions, a considerable amount for people making an average annual salary of $28,000. Not surprisingly, the flight attendants have authorized a strike if Comair decides to cut their pay.
All of this does not bode well for the traveling public, which would certainly suffer if Comair stops flying due to a walkout. Likewise, Delta might benefit financially by selling Comair, but without its regional carrier, will Delta’s flight map shrink so that loyal passengers are forced to look elsewhere for those 1,000 daily flights?