FLINT, MI – Delta Air Lines, which lost $ 534 million in the first three months of this year, wants to postpone all flights without paying money for Flint, Lansing, and Kalamazoo. COVID-19 receives in response to the emergency.
Delta said in a file filed with the federal government on Monday 27 April that it was requesting an exemption from the Services Operations Agreement with the Treasury earlier this year – an agreement that guaranteed a minimum number in exchange for billions of dollars. theft. Money to help cover the cost of salaries by September.
“Delta is committed to ensuring that every community that serves this public health emergency will continue to have convenient access to its home network,” the file said. “However, there is nothing more important than Delta for the safety of its employees and customers. During this epidemic, airport staff and employees must put themselves at risk for personnel on each flight, and Delta wants as much as possible to Minimize this risk.
“To reduce the total number of airport personnel, Delta attempts to reduce the risk to the health of its personnel by limiting the number of airport stations so that it is necessary to report for work. Advances.” Line.”
The request is for three airports in Michigan and airports in Melbourne, Florida; Worcester, Massachusetts; Brunswick, Georgia; Peoria, Illinois; Pocatello, Idaho; And Hilton Head, South Carolina.
Delta said its activity in these areas has dried up, with an average carrying only eight passengers per day from April 1 to 22, six to Lansing, and five to Kalamazoo.
In Flint, the airline flies to Atlanta. It serves Kalamazoo / Battle Creek to Detroit and Minneapolis and flies from Detroit to Lansing.
Members of the Flint Bishop Airport Authority said on Tuesday (April 28) that Delta’s request was just the latest marker of an airline industry implicated in the coronavirus epidemic.
According to a recent Associated Press report, on March 1, nearly 2.3 million people across the country passed through security checkpoints, unchanged from the same day last year. Its numbers declined sharply in early April, falling below 100,000 in early April, a drop of nearly 95%.
“I’m really worried about where this is going,” said Bishop Airport Authority President Winfield Cooper. “I don’t expect people to steal a lot … unless there is a vaccine” for coronavirus. “I’m sorry, but I think so. We are in a very dynamic situation.”
The file filed by Delta with Ministerère des Transportes indicates that it acknowledges that granting its waiver request may cause inconvenience to passengers who must drive further to reach their flights.
“However, this inconvenience is offset by the public health and staff safety that Delta is trying to protect,” the airline’s file said. “This is especially true given the limited number of passengers affected, affected by the number of passengers affected” by airports.
The airline says that passengers who typically use Flint Airport can still use Delta flights 74 miles to Detroit, and passengers at Kalamazoo / Battle Creek International Airport and Grand Rapids flights Lansing Capital Region can travel less than 60 miles.
This month is the second waiver request filed for Kalamazoo Airport.
On 11 April United Airlines petitioned the Department of Transportation for an exemption that would allow it to suspend operations there without compromising its federal funds.
This request was denied.
“Delta knows the department recently rejected joint waiver requests for Green Bay, Gunnison, Ithaca, Kalamazoo, Santa Fe, and Valparaiso,” the airline’s file said. “United sought relief for these points only for economic reasons, exposing historically low load factors …
“Here, however, Delta is requesting an exemption to protect the health and safety of airport employees by reducing their exposure to the health risks associated with COVID-19. Delta argues that airport workers have potential There is a possibility of a loss of additional driving distance to use the public interest Delta Network P to protect against exposure to the deadly virus.
“Whenever an airline tries to leave a community temporarily, you are disappointed,” Williams wrote in an email to the Journal. “However, these are unprecedented times for the country and for the aviation industry in particular. Our solid business trips to Kalamazoo and southwest Michigan depend on air services to connect them to the world and the Delta works very well in our region through Minneapolis and Detroit. ”
Delta said in an email to the Journal that its waiver request was focused on areas located in markets served by several airports.
The Delta release stated that these proposed changes would help reduce the number of our front-line employees at risk of exposure, while ensuring convenient access to the Delta network. “If the request is accepted, Delta will work to rehabilitate customers; we will provide salary protection to employees by September 30, 2020. We assess opportunities to take similar action in other markets if necessary. will continue.”