Delta Air Lines pulls out of Fairbanks for good

Posted: Thursday, November 01, 2001

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Delta Air Lines has left Fairbanks, saying business there wasn't good enough to make a profit.

The airline made its last flight from the Interior city Wednesday, with no plans to return.

The financially strapped airline, the nation's third-largest carrier, offered its 32 Fairbanks employees a variety of options, including transfers and furloughs.

On Thursday, Delta reported a $259 million third-quarter loss that was eased by emergency assistance from the federal government, which is doling out $5 billion to help offset industrywide turmoil since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The Atlanta-based airline also said it will lay off 2,000 employees systemwide.

The losses, combined with the attacks, has led to a 16 percent reduction of Delta's systemwide operations, the company said.

The company extended to its 80,000 employees a voluntary program that allowed for leaves of absence, severance pay and retirement packages. Of those, 11,000 employees took the offer, said Delta spokeswoman Peggy Estes.

Delta's vacant ticket counter and cargo bays will cost the Fairbanks International Airport $392,000, airport officials say. No carrier has stepped in to fill the spot, said Dave Carlstrom, director of airport marketing for Fairbanks Economic Development Corp.

''It's a real setback for the airport and the community,'' Carlstrom told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

The airline's departure from Fairbanks leaves Alaska Airlines as the only major carrier offering daily year-round flights.

Northwest Airlines and Condor, a German airline, offer summer Fairbanks flights.

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