It's no mystery the current financial status of the US airline industry suggests that the legacy air carriers have a long and painful road ahead of them before any profitability can be seen. One logical merger is that of Delta and Continental. These two money-losing airlines can both combine their assets and trim the excess fat of to form one profitable and premium airline. Here are some examples of what should be executed in such a merger:
+ The name is Delta Air Lines, which also operates Delta Connection and Delta Shuttle. Song will have played its last tune due to demand of premium air service in the markets, therefore mainline Delta will take over some of those routes.
+ Gordon Bethune is Chairman and CEO
+ Headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia with a reduced Sr. Management headcount from the two combined airlines.
+ Primary hubs in Atlanta, Houston and Newark. Secondary hubs consist of Cincinnati and Salt Lake City.
+ Atlanta and Salt Lake City will see virtually no change in service from current levels, except Continental will be gone.
+ Houston and Newark will see the current level of service that Continental has, except it's now served by Delta.
+ Dallas/Ft. Worth will be operated primarily as an O&D airport to Delta's primary and secondary hubs plus point-to-point service to LAX
+ Cleveland will be absorbed by Delta's Cincinnati hub, therefore only nonstop service to ATL
+ Cincinnati will be at approximately current levels, however, the increase from the absorption of Continental's Cleveland hub will be offset by the increased connectivity at Houston.
+ New York JFK
will be scaled back significantly in favor of the Newark hub. JFK
will only see service to the primary and secondary hubs and the transcontinental nonstops to LAX
will remain. International Skyteam partners will continue to serve JFK
+ The fleet will be streamlined to consist of Boeing 737-300, 737-500, 737-700, 737-800, 737-900, 757-200 (RR-powered CO
752s and 753s will be gone due inconsistency in the fleet), 767-200 (15 ex-DL 762s will be retired), 767-300, 767-400, 777-200 (RR Trent-powered DL
772s will be gone too) and MD
-88s. The DL
737-200s and MD
-90s will be gone from the fleet as well as the CO MD
-80s. As profitability increases, expect to see MD
-88s replaced with 737-700s and -800s, and also expect a significant order for the 7E7.
+ Delta could run Air Micronesia as a separate entity or sell it off all together.
It's inevitable that changes are in the air...they may be drastic. A DL
/CO merger could potentially form one strong, high-quality airline. This would not be the death of Continental, but rather it's assets taking on the name of a larger compatibile air carrier that has served of our country well since 1929.