International Airport will continue to work closely with Delta Air Lines
in its restructuring efforts here while foreseeing long-term growth for
the Airport in the years ahead. The Airport has had communications with
Delta officials on the possibility of restructuring. Today, Delta
announced it is reducing its daily flights at DFW from 256 to 21, with the
remaining flights servicing Delta’s other hubs in Atlanta, Cincinnati and
Salt Lake City. Delta expects the new flight schedule to be in place by
January 31, 2005. The airline also announced it will also significantly
reduce its workforce in North Texas. “Delta is a long-respected tenant of DFW International Airport and has
experienced much success as one of our original airlines when we opened in
1974,” says Max Wells, Chairman of the DFW International Airport Board of
Directors. “Naturally, we all express our concern for Delta’s local
employees and their families. The airline is doing what it believes is in
its best interest to survive, and we’re glad the airline will maintain a
presence here. DFW will continue to work with Delta on plans to maximize
its success and profitability at DFW following the implementation of its
DFW is currently evaluating the financial impact to the Airport regarding
possible Delta operating decisions, and will be implementing cost-cutting
procedures to respond as needed.
Meanwhile, DFW is already in dialogue with a number of other air carriers
who have expressed some interest in expanding service at DFW or initiating
The Airport remains a strong, attractive market for expanded and new
service, as evidenced by the growth of American Airlines and AirTran
Airways over the past year. And DFW has never turned away an airline
wanting to offer service here in its 30-year history.
“With the most capacity of any airport in the world, DFW is fortunate to
have the size, competitive cost structure and local market strength to
‘backfill’ many routes reduced by Delta, says Jeff Fegan, CEO of DFW. “All
of the aviation business fundamentals that have served DFW well over 30
years, and particularly after 9/11, continue to work well today. DFW is in
the geographic center of the United States, we have plenty of capacity for
expansion, an extremely strong local travel market, and North Texas is an
international business center. We maintain an extremely low cost structure
to make it an attractive place for airlines to start and grow service.”
DFW’s post 9/11 rebound in passenger traffic has continued to outpace the
entire industry for the past 17 months.
In July of this year, DFW’s passenger traffic was up 8.8%, while the
industry was up only 4.2%. The 5.68 million passengers who passed through
DFW in July comprised the best month for passenger traffic at DFW since
DFW will also set an all-time record for local passengers in North Texas
this year handling more than 23 million travelers, with local travelers
spending nearly $8 billion in airline tickets annually.
Low-cost carriers hit an all-time high for passengers at DFW in July 2004,
handling 251,930 passengers, up approximately 21% from the prior year.
Delta’s decision will have no impact on the opening of International
Terminal D, the new SkyLink people mover or the Grand Hyatt Hotel. The
Airport also anticipates no impact to its bond ratings. At this point, the
Airport anticipates no staff reductions as a result of Delta’s decision,
but employees will continue to be asked to keep a close eye on costs and
expenses while maintaining a strong level of customer service.
No local tax dollars support DFW so there will be no financial impact on
its Owner Cities, Dallas and Fort Worth.
DFW currently estimates a $20 million loss in revenue in fiscal 2005 over
original projections based on Delta’s restructuring and taking into
account American Airlines’ announcement of 70 new daily departures.
“The Airport has returned approximately $81 million to the airlines over
the past three years primarily through cost reductions. These efforts
demonstrate DFW’s strong financial stewardship and a willingness to
partner with its tenant airlines to reduce their costs of operating at DFW
during these difficult times,” says Kevin Cox, DFW’s Chief Operating
Officer. “This fiscal year, DFW projects it will save the airlines
approximately $20 million as a result of reduced expenses and greater than
anticipated revenue. We’ve cut landing fees twice this year. And of
course, we will continue to look at innovative ways to increase
non-aviation revenues to keep costs low for our airlines. This industry
continues to evolve and DFW will continue to work to stay ahead of the