The shrinking hub

When Delta and Northwest Airlines announced their merger, then Northwest boss Doug Steenland said Delta’s hub in Cincinnati and Northwest’s hub in Memphis would be kept intact. “We have the right size of operation to make Memphis profitable” he said in April 2008. All of the hubs have a “very secure future.”

Some people thought that assurance was made for political reasons. No sense upsetting a congressman or senator who could raise anti-trust objections. But Steenland insisted the statement wasn’t about politics.

Memphis has seen its traffic grow but it looks like Cincinnati is becoming a hub in name only, according to some numbers-crunching by The Cranky Flier.


  • Sam

    Not to pile on another hub at the mercy of the airline industry, but Cincinnati is truly a miserable airport. I’ve connected many times at all of Northwest and Delta’s various hubs, and Cincinnati is the only one that I now refuse to book through. Every gate seems to be five miles from every other, and frequently, you can’t even walk between them, but have to wait for shuttle buses that seem to run on a schedule of “as often as they damn well please.” It also seems to be chronically understaffed and under construction. Just an awful place to have to spend even an hour or two…

  • John Peschken

    If it makes business sense to keep a hub, Delta will keep a hub. If not, it will go away. I know from personal experience that the promises made by an acquiring company are pretty much worthless. They will do whatever they want with their company in the end.