Ever since the 2008 merger of Delta Air Lines and Northwest, pundits have predicted the demise of Delta’s Cincinnati hub.
Its proximity to Detroit and Memphis made it vulnerable. Its large share of regional jet service—at one time the largest among the 31 largest airports—made it unattractive to frequent flyers.
But although Delta downsized at Cincinnati twice, it never officially dehubbed its operation there. It might have done so if Southwest had staked a claim, but that didn’t happen. Instead, Delta announced in 2013 that it would dehub Memphis.
As for Cincinnati, there’s life in the old girl yet. Delta just announced that it is expanding seat capacity for the summer at CVG by 6% through a mix of mainline aircraft and larger regional jet aircraft that are equipped with a first-class cabin.
“We’ll still operate the same number of daily departures this summer as we did last summer—a total of 82—but with the changes we’ll have more available seats,” a spokesman said.
Of the 35 destinations Delta serves from Cincinnati, the 13 most popular will experience improved schedules.
More than 75% of all flights will operate with aircraft providing a first class cabin, the largest amount ever offered in Cincinnati.
Among the upgrades are:
- Additional daily flights to Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Orlando and Toronto.
- Aircraft upgrades in two markets: Denver to mainline, and all Minneapolis flights will offer first class.
- Fort Myers service will operate daily throughout the summer; Seattle service will extend into the fall and spring
Delta also is improving schedules in four markets: Charlotte, Hartford, Newark and Philadelphia. Schedules in these markets will be retimed to allow for day trips, with morning departures and evening returns. Flights will also be more evenly distributed for improved coverage throughout the day.
Delta’s 82 peak-day departures this summer will include nonstop service to Paris Charles de Gaulle in conjunction with joint venture partner Air France KLM.