Experts: Delta’s Cancellation of Amsterdam Flight Will Hurt Memphis Economy

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(Memphis) When Northwest Airlines and KLM began non-stop service between Memphis and Amsterdam, it was seen as a boon to business on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

Now, with its cancellation official, business people say they’re mourning its loss.

We showed you the impact in our series of reports Northwest to the Netherlands in 1995.

Memphis businesses with European operations were counting on the non-stop flight to move cargo and personnel.

Business consultant and Delta Critic Tom Jones of Smart City Consulting, says the flight’s cancellation could not come at a worse time, ”The more we’re disconnected from the national/international economy the worse we are here."

Delta blames high fuel costs, the European economic slump and its Memphis downsizing for the cut.

Jones says counting on FedEx to pick up the cargo slack might be a gamble, ”FedEx is going through its own struggles."

Plus, he says the loss of Delta airline connections will hurt FedEx’s ability to move it’s pilots around.

All in all, Jones believes the very business connections we showed Memphis viewers 17 years ago, will hurt from the loss of the flight, both here and in Europe, ”At a time when it’s all about connecting to the world economy it's really damaging if not disastrous for us in Memphis."

Northwest and KLM reportedly worked hard to make the route profitable from both a cargo and passenger standpoint.

Critics say since Delta’s priorities lay elsewhere, the Memphis to Amsterdam flight was just too big an effort for the airline.