(MEMPHIS) U.S. Representative Steve Cohen says Delta Air Lines CEO Richard Anderson didn't keep promises made to him and the community after cutting service at Memphis International, including the international flight to Amsterdam.
Cohen's remarks are based on conversations Anderson had with lawmakers before Delta merged with Northwest Airlines.
Cohen points to comments made then by Delta's top man, saying service would not suffer at Memphis after the merger but would grow and that the international flight would be safe.
"Any operational assurance that Delta provided officials was under the understanding that any action to the contrary would not be directly related to the merger", said Anthony Black of Delta.
Black insisted the latest cuts at Memphis International were based on other factors, business decisions that came nearly five years after those "promises" were broken.
"Specifically, raising fuel costs, the current international economic environment, lack of passenger demand and profitability have been the primary drivers of all network restructuring."
Memphians anger with Delta could increase, as the airlines role at the airport may play a role in other airlines relocating here.
Michael Morisi is the founder and President of the new People Express. An upstart airline, using a once popular name. The airline is providing service to underserved airports, and those with higher than average airfare, the latter a characteristic of Memphis International.
Morisi has no plans to touch down in Memphis and blames Delta for that decision, saying the airlines presence here, while reduced, is still extremely strong, and it makes Memphis an unattractive market because Delta can provide a "competitive response".
Morisi means, Delta can keep fares high, lower them when a competitor comes in, driving them out of the market.