(Memphis) More than 200 people will lose their jobs because of Delta’s decision to remove Memphis as one of its hubs, but Mayor AC Wharton says the city is doing everything it can to find those people jobs and keep them in the city.
Delta is cutting more than a third of their flights, dropping down to just 64 a day, and that may be an inconvenience for passengers.
But for more than 200 Delta Employees, this means their livelihood could be flying away.
“Let be honest about it. It is a big blow to the viability of the airport,” said Wharton.
Memphis International Airport serves more than 10 million passengers every year and is number one in the nation for cargo thanks to FedEx, but the recent news about the loss of hub status for Delta means turbulence for the airport, and the people who work there.
“They love this city. These are folks that have choices and I hate that. We will do all that we can to see that they are place in other jobs in the Memphis Community,” said Wharton.
Wharton says the city’s Workforce Investment Network is the key.
He says the employees who are losing their jobs can work with the cities representatives to be placed in another job in Memphis.
Wharton says new job opportunities could also open up with new airlines.
He says Delta’s departure could actually bring even more flights and jobs.
“Now we have an opportunity to work even harder to bring in low-cost carriers who would not find it feasible to come in as long as Delta is flying 95 or 100 flights out of here,” said Wharton.
He says the city is in active talks to make that happen.
Industry is also a big part of the workforce in Memphis and the president of the Chamber of Commerce says the airport plays a big role in bringing those jobs here.
“Air service is really important and up until yesterday it hasn’t played as much a role because the access is still there,” said Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce President John Moore.