RadioBDC Logo
| Listen Live
 
 
< Back to front page Text size +

What the Delta-NWA merger will mean at Logan

Posted by Paul Makishima, Globe Assistant Sunday Editor  October 30, 2008 12:36 PM

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

The $2.6 billion Delta-NWA deal is done, creating The World's Largest Airline. But what does it mean here?
The answer is initially nothing and beyond that the biggest change will likely involve a little reorganization at Logan and possibly the introduction of another domestic carrier there.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. The combined airline, which will be called Delta, says that it hopes to be able to have its networks combined “before next summer,’’ according to Betsy Talton, an airline spokewoman. Until then, passengers who booked with either airline will continue to use that airline’s terminals; all routes and flights will continue, so passengers can continue to plan new trips on the routes each airline flies.
Longer term, the new Delta will become The Sky King at Logan, with nearly 21 percent of the passenger market share, according to Massport figures from September. But because it is followed closely by American with about 17 percent the airline’s presence won't be commanding.
Logan passengers will likely see little near-term change in service as there is no overlap in the nonstop routes either flies from here -- in fact, across their systems there is little overlap.
“When many people hear about mergers they think it’s all about cutting service,’’ Talton told me. “This one is focused more on offering customers more options.’’
Perhaps the biggest change will come in terminal assignments. Right now, Delta operates out of Terminal A and Northwest Terminal E. With this merger, Northwest will move and consolidate its operations with Delta's in Terminal A, according to Edward C. Freni, the airport's director of aviation. Freni says he expects the moves to take place as early as the end of March.
"We've been working with Delta on this for months,'' he said.
This makes a good bit of sense for all given that Delta had a bigger premerger presence (with 14.1 percent of the market vs. NWA’s 6.7 percent) and was located in the newer Terminal A, which had some open space.
From Logan's perspective this is a good deal, too. This will allow the airport to make better use of Terminal E for foreign departures, Freni said, and it clears space for Logan to try to attract another domestic carrier.
There are obviously any number of candidates and the folks at Logan would only say that they are constantly in talks with carriers. But it would make a great deal of sense if one of the carriers they have tea with is luxe discounter Virgin America. Logan wants and likes discount carriers as they offer competitive pressure to keep prices down, which, in turn, helps encourage traffic at the airport.
Executives at Virgin have said that they were interested in moving into the Boston market. Many airline watchers thought earlier this year that the carrier might be headed here as it said it would add two cities east of the Mississippi in 2008. In a February interview, Virgin CEO David Cush hinted that the lucky two could be Chicago and Boston, saying the carrier favored cities with large business centers.
Virgin finally opted for Chicago and Newark, N.J. Plans for Newark got shelved, however, because of government rules aimed at curbing air traffic in the New York area.
I asked Abby Lunardini, Virgin America director of corporate communications, what the outlook for Boston was and she said that there were "no immediate plans to enter the Boston market in 2009. We’re tapping the breaks on our growth at present given the current economic climate, so although we’re still growing ... we won’t be growing as quickly. Boston is a world-class city and important travel market and we do hope to be there eventually (it is still on our target list).''
I take her at her word, but it sounds like kismet to me.



E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

6 comments so far...
  1. "Logan passengers will likely see little near-term change in service as there is no overlap in the nonstop routes either flies from here -- in fact, across their systems there is little overlap.
    “When many people hear about mergers they think it’s all about cutting service,’’ Talton told me. “This one is focused more on offering customers more options.’’"

    So I'm hearing that there will be little change, very little overlap in service, etc.
    How then does this offer "more options" to the consumer? Sounds to me like this is marketing babble.

    Posted by Ahwray October 30, 08 01:09 PM
  1. It doesn't sound like marketing babble. Delta flies out of Logan but not Providence or Manchester, for example. NWA flies out of Providence and Manachester but not Logan. There is the no over lap part. Now with the merger, Delta will fly out of Manachester, Logan and Providence because they are taking over NWA routes. No overlap, more options for people who fly Delta, no lost jobs. Pretty simple.

    Posted by Whatever October 30, 08 01:33 PM
  1. Ummm. "Whatever", you might want another glass of Kool-Aid.

    Northwest most certainly has MANY flights per day out of Logan, and jobs WILL be lost - employees have already been warned they will be consolidating management and replacing NWA staff with Delta staff at Logan.

    Posted by mandakate October 30, 08 04:03 PM
  1. Anything that adds international carriers at Terminal E is always good. More direct flights to more destinations, less wasting time by changing planes in New York, Washington, Atlanta, etc.

    Posted by Archimedes October 30, 08 04:15 PM
  1. What? NWA flies out of Logan. They fly a LOT out of Logan. There are direct flights to Minneapolis-St. Paul, Detroit, Indianapolis, and Amsterdam that I know of off the top of my head. I'm pretty sure they fly direct to Memphis, too. Not as big as Delta, but they definitely have a presence at Logan.

    Posted by Jared October 30, 08 05:04 PM
  1. I have family in Minneapolis and Cincinnati. I hope this leads to lower fares to MSP and CVG. It doesn't make sense to have hubs in Minneapolis, Cincinnati, and Detroit.

    Posted by Liz October 30, 08 05:45 PM
 
About globe-trotting Travel news, tips, deals and dispatches.
contributors
  • Anne Fitzgerald, Globe Travel Editor
  • Paul Makishima, Globe Assistant Sunday Editor
  • Eric Wilbur, Boston.com staff
  • Kari Bodnarchuk writes about outdoor adventures, offbeat places, and New England.
  • Patricia Borns, a frequent contributor to Globe Travel, writes and photographs travel, maritime, and historical narratives as well as blogs and books.
  • Patricia Harris, a regular contributor to Globe Travel, is author or co-author of more than 20 books on travel, food, and popular culture.
  • Paul E. Kandarian, a frequent contributor to Globe Travel, writes and photographs New England and Caribbean stories.
  • Chris Klein is a regular contributor to Globe Travel. His latest book is "The Die-Hard Sports Fan's Guide to Boston."
  • David Lyon, a regular contributor to Globe Travel, is author or co-author of more than 20 books on travel, food, and popular culture.
  • Hilary Nangle, author of Moon Maine, Moon Coastal Maine, and Moon Acadia National Park, writes about soft adventure, skiing, cultural travel, and food.
  • Joe Ray, a frequent contributor to Globe Travel, writes and photographs food and travel stories from Europe.
  • Necee Regis is a regular contributor to Globe Travel.
archives