by Michael Lowrey
Ed Bastian, Delta Air Lines Inc.’s new chief executive officer, speaking to Bloomberg:
“We’re looking at the international economies, we’re looking at the risks that we’ve seen on the security front in Europe,” Bastian said. “Maybe some of the flying we’re doing in the fourth quarter, particularly internationally, may not have the returns that we need.”
Is there a soon-to-start international route from North Carolina to Europe on Delta? Why yes there is: Raleigh (RDU) – Paris (CDG) daily year-round on a Boeing 757. The daily year-round aspect of the route is highly “interesting” as transatlantic demand is strongly seasonal — Europe is really nice is June or July, less so in January. This is why, for example, American Airlines only flies Charlotte – Paris seven months of the year (April through October).
Could RDU-CDG be the sort of route that Bastian was referring to if demand is projected to be especially weak or oil prices go up more? Sure. There’s a wildcard though: How much local subsidy money RDU and local business groups are willing to throw at RDU-CDG to keep it operating daily through the year.