And it begins!anic:
Delta Announces Creation of Regional Handling Subsidiary
Comair, Mesaba and Compass Customer Services Teams To Transition
Today, Delta Air Lines is announcing plans to create Regional Handling Services (RHS), a wholly owned Delta subsidiary that will be responsible for oversight of Customer Services for Delta Connection. Today's news means that front-line and support functions currently handled by Comair's 2,600 Customer Services team members in the areas of gate, ramp, tower and baggage operations and support functions will transition to RHS -- along with Compass and Mesaba Customer Services teams -- as early as this fall.
RHS will assume responsibility for all airport ticket counter, gate and baggage handling services in approximately 100 primarily small- and medium-sized airports currently managed by Delta's wholly owned subsidiaries Comair and Mesaba.
Delta's new RHS team will be headquartered alongside Delta Connection in Minneapolis and will be led by Comair veteran Don Stephens. In addition to leading approximately 4,100 airport customer service employees from Comair, Compass and Mesaba, Don's team will also hold oversight of airport customer service functions for 170 airport locations handled by Delta Connection ground handling partners nationwide.
"Today's news obviously represents a big change in our airline's business platform, and one that will reduce our overall size by nearly half, from about 5,700 to 3,100 employees," President John Bendoraitis said in a memo to the Comair team. "As part of our Focus 2009 plan, I've talked extensively about our need to be cost-competitive. This move by Delta certainly supports those efforts to re-align our cost structure by putting us more on par with our competitors who do not have Customer Services as part of their infrastructure. It also enables us to focus solely on our core business of flying airplanes -- making sure we are the best airline