Airport Business

MAY 2017

The airport professional's source for airport industry news, articles, events, and careers.

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INDUSTRY INSIDER 52 airportbusiness May 2017 got theirs. They can hire consultants, but we have our own people here that are going to do the same and have access to even more data. If there is a city that is looking for service, then we want to know what's happening in that city. What are the people doing? What's the econ- omy doing? Airports should be thinking more global- ly about where we go because we are a large carrier in the U.S. and we serve major domestic markets. On a global scene, there is still a lot of potential out there. And it's not just for us with our own metal, but through our partnerships. We've got our friends at KLM and our Virgin Atlantic partnership that's been incredibly successful. We just got approval to expand our joint venture with AeroMexico. We also have a strong partnership with GOL in Brazil. We're working very closely right now in Asia with China Eastern and Korean Air. It's always fun putting a dot on the map, but it strengthens the overall global picture when we have these important relationships and joint ventures not only for us, but for consumers, who get so many more options. AB: A lot of cities offer incentives to get airlines to come to their airport. How import- ant are those incentives as part of an overall package to get Delta to come to a city or expand existing service? BC: It's not necessarily going to make the decision for us. One of the challenges that incentive programs can have is that they'll offer us money for service. But at the end of the time, if it's not working, it's a bad mark not only on the city and the airport, but also on Delta. So, it goes back to your original question. We want to know what we expect the outcome of that city is going to before we go. We want to be sure we are going to be a success without incentives. One of the worst things for us would be having to keep going back to an airport and say we need more [money]. That's not good for Delta or the community. There are cities that hire consultants who will tell them how to get service and then don't. The airport director is under pressure from groups like the city council or the airport board. You can throw a lot of money at it, but keep in mind that we don't like going in and then out. It's not fair to the cities and it's not fair to our customers, so I think you've got to figure out what really works beforehand. AB: CEO Ed Bastian spoke about Delta spending $3 billion on the new terminal at LaGuardia Airport, along with spending money to upgrade Terminals 2 and 3 at LAX and the Minneapolis-St. Paul hub. Why are these investments so important? BC: These investments are important for us because we have the growth, but we also have to have an experience for our custom- ers that is good. We don't want them to be in crowded terminals or places where they are unhappy. We want to have the conveniences that travelers are looking for. If you look at us, we have airport investment projects going on almost everywhere. LaGuardia is happening and at Los Angeles, we are actually moving and renovating. We're moving from T5 and T6 over to T2 and T3, and we will be renovating them. We have a big project in Seattle and Salt Lake City is building a new terminal. We need to be out there for future capacity growth. And more importantly, it's needed for the travel experience for our customers. And for our employees, it feels much better working in a new terminal. You probably feel that way too. If you walk through a new terminal it makes your day a bit brighter. AB: What are your priorities for 2017 going into 2018? BC: We're going to keep building on all the cornerstones that we have, whether it be our network or our operational performance. We're also going to continue to invest in products, people and our customers. There's so many areas for us to go. Delta is in a great position for the future and 2017 is going to be a great year. Delta is spending $3 billion on the new terminal at LaGuardia International Airport, which is targeted at continued growth in the market. Delta Air Lines Delta looks at the local economy of a region when determining service to see if it's an area that makes sense to add additional service. Benet Wilson

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