Delta Air Lines’s flagship, the Boeing 777-200LR. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Delta Air Lines said Tuesday its refinery in Trainer, Delaware County, posted a $3 million profit for the three months ended Sept. 30.
It was the first quarterly profit since Delta bought the former ConocoPhillips refinery last year to keep supplied with jet fuel.
“We have a tremendous opportunity with the Trainer refinery,” Delta CEO Richard Anderson told investors on a conference call discussing third-quarter financial results. “Importantly, the refinery’s production has proven to be effective in keeping jet cracks in check, particularly in the New York harbor,” he said.
The “crack spread” is the difference between the cost of crude oil and the selling price of jet fuel – it’s the price paid to refiners.
The airline industry took a decisive step toward greater concentration on Thursday with the announcement that American Airlines and US Airways had agreed to merge, forming the nation’s biggest airline. The merged airline, to be called American, leaves just three major carriers — Delta Air Lines and United Airlines too — able to offer extensive domestic and international service, a sharp contraction over the last decade.
But while airline executives argue that mergers are good for passengers because they bring more service to more destinations, some economists and consumer advocates warn that all this consolidation comes at a price for travelers.
With fewer carriers, passengers have fewer options; fares and fees are now more likely to go up, particularly for flights between midsize cities. And more cities, especially smaller ones, can expect to see further reductions in service.
“It’s much easier to have tacit collusion with just three airlines,” said George Hoffer, a transportation economist at the University of Richmond. “It’s not illegal. But it’s like having a few big people in a small boat. Anyone’s decisions tie you all together.”
But now Delta is trying something never tried: operating hubs at two New York airports, LaGuardia and Kennedy, a dozen miles apart. The carrier said Friday that by summer, it will build its LaGuardia operations into a hub providing 264 daily departures to more than 60 cities. They include competitors’ hubs in Charlotte, N.C., Dallas, Houston, and Miami; key destinations in upstate New York; and small cities such as Wilmington, N.C.
The move represents Delta’s effort to use 132 LaGuardia slots, just acquired in a trade with US Airways(LCC) , to establish itself as the primary airline in the world’s biggest travel market. The slots will enable it to add 100 flights and 26 destinations.
Delta Airlines Flight 4061 took off from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Airport at 5:48 p.m. this evening. The 40 passenger regional jet was bound for Detroit.
Shortly after takeoff the pilot realized the nose gear failed to retract so he was forced to return to Avoca and circle the airport until landing clearance was given. The plane safely landed at 6:41 p.m.
Airport officials took every precaution and deployed over two dozen emergency vehicles to the runway in case of any further malfunctions when the aircraft touched down.
Passenger reactions ranged from crying and praying to one individual sleeping through the entire ordeal.
The plane was towed to the terminal for inspection. This was a connecting flight so many passengers were left scrambling to find other connections.