Thursday, May 8, 2008

Delta ETA

The chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee's aviation panel said yesterday that he would not oppose the proposed Delta/Northwest merger. Other senators have wanted assurances from the airlines' top brass that the merged carrier won't reduce jobs or service, but they are largely unopposed, making the merger more likely.

A few weeks ago, I read a Minnesota public radio blog about how long it will take to brand (repaint) Northwest planes into Delta planes.

The blog's sources agreed it would take about a week for each plane. (There's also a cool video.)

"With 500 airplanes, that would be 9-10 years if they only did one airplane at a time (recognizing they don't paint just one airplane at a time). New airplanes, of course, will be delivered with Delta's colors."

But that got me wondering about rebranding Northwest gates at Memphis International.

Larry Cox, president and CEO of the Memphis Shelby County Airport Authority, says the cost to the airport will probably be "minimal."

"The cost of redoing the signage will probably be about $100,000. That's just an estimate," he said. "Anywhere it says Northwest, it will have to be transformed."

"Any costs that we incur, the airlines will cover. It's not going to cost us anything out of our pocket," Cox added. "If it costs $100,000, $200,000, a million, they pay for it. We're insulated."