From a reader:

Every few weeks comes another service announcement cut for Memphis from Delta. Filled with local officials saying its not that bad and Delta saying they are committed to the community. Add the inability of the local press to ask any hard questions and well…I fully expect to read the below any day now….

Delta announces unique “only Atlanta only summer” schedule for local hub

In a widely expected move announced today Delta Airlines is changing its entire flight schedule in Memphis to seasonal service. The carrier will only operate flights in Memphis from June 2 through August 3rd. Service will only be available to Atlanta’s Hartsfield Airport.  Delta’s decision to move to an only summer, only Atlanta schedule will not actually cripple the economy or have any negative effect on travelers says the Memphis Chamber. “We see this really as an opportunity. For too long Memphis was over served for a city its size. Too many flight options has kept competition out of the airport and kept prices artificially high. Additionally, all those flights on the video screens at the airport really confused flyers. Only having flights to Atlanta will really add focus to that flight board.”

 “I will remind you that since the Delta merger our number one destination has been Atlanta. This announcement keeps that Atlanta service during the peek summer travel months. That’s a real plus for the community” says the Memphis Visitors and Convention Bureau. Adding that autos, Amtrak and Greyhound will continue to offer convenient year round service to the community.

The Memphis Airport Authority heralded the announcement that it says will also help keep Memphis skies greener. “Reduced flights mean a greener Memphis. Really who can argue with that?”

The Airport Authority also notes that Southwest Airlines will soon begin operating the AirTran flights to Atlanta. Making Memphis “a leader in non-stop summer flights to the metro Atlanta airport”. “Want to go Atlanta in the morning? Got it. Afternoon? Covered. Evening? No problemo.” Adding “as long as you want to go from June to August.”

The Memphis Airport Authority spoke in glowing terms about the proposed Northwest Delta merger when it was proposed.

However, record high oil prices have had negative effects on airlines. This is what’s driving local service cuts says the Authority, which were not announced in any of Delta’s other hubs.

Delta reported a record 1.2 billion dollars in earnings for 2011. Shrinking availability will squeeze capacity and help drive fares higher which airlines hope will improve profits further.

“What’s good for Chevrolet is good for America and what’s good for Delta is good for Memphis,” the authority concluded.