Cuts Temper Revenue, Cargo Improvements at Airport

By Bill Dries

Memphis International Airport saw a boost in revenues and cargo handled during the month of August compared to projections for the month.

But a second round of cuts in Delta Air Lines flights to and from the airport as well as a shift from air to ground and ocean services worldwide for Memphis-based FedEx Corp. tempered the optimism at the Thursday, Sept. 20, meeting of the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority board of commissioners.

The airport’s new ground transportation center is almost complete with its formal dedication a few months away.

The near-completion contributed to revenues that were slightly more than $1 million over expenses for the month.

The August numbers also didn’t reflect the start of the Delta cutbacks that took effect in September and should mean less than 150 scheduled daily flights.

Memphis International Airport had 165 scheduled daily flights in August, down 24 percent from August 2011 when the airport had 218 scheduled flights. That also compares to 184 scheduled daily flights in July.

The 165 daily flights carried 595,875 passengers for the month, compared to 746,840 in August of 2011, a 20.2 percent decrease.

The airport’s cargo handled numbers were up 5.5 percent from a year ago at 762.9 million pounds compared to 722.8 million pounds in August of 2011. The August number is also up from 698.8 million pounds in July 2012.