Northwest Airlines: List is "…wild, unfounded speculation"
This morning Northwest Airlines weighed in about t he list 100 regional airports forecasted as being in danger of losing flights or all air service.
So I took the e-mail from Kristin Baur with a statement by corpoate VP Tammy Lee and whipped up a short story. And here it is coming in for an early landing:
"Wild, unfounded speculation" is what Northwest Airlines officials are calling a list released Wednesday of airports possibly in danger of losing flights.
Kevin Mitchell of the Business Travel Commission listed 100 regional airports — including the Rochester International Airport — that he says could lose flights or all air service as the price of fuel oil rises.
"The report issued by the BTC -- which is an egregious attempt to scare small communities into thinking they will lose service — is based solely on one person’s opinion, not on actual schedules published by the airlines," stated Northwest’s Tammy Lee in a response this morning.
Mitchell, who formed BTC in 1994 as an advocacy group for large business travel buyers, said the list was based on an estimate that the airline industry will need to be reduced by 20 to 22 percent in response to high fuel costs. He did not research individual market conditions in areas like Rochester.
He set a series of criteria to predict each regional airport’s likelihood of losing service.
Northwest questions the validity of Mitchell’s guidelines.
"The BTC also erroneously asserts that cities served by both Northwest and Delta are more likely to lose service with their proposed merger," wrote Lee. "To be clear, any service reductions are purely a function of the high price of oil — not the merger. "
Rochester Airport Manager Steve Leqve also disagreed with Mitchell’s conclusions. Leqve said Northwest has already released its fall schedule of flights for Rochester and there will be no reduction in service.
Northwest strongly dismissed Mitchell’s claims.
"The BTC does not have any insight into our business plans and Kevin Mitchell's assertions should be viewed as wild, unfounded speculation." according to Lee’s statement.