Cincinnati was once the home of a large hub for Delta Airlines operating over 700 flights a day in it’s prime. The majority of these flights were operated by Delta’s regional partner Comair which closed it’s doors in 2012. Comair operated the majority of their flights from the famous Concourse C, once touted as the only terminal designed for regional 50 seat jets.
Terminal C has now been set for demolition later this year. Delta had originally agreed to lease the unused concourse through 2025 but recently negotiated that agreement with the airport with a new contract.
The Cincinnati airport looking to the future and making changes to keep up with needs of the airlines operating there. In the past few years they have moved all airlines from terminals 1 and 2 to operate out of concourse A from terminal 3. The old terminals 1 and 2 are already in the process of being demolished.
“We now have the ability to remove functionally obsolete and outdated facilities and replace them with needed infrastructure that will serve us well into the future.” Airport CEO Candace McGraw said.
Delta and the Cincinnati airport worked together to open Concourse C in 1994 at a cost of over $50 million dollars. Delta operated its regional flights by Comair exclusively from there, funneling passengers to their larger mainline flights and making Cincinnati a crucial hub operation in their network.
The terminal underwent two expansions during it’s life and was always busy with passengers coming and going. The terminal however was an independent structure requiring passengers to take a bus to and from to catch flights. After the 2001 terrorist attacks, the airlines were sent into a financial tailspin causing many airlines to reduce their dependency on 50 seat operations. With the reduction in flights and the terminal unconnected directly to other buildings, flights were later discontinued from the terminal and moved to terminal A.
Delta later merged with Northwest Airlines but kept the Delta brand. With Northwest having two nearby huge mega hubs in Minneapolis and Detroit, Delta began to wind down their operations in Cincinnati, moving flights to the previous Northwest hubs instead. Since then, Delta has cut over 600 flights from Cincinnati.
Demolition is expected to begin in August with the expectation that it was take up to a year to remove the facility and re-purpose it as a site to deice aircraft during winter operations.