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Founded 1977
Hubs Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport
John F. Kennedy Int'l Airport
Focus cities Boston Logan Int'l Airport
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Int'l Airport
LaGuardia Airport
Frequent flyer program SkyMiles
Member lounge Delta Sky Club
Alliance SkyTeam
Fleet size 104
Destinations 70
Parent company Delta Air Lines, Inc.
Headquarters Boone Co, KY, U.S.
Key people John Bendoraitis (President)
Former Comair logo

Comair is a wholly owned subsidiary of Delta Air Lines headquartered on the grounds of Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport in unincorporated Boone County, Kentucky, United States,[1] west of Erlanger,[2] and south of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Comair is one of the world's largest regional airlines and, with over $1 billion in annual revenue, would be considered a major airline carrier except for the fact that its aircraft seat less than 100 people. Another particularity of Comair's for an airline of its size is that the entirety of its fleet consists of variants of a single type, the Bombardier Aerospace CRJ. Operating under the brand name Delta Connection, Comair operates passenger services to a large number of destinations in the USA, Canada, Mexico and the Bahamas.[3].

In late 2006, Comair opened an additional crew base and hub city at New York's JFK Airport. Comair had the lowest percentage of on time flights of all major U.S. carriers during late 2006. This was the result of starting operations at JFK, congested airport with poor staffing and a poor terminal and aircraft ramp layout that severely dropped Comair's ratings in the DOT listings. In 2008, Comair tied with American for the lowest on-time performance, with 70% of its flights arriving on-time.[4][5] During the course of 2007, Comair closed down its crew bases in Greensboro, North Carolina and Orlando, Florida (for the 2nd time). Parent company Delta Air Lines replaced Comair's service in these destinations with Atlantic Southeast Airlines, a subsidiary of SkyWest, Inc., and Chautauqua Airlines, a subsidiary of Republic Airways Holdings. In early 2008, Delta announced it was going to reduce its domestic capacity by 4-5%, in which Comair will reduce its 50-seat Canadair Regional Jet fleet by 8-14 aircraft. In March 2008, when oil reached over $110 per barrel (see Oil price increases since 2003), Delta announced it would further reduce domestic capacity. As of this writing, it has yet to be determined how this would affect Comair.



The airline was established in March 1977 and started operations in April 1977. It was founded by Patrick J. Sowers, Robert T. Tranter, David Mueller and his father Raymond in Cincinnati and began scheduled services with two Piper Navajo aircraft. Under its parent Comair Holdings, it became a public company in July 1981 to support the growth and capital requirements to upgrade their fleet. It became a Delta Connection carrier in 1984. In July 1986 Delta Air Lines acquired 20% of Comair stock. Delta Air Lines acquired full ownership on October 22, 1999[3] at a cost of over 2 billion dollars.

On March 26, 2001, Comair's pilots went on strike. The strike cancelled the airline's flights and grounded its fleet. The strike ended after a new contract was agreed to 89 days later. Comair came to nationwide attention in the United States during Christmas 2004 when it canceled all of its 1,160 flights for Saturday December 25 and Sunday December 26, stranding 30,000 people, many of them never reaching their destination for the holidays. The reason was a twofold combination of record snow and crew scheduling software flaw. On December 23 and 24, a record snowfall hit the Cincinnati area, forcing the airline to deplete its entire supply of deicing solution. With the area highways closed due to the blizzard, no additional deicing fluid could be delivered to the airport, and Comair was forced to cancel all flights beginning on Friday December 24. After receiving necessary supplies overnight, the airline began the process of startup when the computer system that handled flight crew assignments shut down. It had been designed with a hard coded limit of changes for a month, which were far exceeded due to the poor weather in the prior days. The software, ironically, had been in the process of being phased out at the airline in favor of a new system with more capabilities. However, as of May 2008 the original scheduling software has not been replaced. Comair's parent company Delta Air Lines, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on September 14, 2005, forcing Comair into bankruptcy along with it. Comair announced that would cut costs by $70 million annually. These savings were achieved by aircraft, flight, and employee reductions.[citation needed]

On May 25, 2007, Delta announced that Comair would operate 14 CRJ-900 aircraft for the Delta Connection program. These aircraft will replace 14 CRJ-100 aircraft currently in Comair's fleet.[citation needed]

On February 10, 2009, Delta Connection announced that ground handling for Comair, Mesaba, and Compass Airlines would be combined into one company. The current name of the new company is Regional Handling Services until a new name is confirmed between now and September. Each airline will still have individual flying operations. Everything from ticketing to baggage handling will now be handled by RHS beginning in the 3rd Quarter of 2009. There will be a reduction in the workforce. The largest cut will come from Comair which will reduce its staffing by nearly half. A voluntary program is in place and involuntary cuts may come along later in the year.[citation needed]


United States

Airport Services

Comair has also been in the process of rebranding itself as the premier ground handler[citation needed], handling more than 800 flights a day in approximately 50 markets ranging from Bangor, Maine, to Key West, Fla., to Sioux Falls, S.D.[6] Comair has also started providing full service Above Wing (Ticketing, Check-In, Gates) and Below Wing (Ramp Services) for select United Express stations.[citation needed]


Comair CRJ-100ER

The Comair fleet consists of the following aircraft (as of December 2009):[7]

Comair Fleet
Aircraft Total Passengers
Bombardier CRJ100/200 76 50
Bombardier CRJ700 15 70
Bombardier CRJ900 13 76

All Comair aircraft are operated as Delta Connection.

Incidents and accidents

External links


  1. ^ "Career Area." Comair. Retrieved on May 19, 2009.
  2. ^ "Comair reinstates safety program." Business First of Louisville. Friday May 15, 2009. Retrieved on May 19, 2009.
  3. ^ a b "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International: p. 67. 2007-04-03. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Mutzabaugh, Ben. "Which flights are always late? Delta partners, NYC airports top the list". USA Today. Retrieved January 4, 2007. 
  6. ^ "About Comair". Comair. Retrieved 2008-01-29. 
  7. ^ Comair fleet list at Retrieved 2009-12-24.


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