Memphis airport to consolidate airline operations

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Memphis International airport plans to consolidate airline operations in concourse B, following the elimination of the Delta Air Lines hub at the airport.

American Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines will relocate to B from concourses A and C beginning in 2015, following the demolition of the southern portions of A and C by the airport operator the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority. Delta already operates from B.

The move will allow Memphis to reduce the footprint of airline operations at the airport, which should reduce operating costs.

Delta officially closed its hub at the airport, which it inherited from Northwest Airlines when the two merged in 2008, in September 2013.

Passenger traffic fell nearly a third to 4.6 million in 2013 compared to 2012, according to the airport authority.

In addition to the consolidation and demolition work, the airport plans to modernise concourse B including additional moving walkways, wider corridors, larger boarding areas and higher ceilings.

“We have begun the process of reinventing the Memphis airport,” says Scott Brockman, president and chief executive of the airport operator, in a statement. “Part of that reinvention involves consolidating operations so we can better serve our passengers, airlines, concessionaires and employees.”

Work on concourse A will begin in late 2014 and on concourse C in the middle of 2015. The renovations to concourse B will begin in 2016 and are expected to be complete by 2020.

The entire project is expected to cost $114 million, according to the airport.