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REGIONAL AIRPORT Layoff reports at Northwest pose a threat



Published: Sat, September 22, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Northwest Airlines is laying off 10,000 nationwide.

VIENNA -- Layoffs at Northwest Airlines put the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport in danger of losing its last airline, said Tom Nolan, the airport's director of aviation.

"Our service was very fragile anyway," Nolan said.

"It is very conceivable that we could lose all service before it gets any better."

On Friday, Northwest Airlines announced it would shed 10,000 jobs, nearly a fifth of its workforce.

The airline said it would continue serving all mainline destinations, but the number of flights would be reduced. Internationally, it was suspending its Amsterdam-New Delhi service.

Northwest is continuing to revise its schedule, and won't be finished implementing the changes until Oct. 1, the company said. Before the cutbacks, Northwest had about 1,700 daily departures systemwide; the new schedule has about 1,400 daily flights.

Local service: The cutbacks could spell the end for Northwest's daily service from the regional airport to Detroit, Nolan said.

The other airline flying out of the airport, US Airways, has already announced that its last flight from the airport will be Oct. 15.

The ramifications of losing commercial service is unclear, Nolan said.

Following US Airways' decision to leave, airport officials calculated losing that airline would cost the airport $20,000 per year.

The airport already has a $500,000 annual operating deficit. The annual budget for the facility is $1.2 million, Nolan said.

Losing all commercial service would also have an impact on business at the airport's two rental car concessions.

A restaurant in the airport closed this summer.

In the fallout from last week's terrorist attacks, airport industry analysts have predicted particularly tough times for the nation's regional airports.




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