The manager of the world’s busiest airport has a clever way of describing the symbiotic relationship with dominant hub carrier Delta Air Lines.
“We see them [Delta] as very, very close partners,” said Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport general manager Roosevelt Council. “There are times that we can get pretty pugilistic with each other. But you know, that’s the nature of a relationship.”
“Everybody knows that nobody makes you madder than the ones that you care about the most. We have those episodes,” Council said during a speech at a DeKalb Chamber of Commerce luncheon Thursday, which was broadcast on the chamber’s Facebook page.
Atlanta-based Delta makes up about 80 percent of the passenger traffic at the Atlanta airport, and with its partners operates about 1,000 daily departures from Hartsfield-Jackson.
Part of the airport’s plan is to expand parking as passenger traffic grows.
“If I don’t have enough capacity, then these people will actually go to the airport parking that’s off the airport,” Council said. “I’m not trying to drive those people out of business, but I need the money that they would actually be getting paid. Parking revenue for us is our No. 1 revenue source…. We’re not greedy, but it takes a lot to run this place.”