LOCAL BUSINESS

Airport sets passenger record

The Akron-Canton Airport set another record in June. It marked a 65-year monthly passenger record with 168,935 customers traveling to and from the facility known in the industry as “CAK,” beating May by 10,000 passengers.

Compared to June of last year, the airport hosted 17,820 more passengers in 2012, a 12 percent increase.

For the first six months of the year, 874,270 travelers came and went, up 12 percent compared with the first six months of 2011.

June 2012 also marks the 15th consecutive month of record-breaking traffic.

The airport said it was ranked as the 11th most affordable in the United States and tops in Ohio, according to a June study from CheapFlights.com.

FirstEnergy chief to speak

FirstEnergy Corp. President and Chief Executive Anthony Alexander will be the featured speaker at the United Way of Summit County Knight Breakfast.

The breakfast was established by John S. Knight in 1954 as a way for local corporate leaders to gather and preview the United Way campaign.

The event will be 7:30-9 a.m. Aug. 8 at the Quaker Station at 135 S. Broadway St. Tickets are $30 or $250 for a table of eight.

Reservations can be made online at http://knightbreakfast2012.eventbrite.com or by calling United Way at 330-643-5502 or sending an e-mail to: areed@uwsummit.org by Aug. 4.

Lincoln gets new CEO

Welding equipment maker Lincoln Electric Holdings Inc. of Cleveland said Christopher Mapes, its chief operating officer, will become its president and chief executive at the end of the year. John Stropki Jr., 61, Lincoln’s chairman, president and chief executive since 2004, will move to executive chairman and help with the transition, the company said.

Mapes, 50, has served as chief operating officer since September and has been a member of the company’s board since February 2010. He has more than 25 years of executive experience with industrial companies. Before joining Lincoln, he was an executive vice president at A.O. Smith Corp. and president of its electrical products business. 

Stropki joined Lincoln full time in 1972 after working summers in the factory while he was a college student. He joined the board in 1998 and was named executive vice president and chief operating officer in 2003, before becoming chairman, president and chief executive in 2004. 

Lincoln shares are down about 13 percent from their 52-week high of $50.36 at the end of May.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Mazda recalls Tribute

Mazda is recalling about 217,000 Tribute SUVs to fix a problem that can cause the gas pedals to stick. It’s the same problem that forced Ford to recall 485,000 Escape SUVs on Thursday. The Tribute and Escape are essentially the same vehicles.

The Mazdas are from model years 2001 through 2008 and are powered by 3-liter V-6 engines.

The cruise control cable can get snagged on the engine cover and cause the accelerator to stick if the driver has pushed the gas pedal close to the floor.

Dealers will install fasteners to create more space between the cables and the cover. Parts are expected to arrive in mid-August. Mazda says if customers have concerns about their Tributes before that, dealers will disconnect the cruise control until the parts arrive.

AIRLINES

Delta to close Comair unit

Delta Air Lines said it will shut its shrunken, 35-year-old regional carrier Comair at the end of September as it switches more of its flying to bigger jets. Comair has slashed its fleet, flights and work force in the last seven years. A Delta official said the smaller regional planes cost more to fly in an era of higher fuel prices and more to maintain as they age.

“We just really couldn’t get the cost structure to where we wanted to get it,” said Don Bornhorst, senior vice president of Delta Connection and a former Comair president. “It ultimately was a cost issue; it wasn’t a quality issue with Comair.”

Delta, based in Atlanta, had about 500 of the 50-seat regional jets in 2008 and plans to reduce that to 125 within two years. Most of that flying will be done by new 76-seat jets as well as the 117-seat Boeing 717s that Delta is leasing from Southwest Airlines.

Comair was founded in 1977, flying three propeller-driven Piper Navajo aircraft. It started operating as Delta Connection in 1984 and became a wholly owned subsidiary of Delta in 2000. Comair helped expand the regional jet business when it began flying Bombardier CRJ jets.

Compiled from staff and wire reports