Will Trim Service Between Non-Hub Airports
If you fly Delta Air Lines... plan on spending some time in
Atlanta or Salt Lake City on your next trip cross-country.
Following in the footsteps of its likely merger partner, Northwest
Airlines, on Wednesday Delta Air Lines announced it plans to more
sharply reduce capacity this year, now by as much as 13
The Dallas Morning News reports the airline is taking the step
to fight ever-increasing fuel costs. Delta announced earlier this
year it planned to trim capacity by 10 percent in 2008, largely by
grounding less-efficient aircraft used primarily on less-profitable
"Delta has been a first mover to aggressively respond to the
challenges facing our industry with domestic capacity cuts,
associated cost reductions, and a focus on preserving liquidity,"
Delta president and chief financial officer Ed Bastian said.
Bastian's comments came ahead of a Merrill Lynch conference
Wednesday, where a number of airline executives spoke.
Delta said most of its capacity cuts will focus on routes that
both originate and end at non-hub airports for the airline. Routes
to be cut include flights between Orlando, FL and Nashville, TN;
Las Vegas and Los Angeles; and Boston and Jacksonville, FL, among
Bastian said his airline is taking steps now to cut flights, in
hopes the carrier can still earn a profit. Delta expects to report
a profit in the second quarter, excluding special items -- which
include costs related to both its prior bankruptcy and Delta's
preparations towards joining with Northwest. Most analysts expect
Delta to post a modest six cents-per-share profit... not very much,
but more than a lot of its competitors can manage.
Though not widely reported, capacity cuts announced this week by
both Delta and Northwest also serve to better integrate both
carriers' route networks, should regulators approve the Delta/NWA
pairing later this year.
As ANN reported, Northwest announced Tuesday
plans to cut its domestic and international capacity by 9.5 percent
by the end of the year. The airline also plans to ground 14 Boeing
757 and Airbus A319 aircraft, as well around 30 of its aging