Company Watch - Delta Air Lines.
Delta Air Lines is trying out "basic economy" airfares. Delta Air Lines is testing "basic economy" fares on selected flights from Michigan to Florida. "The basic idea is to get people to pay for what they want, instead of the previous one-size-fits-all type of fare," said Brett Snyder, a former airline manager. The fares do not allow changes to itineraries or the ability to choose seats. May 24, 2012
Delta Air Lines Expands Economy Comfort Seating. Delta Air Lines will sell Economy Comfort seating on all flights longer than 750 miles. This means Economy Comfort is available on all of Delta's dual-class aircraft. It is available for purchase on all mainline domestic and international flights departing on or after June 7. Economy Comfort provides three to four inches of additional leg room and priority boarding. ItOs available in the first three to five rows of the Economy cabin on more than 550 of Delta's mainline aircraft, including its Boeing 767, 757, 737, MD88, MD90, DC9, Airbus A320 and A319 aircraft, and on more than 250 two-class regional jets including the CRJ900, CRJ700, E170 and E175 aircraft types. Passengers who have bought an Economy ticket can upgrade to Economy Comfort for an introductory fee that ranges from $19 to $99. SkyMiles Diamond and Platinum Medallion members and customers who buy full-fare Economy class tickets can upgrade to the Economy Comfort seats for free. May 23, 2012
Delta Air Lines will launch daily Syracuse, NY-Minneapolis, MN Bombardier CRJ900 service Sept. 6. May 22, 2012
Delta trims capacity on transatlantic routes. Delta Air Lines said will cut capacity by 5% on transatlantic routes in the fourth quarter as a Oproactive measureO against high fuel costs and a weakening euro. It will also reduce Pacific capacity by 1%-2%. OTransatlantic for us continues to do well, however, we believe with the headwinds that we do see, the fact that the euro is now weakened E coupled with the risks that fuel prices could spike on us at any time, weOd rather get out in front and manage that proactively,O Delta president Ed Bastian during the 2012 Bank of America Merrill Lynch global transportation conference. OWe're not seeing any signs of weakness per se in any one region.O For the full year, DL estimates its system capacity will be down 3%-4%, instead of its previous forecast of 2%-3%. In the first quarter, DeltaOs consolidated traffic rose 1% to 43.35 billion RPMs while capacity dropped 3% to 54.41 billion ASMs, producing a load factor of 79.7%, up 3.3 points. May 21, 2012
Delta adds service to Caribbean, Bermuda, Florida from New York. Delta Air Lines has added service out of New YorkOs LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy airports to the Caribbean, Bermuda and Florida. Delta will begin the new flights later this year and early in 2013. These new flights are in addition to its previously announced expansion out of La Guardia, where it is adding more than 100 new flights to 26 new destinations this summer. Once Delta has fully implemented its schedule, it will have more than 260 daily flights between LaGuardia and more than 60 cities, more than any other carrier. Delta will offer new daily year-round service between LaGuardia and Bermuda. LaGuardia-Nassau flights will be expanded from seasonal to year-round service. JFK-Montego Bay, Jamaica, flights will operate daily. JFK-Aruba service will operate daily. Delta also is working on its JFK schedule, organizing it to facilitate convenient connections to JFK. ItOs also investing in the airports themselves, putting $160 million to modernize two terminals at the airport and construct a new walkway connecting the facilities. At JFK, Delta is spending $1.2 billion program to enhance and expand Terminal 4, adding nine new gates and creating a new gateway that will be ready in the spring of 2013. May 21, 2012
Delta, Aerolneas Argentinas Set Reciprocal Benefits Frequent Flyers. Delta Air Lines and Aerolneas Argentinas have introduced new reciprocal benefits for their frequent flyers that include accrual and redemption of miles. During the fall of 2012 Aerolneas Argentinas will also join the SkyTeam global alliance, which will allow the carriers to provide additional customer benefits. Members of the Delta SkyMiles and Aerolneas Plus loyalty programs can now earn miles and also redeem miles for Award Travel on more destinations than ever before. Since 1997, DeltaOs presence in South America has grown significantly. Delta offers 91 weekly nonstop flights to eight countries in South America and has a total of 1,430 weekly flights between the U.S. and Latin America and the Caribbean. Delta said the frequent-flyer agreement with Aerolneas Argentinas is key to its growth strategy in the region. Now in its 31st year, SkyMiles is one of the longest-running and most successful loyalty programs in the travel industry. Last year, frequent flyers redeemed more than 275.4 billion miles in the SkyMiles program for more than 11.7 million award redemptions. In 2011, 8.2 percent of revenue miles flown on Delta were for award travel. May 22, 2012
Delta to take delivery of Boeing 717 aircraft upon ratification of pilot tentative agreement. Delta Air Lines will begin taking delivery of Boeing 717 aircraft as early as 2013 upon ratification of a new tentative agreement covering Delta's more than 12,000 pilots. The tentative agreement was approved on May 21 by the Master Executive Council (MEC) of the Delta Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), and now will be presented to pilots for review and ratification through June 30. The tentative agreement provides career growth opportunities as well as pay and benefits improvements for Delta pilots, while providing Delta productivity gains and additional aircraft flexibility, including an opportunity to accelerate its domestic fleet restructuring to provide a better customer travel experience. If ratified, the agreement will accelerate Delta's domestic fleet restructuring strategy. To this end, Delta has reached an agreement in principle with Southwest Airlines and Boeing to lease 88 Boeing 717 aircraft currently in service at Southwest subsidiary AirTran Airways that is conditioned upon pilot ratification of the tentative agreement. The aircraft will primarily replace inefficient 50-seat regional jets and some older DC-9 aircraft still in service, on a capacity-neutral basis. The tentative agreement also provides Delta with additional flexibility to acquire up to 70 larger two-class, 76-seat regional jets as the Boeing 717 aircraft are delivered to Delta. Delta currently operates 255 larger two-class regional jets; the fleet will be increased to 325 aircraft. "These actions pave the way for us to restructure and upgauge our domestic fleet, which will lower our costs, provide more pilot jobs and improve the onboard experience for our customers," said Delta CEO Richard Anderson. "The addition of the Boeing 717s, additional large regional jets and the planned replacement of 50-seat aircraft continue Delta's commitment to operating an efficient, flexible domestic fleet that offers customers even more opportunities to upgrade to our First Class and Economy Comfort cabins."E In addition to aircraft flexibility, the tentative agreement will provide for productivity enhancements as well as improvements to the total compensation package for Delta pilots, including increases to base pay. The agreement also provides for a modification of the profit sharing program for pilots so that it pays 10 percent of profits, compared with 15 percent today, on the first $2.5 billion of profits effective Jan. 1, 2013. The plan will continue to pay 20 percent of profits above $2.5 billion. A voluntary early retirement option recently offered to Delta's other employee groups also will be available to Delta pilots upon ratification of the tentative agreement. "Delta, our pilots and ALPA continue to benefit from a very constructive, proactive relationship, one that is unprecedented in our industry," said Mike Campbell, executive vice president [ETH] Human Resources and Labor Relations. "This tentative agreement represents an investment in our pilots and our company as it gives Delta significant fleet flexibility, the ability to continue running a reliable operation for our customers, and a profitable enterprise for shareholders and for all Delta people. The fleet changes provided by this agreement, coupled with the productivity and profit sharing changes, cover the investments in our employees. "We strongly support the Delta MEC's endorsement and are optimistic that Delta pilots will ratify the tentative agreement," Campbell said.E Pilots have approximately five weeks to review and ratify the tentative agreement. If approved by the June 30 deadline, the agreement would take effect July 1, 2012. The agreement becomes amendable Dec. 31, 2015. Negotiating committees for Delta and ALPA announced on May 15, 2012, that a tentative agreement had been reached. During the next several days the tentative agreement was reviewed and subsequently approved by the Delta MEC on May 21. Delta Air Lines serves more than 160 million customers each year. During the past year, Delta was named domestic "Airline of the Year" by the readers of Travel Weekly magazine, was named the "Top Tech-Friendly U.S. Airline" by PCWorld magazine for its innovation in technology and won the Business Travel News Annual Airline Survey. With an industry-leading global network, Delta and the Delta Connection carriers offer service to nearly 350 Edestinations in 62 countries on six continents. Headquartered in Atlanta, Delta employs 80,000 employees worldwide and operates a mainline fleet of more than 700 aircraft. A founding member of the SkyTeam global alliance, Delta participates in the industry's leading trans-Atlantic joint venture with Air France-KLM and Alitalia. Including its worldwide alliance partners, Delta offers customers more than 13,000 daily flights, with hubs in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Memphis, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York-LaGuardia, New York-JFK, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Salt Lake City and Tokyo-Narita. The airline's service includes the SkyMiles frequent flier program, a world-class airline loyalty program; the award-winning BusinessElite service; and more than 50 Delta Sky Clubs in airports worldwide. Delta is investing more than $2 billion through 2013 in airport facilities and global products, services and technology to enhance the customer experience in the air and on the ground. Customers can check in for flights, print boarding passes, check bags and review flight status at delta.com. May 22, 2012
Bankruptcy court approves Delta DIP loan to Pinnacle. A US bankruptcy court approved Delta Air LinesO (DL) $74.3 million in debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing for Pinnacle Airlines Corp., a significant provider of regional service for DL. The Memphis, Tenn.-based parent of Pinnacle Airlines, Colgan Air and Mesaba Aviation is in the middle of a Chapter 11 restructuring. President and CEO Sean Menke said, OCombined with cash from our ongoing operations, this funding will be available to help ensure that Pinnacle has sufficient liquidity to meet its operational and restructuring needs. This is an important step in our ongoing efforts to develop a viable business plan.O According to a Bloomberg report on the court proceedings, judge Robert Gerber became convinced the DIP loan was necessary to prevent Pinnacle from running out of cash by June 1. The regional operator conceded that DL is the only company willing to loan it money at this time. May 21, 2012
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