20-May-2011 8:11 AM

Delta, Air France KLM and Alitalia to reduce trans-Atlantic capacity in autumn 2011

Delta Air Lines, Air France KLM and Alitalia announced (19-May-2011) a year-over-year 7% to 9% reduction in trans-Atlantic passenger capacity this autumn-2011 between Europe and the US and Canada, as the carriers respond to a significant increase in jet fuel prices and fluctuating seasonal demand. [more] The partner carriers will make cuts through the winter-2011 while introducing services to warm weather destinations (AP/bizjournals.com, 19-May-2011). Delta President Ed Bastian stated high fuel prices and the drop in travel to Japan means the carrier is paying down debt a little slower than it had hoped. It expects to get its debt to USD10 billion in early-2013, instead of late-2012. Delta also plans to remove 140 aircraft from service and reduce its overall capacity by 4%. The following is a breakdown of service changes by region:

  • Domestic cuts of up to 3%, which includes a 25% reduction of Memphis hub departures;
  • Atlantic cuts of up to 12% (and joint venture partners cuts of up to 9%);
  • Latin increases of up to 4%, which includes more services to Mexico and South America;
  • Pacific reductions of up to 3%, including reductions of Haneda Airport service

Mr Bastian also stated a “headcount reduction plan” is underway, noting a voluntary exit programme with 55,000 employees eligible.