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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Delta Adds Fuel Fee to Frequent-Flier Tickets

In the latest fee to hit the airline industry, Delta Air Lines said Friday that it planned to begin charging a fuel surcharge of up to $50 for booking frequent-flier tickets under its awards program.

Delta is not the first airline to charge a fee for previously free tickets, but it is specifically attributing the step to the soaring cost of jet fuel.

The new fee takes effect on tickets booked on or after Aug. 15. Delta will charge a $25 fuel surcharge on tickets booked within the United States, and $50 on tickets booked for travel elsewhere, including the Caribbean, the United States Virgin Islands, Latin America and other international destinations.

Jet fuel prices have risen 83.6 percent in the last year, according to the International Air Transport Association, the global industry’s trade group. Airlines have responded with a variety of fees and charges for a range of previously free features, from checking luggage to beverages.

Jeff Robertson, managing director of Delta’s SkyMiles program, said the increase in fuel was "causing considerable financial stress to Delta’s business."

He called the step "a difficult but essential decision in the face of record-high fuel costs."

"We hope this is temporary," Mr. Robertson said, "and should fuel prices subside from current levels, we will re-evaluate this surcharge."

Mr. Robertson also said Delta would introduce a "new, multitiered award program" in the next 60 days but gave no details. Industry analysts have predicted that airlines might increase the number of miles required for a frequent-flier ticket.

Many carriers are grounding planes and eliminating flights in an effort to handle their higher fuel costs, meaning that they have fewer seats. Airlines control their inventories of free seats, and generally do not disclose how many are available on a given flight.

This month, American Airlines began charging $5 to book frequent-flier tickets. Meanwhile, US Airways will charge up to a $50 processing fee for frequent-flier tickets booked on or after Aug. 6.

Northwest Airlines said it would cancel two international routes, and suspend another until spring. Northwest is dropping its flight between Detroit and Düsseldorf, Germany, and another between Hartford and Amsterdam. The airline also is suspending a flight between Minneapolis and Paris until March.

Northwest and Delta announced merger plans in April. The carriers hope to receive federal approval before the end of the year.


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Monday, June 02, 2008

Over 3,000 Delta employees take severance

Delta Air Lines Inc. is cutting at least 1,000 more jobs than it previously planned because the number of employees who accepted voluntary severance offers exceeded the company's goal.

A spokeswoman for the Atlanta-based carrier, Betsy Talton, said Friday that more than 3,000 people took the package, and Delta will accept all of the volunteers.

Delta said on March 18 that it would offer voluntary severance payouts to roughly 30,000 employees - more than half its work force - and cut U.S. capacity by an extra 5%.

Executives said then that the airline's goal was to cut 2,000 frontline, administrative and management jobs through the severance program, attrition and other initiatives.

Talton also said at the time that the company would accept more job cuts, if more than 2,000 employees took voluntary severance.

"We'll be working through plans to ensure our operations are covered and there could be future hiring for operational needs, depending on capacity needed," Talton said Friday in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

One part of the severance program was for employees who were already eligible for retirement, or for those whose age and years of service added up to at least 60, with 10 or more years of service. The other part of the program was an "early-out" offer for frontline employees - such as flight attendants and gate and ticket agents - with 10 or more years of service and for administrative and management employees with one or more years of service.

Besides severance payments, employees who take the offers are entitled to travel privileges and additional benefits to manage career transitions.

Delta had 55,044 total full-time employees as of the end of last year. Excluding the current round of cuts, Delta has announced it would cut up to 33,000 jobs since 2001.

Several major airlines in recent months have announced they are cutting domestic capacity, deferring plane orders or shedding jobs because of record fuel prices, which are currently near $130 a barrel. To top of page


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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Antitrust review is the next step for Delta and NWA

In a Capitol Hill hearing Wednesday, friends and foes of a Delta-Northwest merger continued to press their cases. Experts say the Justice Department is unlikely to block the deal.

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Sky-high fuel hurts US airlines

Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines have both recorded multi-billion dollar losses for the first three months of 2008, hit by crippling fuel costs.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Delta and Northwest agree on merger

Delta Air Lines Inc. and Northwest Airlines Corporation announced yesterday (14 April) an agreement in which the two carriers will combine in an all-stock transaction with a combined enterprise value of $17.7 billion, creating America's premier global airline.

The new airline, which will be called Delta, will provide employees with greater job security, an equity stake in the combined airline, and a more stable platform for future growth in the face of significant economic pressures from rising fuel costs and intense competition as the two carriers said.


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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Delta, United talk of merger

UAL Corp's United Airlines and Delta Air Lines Inc have been discussing a combination between the United States' second and third largest carriers that would keep the United name and the corporate headquarters in Chicago.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Delta, other airlines oppose cutting flights at JFK

Delta Air Lines and other major carriers will lodge their objections Tuesday to what they call a federal proposal for "slashing operations" at delay-plagued John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. (page not found)

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Friday, October 19, 2007

British Airways urges American Airlines tie-up

British Airways has urged its U.S. partner American Airlines to get closer still as it seeks to fend off a transatlantic joint venture between Delta and Air France.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Air France, Delta to target Heathrow-U.S. routes

Air France-KLM and Delta Air Lines will team up on routes linking major U.S. cities and London's Heathrow airport in a direct challenge to rival British Airways.

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Monday, August 27, 2007

Large airlines are looking overseas to lift their profits

International is the strategy of choice for mainline U.S. carriers like Northwest and Delta. Both are planning route expansions.

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Friday, July 20, 2007

Delta profit beats Street forecast

Delta Air Lines Inc. cited a 5.5 percent gain in sales as it reported today that it swung to a profit in the second quarter, which saw it emerge from bankruptcy after shaving billions of dollars in costs. (page not found)

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Monday, April 30, 2007

Delta exits bankruptcy protection

Delta Air Lines emerged from bankruptcy protection on Monday after 19 months, with newly issued shares expected to begin regular trading from 3 May.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Delta sees end to bankruptcy woe

Delta Airlines has said that it expects to emerge from bankruptcy by late April and would operate with a profit this year.

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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

US Airways withdraws Delta Bid

US Airways has withdrawn its $9.8 billion takeover bid for Delta Air Lines after creditors endorsed Delta's plan to remain independent.

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Friday, January 19, 2007

Delta Seeks OK for Atlanta-China Route

Delta Airlines has filed an application with the US Department of Transportation to launch nonstop flights between Atlanta and China. (page not found)

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Thursday, January 11, 2007

US Airways raises bid for reluctant Delta by 20%

US Airways has raised its hostile takeover for rival carrier Delta by 20%, moving closer to a deal that would create the world's largest airline.

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Thursday, January 04, 2007

Delta Air Seeks to Buy 30 Bombardier Regional Jets

Despite its bankruptcy status, Delta Air Lines, the third largest mainline carrier in the United States, plans to buy 30 76-seat CRJ900 jets to feed its hub airports as it moves closer to exiting court protection.

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Delta Air Lines Rejects US Airways' Hostile Takeover

Delta Air Lines has rejected a hostile merger bid from US Airways, announcing plans to exit bankruptcy on its own.

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