News from Delta

By | March 12, 2009

Delta has been up to a lot lately, and we’ve decided to devote an entire post to talking about several significant things they’ve done in the last week.

Delta is expanding a marketing alliance with Midwest Airlines, best known for its fresh-baed cookies. The agreement extends Midwest’s marketing agreement with Northwest Airlines to Delta, which acquired Northwest.

As a result of the economic downturn and decreased international travel, Delta announced it will be cutting its international capacity by ten percent starting in September. As Delta puts it,

“To achieve these capacity changes, we will exit low performing markets, down-gauge certain routes, adjust frequencies, and move some markets to seasonal service.”

But interestingly enough, capacity at New York’s JFK Airport will grow nearly 5% year over year, flying capacity from Atlanta will grow 3%. And Cincinatti will shrink by 25%, bringing it in line with Delta’s Memphis hub. However, the shrinkage at Cincinatti, Delta insists, were decided last year, during the height of fuel costs. Delta has recently lowered fares in what was the highest priced city to fly out of in the country, although many pundits believe that Delta is doing this so they can justifydehubbing the city in the future.

fly-to-japan-delta-style-220x300Reuters reports that the cuts would target Asia and Pacific networks, which has seen the most weakness in revenue. Those areas were heavy Northwest areas, as Delta concentrated more elsewhere. The carrier has eliminated 2,100 jobs through voluntary exit programs and hopes to achieve its next target also through voluntary separation. Delta has more than 70,000 employees now.

Meanwhile, as Delta announces Pacific cuts, their blog honored the beginnings of transpacific service. In March of 1987, Delta started service across the Pacific Ocean with an L-1011 flying from Atlanta to Portland, Oregon(their “Gateway to the Pacific”) and onward to Tokyo. By the end of the year, they added service via Portland to Seoul, Korea.

Northwest had a much longer Pacific history, beginning in 1947, they flew DC-4s from Minneapolis to Edmonton, Alberta in Canada, then to Anchorage, Alaska, refueled at the military field at Shemya in the Aleutian Islands, making a run from the Twin Cities to Tokyo in only 33 hours. For more on Northwest’s Asia service, click here for their site on the subject, including uniforms and video.

Progress is such a wonderful thing. Northwest flight 19 from Minneapolis to Tokyo nonstop, operated by a 747 takes 12 hours and 30 minutes nonstop.

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