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7JetSet7 Code: DAL
Status: Operational
Country: USA
Employees 80000
Telephone: +1 (404) 715 2600
Fax: +1 (404) 715 5876

Click below for data links:
DAL-2009-12 3Q STATS
DAL-2010-08-WORLD RPK 2009
DAL-2010-11-747 FOR 787
DAL-2010-11-747 UPDATE MOD
DAL-2012-12 - 737 AD
DAL-2013-01 - UPDATE-A
DAL-2013-01 - UPDATE-B
DAL-2013-01 - UPDATE-C
DAL-2014-06-RETIRED 757
DAL-2014-11 ATL-LHR 777-200LR-A
DAL-2014-11 ATL-LHR 777-200LR-B
DAL-2014-11 ATL-LHR 777-200LR-C
DAL-2014-11 ATL-LHR 777-200LR-D
DAL-2014-11 ATL-LHR 777-200LR-E
DAL-2014-11 ATL-LHR 777-200LR-F
DAL-2014-12 iPAD-A
DAL-2014-12 iPAD-B
DAL-2014-12 iPAD-C
DAL-2015-03 - INCIDENT MD-88.jpg
DAL-2015-04 - TOP 25 WORLD TRAFFIC.jpg
DAL-2015-05 - 1st A330-300 242-tonne.jpg
DAL-2015-05 - DAL vs ASA SEATAC-A.jpg
DAL-2015-05 - DAL vs ASA SEATAC-B.jpg
DAL-2015-05 - DAL vs ASA SEATAC-C.jpg
DAL-2015-06 - ACCDT-747-451 N664US-A.jpg
DAL-2015-06 - ACCDT-747-451 N664US.jpg
DAL-2015-07 - La Guardia Aiport Overhaul-A.jpg
DAL-2015-07 - LaGuardia Airport Overhaul.jpg
DAL-2015-07 - World Airline Report-A.jpg
DAL-2016-04 - Bombardier CS100 Order-A
DAL-2016-04 - Bombardier CS100 Order-B.jpg
DAL-2016-05 CS100 Order.jpg
DAL-2017-02 - Free Meals Again.jpg
DAL-2017-12 Last 747 Flight Everett.jpg
DAL-2018-03 Zac Posen CA Uniform Designer.jpg
DAL-2018-05 New Uniforms-A.jpg
DAL-2018-05 New Uniforms-B.jpg
DAL-2018-05 New Uniforms-C.jpg
DAL-2018-05 Zac Posen Uniform Designer.jpg
DAL-2018-06 CRJ900 Atmosphere Interior.jpg
DAL-2018-09 Delta Magic.jpg
DAL-9-11 We Shall Not Forget 2018-09-A.jpg
DAL-9-11 We Shall Not Forget 2018-09.jpg
DAL-A350 Business Suite.jpg
DAL-Cabin Attendants Male New 2018-03.jpg
DAL-Cabin Attendants New Uniforms 2018-03.jpg
DAL-Cabin Attendants New Uniforms-A 2018-03.jpg
DAL-FC and Cabin Attendants 2018-09.jpg
DAL-FC Captains 747 Farewell 2018-03.jpg
DAL-TAIL LOGO - 2011-11



PO BOX 20706

USA (United States of America) was established in 1776, it covers an area of 9,363,123 sq km, its population is 280 million, its capital city is Washington DC, and its official language is English.



SEPTEMBER 1995: 757-232 (NA586) DELIVERY.



1 MD-90-30 (V2528-D5) DELIVERY, (9TH IN LAST YEAR).

JANUARY 1996: 4TH QUARTER = +$70 MILLION (-$18). 1995 = +$510 MILLION (-$159 MILLION): -1.4% (RPM) (TRAFFIC): -0.4% DOMESTIC, -4.7% INTERNATIONAL); -0.1% (ASM) (CAPACITY): +1.9% DOMESTIC, -6.1% INTERNATIONAL; 65.4% LF (LOAD FACTOR) (-0.8); 87.04 MILLION PASSENGERS (PAX).


$1 BILLION 12 ORDERS (1997) 767-300'S TO REPLACE 19 L-1011'S ON INTERNATIONAL ROUTES & SWITCH TO DOMESTIC. CURRENT FLEET OF 54 737-200'S, 13 737-300'S, 86 + 4/30 ORDERS 757-200'S, 57 767-200/-300'S (CF6-080A2), 16 +5/14 ORDERS 767-300ER'S (PW4060), 218 PAX, 20 ORDERS MD-90'S, 4 ORDERS MD-11'S, AND 22 A310'S RETIRED IN 1995.








1 MD-11 & 1 MD-90 DELIVERIES.





767-300ER (PW4060) DELIVERY.




















DEC 1996: 16TH MD-90 DELIVERY.

JANUARY 1997: 4TH QUARTER = $125 MILLION (+79%)(+$70 MILLION). 1996 = +$754 MILLION RECORD! (+48%): 93,877 MILLION (RPM) (TRAFFIC) (#3 HIGHEST IN WORLD) (+12.6%); 97.35 MILLION PASSENGERS (WORLD #1 =+10 MILLION).














$6.7 BILLION ORDER FOR 106/198 BOEING (TBC) AIRPLANES (THROUGH 2018), + $9.3 BILLION 124 OPTIONS & 414 "ROLLING" OPTIONS FOR TOTAL 644 AIRPLANES, INCLUDING 70/60 ORDERS (AUGUST 1998) /R280 737-NG, 5/20 ORDERS (APRIL 1998) /R90 757, 10/10 ORDERS /R19 767-300ER, 21/24 ORDERS /R25 767-400ER, & /10 777'S. 1 NEW 767-300ER FOR TOTAL 62. 6 ORDERS 767-300ER, EX-(GUL). IN 1997, TO RETIRE 9 L-1011'S.













1 767-300ER (CF6-80C2B4), EX-GULF AIR (GUL).






2 767-300ER (VN274; VN275) DELIVERIES.

OCTOBER 1997: 60,289 EMPLOYEES. 58,839 (3RD QUARTER).




SIGNED FOR 70 737-600/-700/-800'S, 5 757-200ER'S, 10 767-300ER'S, 21 767-400ER'S, 10 OPTION 777-200 IGW'S. 1 727-200 (22436), EX-(AID), 1 727-200 (22533), EX-(CIT), AND 1 727-200 (21579), EX-KIWI (KIW).








767-300ER (VS066) DELIVERY.





1 767-300ER DELIVERY.






2 737-300'S, EX-(GER) & 1 767-300ER DELIVERY. +2 ORDERS (MARCH 1999) 777-200'S IGW.
















EMPLOYEES (1,000): 1 FED 94; 2 UAL 92; 3 AAL 86; 4 DAL 63; 5 DLH 58; 6 BAB 53; 7 NWA 48; 8 USA 42; 9 CAL 40; 10 AFA 36.

(RPK) (TRAFFIC) (BILLION): 1 UAL 195; 2 AAL 172; 3 DAL 160; 4 NWA 116; 5 BAB 106; 6 JAL 77; 7 CAL 77; 8 DLH 71; 9 AFA 70; 10 USA 67.

NET ($ BILLION): 1 AMR 985 (1,016); 2 UAL 949 (533); 3 DAL 934 (248); 4 BAB 754 (876); 5 SIA 670 (731); 6 NWA 597 (536); 7 FED 583 (371); 8 USA 494 (263); 9 DLH 482 (371); 10 CAL 385 (319).

PASSENGERS (PAX) (MILLION): 1 DAL 103; 2 UAL 84; 3 AAL 81; 4 USA 59; 5 NWA 55; 6 SWA 50; 7 ANA 41; 8 CAL 39; 9 DLH 35; 10 BAB 34.

(FTK) (FREIGHT TRAFFIC) (BILLION): 1 FED 9.3; 2 GRC 6.5; 3 KAL 5.7; 4 UPS 5.4; 5 AFA 5.0; 6 SIA 4.8; 7 JAL 4.2; 8 BAB 3.9; 9 KLM 3.9; 10 CAT 3.6; 11 NWA 3.3; 12 UAL 3.2; 13 CHI 2.8; 14. EVA 2.7; 15 DAL 2.5;
16 CLX 2.4; 17 AAL 2.4; 18 POA 1.9; 19 SWS 1.8; 20 NCA 1.8.

+2 737-300 (PQ087 & 232), GERMANIA (GER) LEASED. +6 ORDERS (JUNE 2000) 737-800'S & +2 ORDER (JUNE 1999) 767-300ER'S.




TO ACCELERATE 727 FLEET RETIREMENT, WITH 9 BY END OF 1998 AND ALL OF 131 BY 2005. 1 737-35B, EX-(GER), 1 757-232 & 1 767-332ER DELIVERIES. +2 777-200 IGW'S FOR TOTAL 14 (TRENT 800).

OCTOBER 1998: +5,200 EMPLOYEES SINCE 1997 = 71,000 EMPLOYEES.


737-800 FOR DELTA SHUTTLE TO REPLACE 14 727-200'S. 3 737-832'S AND 1 757-232 DELIVERIES (29725). +11 ORDERS (JULY 1999) 757'S FOR TOTAL 110 ORDERED (96 DELIVERED).

1 UAL 123.3; 2 AAL 108.3; 3 DAL 102.6; 4 NWA 67.6; 5 CAL 49.7; 6 USA 41.1; 7 SWA 29.7; 8 TWA 25.0; 9 AMW 16.2; 10 ASA 11.0.



2 737-832'S (29622; 29623), 1 757-232 (29726); 2 767-332ER'S (29692; 29693) DELIVERIES.


CONFIRMS DELIVERY DATES IN 1999 & 2000 FOR 14 737-800'S, 8 757-200'S, AND 3 767-300ER'S. ALSO CONFIRMED ORDERS FOR 16 737-800'S, 6 757'S, AND 2 777-200ER'S. 737-800'S WILL REPLACE 727'S BY 2005 AND 767'S WILL REPLACE L-1011'S. 757-200 (PW2037) DELIVERY.

JANUARY 1999: 4TH QUARTER = +$194 MILLION (+2%) RECORD! FUEL COSTS -$58 MILLION. 1998 = +$1.1 BILLION (15%) RECORD! FUEL COSTS -$280 MILLION; 103.24 BILLION (RPM) (+3.6%); +2.4% (ASM); 72.7% LF (+.9) 105.39 MILLION (PAX) (103.3 MILLION); 12.06 BILLION (FTM) (+3.5%). 581 AIRPLANES (559).




737-832, 757-232, & 767-300ER DELIVERIES. IN 1999 TO RECEIVE 14 737-800, 8 757-200, & 3 767-300ER'S. L-1011-500 (1166) PARTED OUT.




767-300ER (736) DELIVERY.




71,700 EMPLOYEES (+4,000).

1 UAL 200 (195); 2 AAL 175 (172); 3 DAL 166 (160); 4 BAB 17 (106); 5 NWA 107 (116); 6 CAL 77 (87); 7 DLH 72 (71); 8 USA 66 (67); 9 SIA 58
(55); 10 KLM 57 (55).




1 737-800 & 3 767-300 DELIVERIES.





PARIS AIR SHOW - 6 ORDERS 737-800'S, 1 757-200, & 2 767-300ER'S. 767-332ER (30199, N16065) DELIVERY.

1 UAL 124.54; 2 AAL 108.87; 3 DAL 103.24; 4 BAB 72.08; 5 NWA 66.71; 6 CAL 50.94; 7 JAL 48.97; 8 DLH 46.88; 9 AFA 46.35; 10 USA 41.25; 11 SIA 35.88.





2 737-832'S (30265, N378DA; 30349, N379DA) & 2 757-232'S (30318, N697DL; 29911, N698DL) DELIVERIES. AS LAUNCH CUSTOMER FOR 767-400ER, (DAL) ATTENDS ROLL OUT OF AIRPLANE; SEATS 245 PAX, 3 CLASS, & 304 IN 2 CLASS, WITH RANGE OF 6,500 MILES.




1 AAL 17.37 (14.1%); 2 UAL 9.91 (8.1%); 3 DAL 7.26 (5.9%); 4 NWA 6.91 (5.6%); 5 CAL 6.61 (5.4%); 6 BAB 6.31 (5.1%); 7 JAL 4.39 (3.6%); 8 ACN 4.13 (3.4%); 9 DLH 2.92 (2.4%). 10 VAA 2.65 (2.2%).

9 727-232'S, RETIRED IN JANUARY 1999, SOLD TO (P&W), (20745 THROUGH 20756). 2 727-232'S (21472; 21583) TO SHUTTLE OPERATIONS. $977 MILLION, +18 ORDERS 737-800'S. 2 737-832'S (30266; 30350) AND 2 757-232'S (29970; 30337) DELIVERIES.


2 737-832'S (30345, N382DA; 30346, N383DA) & 1 757-232 (30187, N6701 "SOARING SPIRIT") DELIVERIES.





2 737-832'S (30347; 30348) & 1 757-232 (30188) DELIVERIES. 767-332ER DELIVERY.



1 737-800 DELIVERY. 5 777-232ER'S (29734; 29735; 29736; 29737; 29738) DELIVERIES.


1999 = +$1.285 BILLION (+19.2%) (+$1.078 BILLION): 168.6 BILLION (RPK) (+1.4%); +1.9% (ASK); 72.4% LF (-.3); 1.98B (FTK) (+3.4%); 105.53 MILLION PAX (+.2%); 72,000 EMPLOYEES (+.95). USA TRAFFIC MARKET SHARE = 17.2%, 3RD (17.8%). 105.6 MILLION PAX (+.2%) RECORD (WORLD'S HIGHEST)!

IN JUNE 2000, TO RIO DE JANEIRO (767-300ER, 3/WEEK).

2 727-232'S (20865; 21061), PARTED OUT. 2 727-247'S (20648; 20649) PARTED OUT; 2 727-247'S (20579; 20581), & 2 727-232 (21062; 21074), RETIRED AT VICTORVILLE. 3 ORDERS 737-800'S, & 2 ORDERS 757-200'S. 1 737-800 & 1 757-200 DELIVERIES.





737-832 (30375, N388DA) DELIVERY.




+2 ORDERS 737-800 FOR TOTAL 131 (18 DELIVERED).





727-232 (21274) RETIRED. 2 737-832'S (30375; 30336), 2 757-232'S (30396; 30397) & 4 767-332ER'S (30388; 30573; 30574; 30594) DELIVERIES.




2 737-832, 2 757-232, & 2 767-332 DELIVERIES.









TRAFFIC (RPK) (BILLIONS): 1 UAL 201.9; 2 AAL 187.3; 3 DAL 168.6; 4 NWA 119.3; 5 BAB 117.5; 6 CAL 93.4; 7 AFA 83.7; 8 JAL 82.9; 9 DLH 81.4; 10 USA 66.9.

NET ($MILLIONS): 1 DAL 1,285; 2 UAL 1,235; 3 AMR 985; 4 SIA 737; 5 DLH 633; 6 SWA 474; 7 CAL 455; 8 FED 442; 9 AFA 340; 10 KLM 324.

EMPLOYEES (1000): 1 UPS 308; 2 FED 150; 3 UAL 96.7; 4 AAL 86.1; 5 DAL 72; 6 DLH 66.2; 7 DHL 60; 8 AFA 55.2; 9 BAB 53.1; 10 NWA 51.8.

(FTK) (FREIGHT TRAFFIC) (BILLION): 16 AAL 2.51; 17 NCA 2.22; 18 MTH 2.06; 19 DAL 1.98; 20 SWS 1.95.

25TH 737-832 (30773) & 112TH 757-232 (30480) DELIVERIES. 767-332ER (30597) SOLD TO (CAAC) (CUL). 777-232 (29736 "SOARING SPIRIT") IS 2ND AIRPLANE WITH WINTER OLYMPIC ATHLETES SHOWN ON TAIL AND FUSELAGE.


AUGUST 2000: 69,560 EMPLOYEES.



727-232 (20753) PARTED OUT. 3 737-832'S (30378; 30537; 30774), 2 757-232'S (30481; 30482), & 2 767-432ER (29699; 29700) DELIVERIES. LAUNCH 767-400ER (CF6-80C2-B8) DELIVERY. $2.4 BILLION, 21/40 ORDERS 767-400ER'S. SOLD L-1011-1 (1167) WITHOUT ENGINES, TO USA MARSHALS SERVICE (USV) FOR TRAINING.



1 SWA 877; 2 DAL 671; 3 UAL 505; 4 USA 450; 5 AAL 416; 6 CAL 408; 7 NWA 402; 8 AMW 223; 9 ASA 143; 10 TWA 118.




2 727-232'S (21147; 21257) SOLD TO UNITED TECHNOLOGIES. 3 737-832'S (30379; 30538; 30775) FOR SHUTTLE; 1 757-232 (30483); & 3 767-432ER'S (29701; 29702; 29704) DELIVERIES.




4 727-232'S (21060; 21232; 21258; 21271) SOLD TO UNITED TECHNOLOGIES. 3 737-832'S (30380; 30539; 30776) AND 2 757-232'S (30484) DELIVERIES. 1 767-400ER DELIVERY (100TH 767). 1 L-1011-385-3 (1181) RETIRED AT VICTORVILLE.



3 737-832'S (30381; 30540; 30799) AND 3 767-432ER (29713; 29707; 29708) DELIVERIES.



SELLS 1 L-1011-250 (1227) AND 1 L-1011-500 (1209), TO CONGO AIRLINES (EXD).

3 737-832'S DELIVERIES. 3 767-432ER'S DELIVERIES. 1 757-232 (30485) DELIVERY.

JANUARY 2001: 4TH QUARTER = -$37 MILLION (-95%). 2000 = +$828 MILLION (+$1208 MILLION): 113 BILLION (RPM) (+3.9%), +2.5% (ASM), 72.9% LF (+1).


1 737-832 (30487) & 2 767-432ER'S (29711; 29712) DELIVERIES. RETIRED ITS LAST L-1011-500 TRISTAR (N755DL).

1 UAL 126.88; 2 AAL 116.51; 3 DAL 107.78; 4 NWA 79.10; 5 BAB 73.88; 6 CAL 62.31; 7 DLH 58.52; 8 AFA 57.044; 9 JAL 55.30; 10 USA 46.83.




L-1011-1 (1200) SOLD TO ORIENT THAI (CAK)/(OTH).


11 727-232'S (21077; 21142; 21144; 21145; 21146; 21147; 21151; 21152; 21156; 21159; 21172), PARTED OUT. 2 737-832'S (30835; 30836), 1 757-232 (30486), & 1 767-432ER (29705), DELIVERIES. 1 757-232 (30838) DELIVERY.





1 757-224 (30839) DELIVERY.


727-247 (20869) PARTED OUT. 2 737-832'S, 1 767-332ER AND 1 767-432ER DELIVERIES. GROUNDS 6 757-200'S DUE TO LACK OF (PW2037) SPARE ENGINES (INDUSTRY-WIDE PROBLEM). 1 L-1011-385-1 (1224) RETIRED AT VICTORVILLE. 2 L-1011-385-1'S (1038, 1225), SOLD TO KAMPUCHEA (CAK).


2 727-247'S (20669; 20670) PARTED OUT. 5 737-832 DELIVERIES FOR TOTAL 52. 8 L-1011'S (1008; 1088; 1095; 1126; 1142; 1151; 1162; 1172), PARTED OUT.



727-247 (20869) PARTED OUT. 3 737-832 DELIVERIES FOR TOTAL 53 (30491; 30492; 32626).




1 ATLANTA 23,291; 2 ORLANDO (ORL) 9,786; 3 NEW YORK LAGUARDIA 8,007; 4 BOSTON 7,064; 5 SALT LAKE CITY 6,357; 6 CINCINNATI 5,416; 7 FORT LAUDERDALE 5,151; 8 DALLAS (DFW) 4,916; 9 LOS ANGELES (LAX) 4,495; 10 TAMPA 4,023.

4 737-832'S (29626; 29627; 30813; 30814) & 1 767-332ER (32776) DELIVERIES.





2 737-832 DELIVERIES (30493).




727-232 (21271) PARTED OUT. 737-2S3 (21774) WFU AT MOJAVE.




PLACES 45 AIRPLANES: 17 727'S; 20 737-200'S; 3 737-300'S; & 6 MD-88'S IN LONG TERM STORAGE, AND 12 AIRPLANES: 3 727'S; 5 737-200'S; & 4 MD-88'S IN SHORT TERM STORAGE.



9 737-832'S & 2 767-432ER'S DELIVERIES, STORED.

JANUARY 2002: 4TH QUARTER = -$734 MILLION (+$18 MILLION): MAINTENANCE COSTS = $319.46 MILLION (-11.2%). IF LESS UNUSUAL GAINS & CHARGES = -$486 MILLION. PROJECTS 4TH QUARTER 2001 = -$500 MILLION (+$18 MILLION): -12% (ASM). Group 2001 = -$1.22 BILLION (+$828 MILLION); (DAL) = -$1.11 BILLION (+$686.46 MILLION): 101.72 BILLION (RPM) (-10%); -4.6% (ASM); 68.8%; LF (-4.1).





1 UAL 116.60; 2 AAL 106.15; 3 DAL 97.60; 4 NWA 73.11; 5 BAB 64.24; 6 AFA 59.54; 7 CAL 58.76; 8 DLH 56.76; 9 JAL 50.77; 10 USA 45.93; 11 SWA 44.50; 12 SIA 42.76; 13 QAN 42.14; 14 ACN 41.49; 15 KLM 35.76; 16 ANA 33.16; 17 CAT 27.81; 18 TII 27.43; 19 IBE 25.64; 20 KAL 23.73; 21 ALI 22.45; 22 MAS 22.29; 23 AMW 19.06; 24 VAA 17.65; 25 VAR 16.02; 26 CHI 16.00; 27 EAD 14.37; 28 SAS 14.26; 29 ANZ 13.54; 30 SAA 12.70; 31 SVA 12.56; 32 BEJ 12.39; 33 ASA 12.23; 34 JAS 10.06; 35 THY 9.35; 36 AMX 8.51; 37 PAL 8.36; 38 GIA 8.15; 39 CMA 7.99; 40 ELA 7.79; 41 GUL 7.65; 42 PIA 7.24; 43 AIN 7.10; 44 TAP 6.43; 45 EGP 5.53; 46 OLY 5.24; 47 AUL 5.06; 48 FIN 4.93; 49 IND 4.52; 50 CQT 4.51.


2 727-232'S (21308; 21309), 1 727-2Q8 (21826), 5 737-232'S (23091; 23098; 23100; 23101; 23105) & 2 737-247'S (23186; 23608), WFU. 2 737-832'S (29630; 30822) DELIVERIES.




1 737-800 AND 1 767-400 DELIVERIES.





June 2002: Code share with Air France (AFA), Paris to Delhi and Mumbai. In July 2002, code share with Alitalia (ALI), Milan to Mumbai.

2001 Top World Airlines by Traffic (RPK) Billions:
1 UAL 187.67; 2 AAL 170.88; 3 DAL 163.66; 4 NWA 117.66; 5 BAB 106.27; 6 CAL 98.37; 7 AFA 94.42; 8 DLH 86.70; 9 JAL 84.27; 10 USA 73.93; 11 SWA 71.59; 12 SIA 69.15; 13 QAN 67.89; 14 ACN 67.03; 15 KLM 57.85; 16 ANA 56.90; 17 CAT 44.79; 18 TII 44.04; 19 IBE 41.30; 20 KAL 38.45; 21 MAS 38.31; 22 ALI 36.52; 23 SWS 32.98; 24 TWA 31.85; 25 AMW 30.69.

Delta (DAL) Group 2001: -$1.027 Billion (+$897 Million): 163.66 Billion (RPK) (-10%); 68.8% LF (-4.1); 104.94 Million PAX (-12.5%); 2.31 Billion (FTK) (-14.7%); 76,273 EMPLOYEES (-9.1%).

July 2002: In December 2002, to Palm Springs.

Delta (DAL) will be allowed to expand its marketing agreement with Korean Air (KAL) to develop a network-to-network flight system on transpacific routes as a result of a USA Transportation Department decision to grant them antitrust immunity. Delta (DAL) has won similar rulings with Air France (AFA), Czech (CSA) and Alitalia (ALI), to immunize the SkyTeam (STM) alliance.

August 2002: To return all 36 737-200's from Delta Express system back to mainline operations. Is expected to transfer 757's to the Delta Express fleet.

Proposed broad marketing alliance & 10-year pact between Delta (DAL) and code share partners Northwest (NWA) & Continental (CAL) brings together USA airlines ranked No 3, 4, & 5 respectively, in a deal countering a similar pact between United (UAL) and US Airways (USA). If the deal gets the OK of all 3 airlines' pilots (FC) and the (DOT), these airlines will codeshare on each other's route networks, offer reciprocal frequent flyer programs and coordinate airport and interline activities. There is the likely possibility that (CAL) & (NWA) could join the SkyTeam (STM) alliance, presently anchored by (DAL), Air France (AFA) and Korean Air (KAL), a step that could lead to (KLM) joining as well. (KLM) already operates a transatlantic joint venture with Northwest Airlines (NWA) and code shares with Continental Airlines (CAL).

Began construction on $400 Million redevelopment of 560,000 sq ft Terminal A at Boston for completion in 1st Quarter 2005.

September 2002: 727-232 (21311) and 727-247 (22532) WFU at Victorville.

Code share with South African (SAA), Johannesburg to Entebbe. Cincinnati to Washington Dulles (IAD).

October 2002: To furlough -1,500 of its 16,000 Cabin Attendants (CA) employees.

Cincinnati - Dayton Beach (Saturdays). In December 2002, Albuquerque - Salt Lake City.

November 2002: (DAL) Technical Operations, 10-year, Aeromexico (AMX) contract for (PW2037) engines and component maintenance for 8 757's, & as part of deal, (AMX) will install new insulation blankets in (DAL) MD-88'S/MD-90's, in Guadalajara.

Code share with (AMX), San Diego to Loreto, and Mazatlan. Expands its code share with CSA Czech Airlines (CSA) to Prague - Riga. In December 2002, charter flights for Marazul Charters, New York (JFK) - Havana (737-800, Saturdays).

Announces new low-fare subsidiary, nicknamed internally as "Project Fresh Air," to focus on flights between New York (JFK) and Florida, with possible future expansion to Las Vegas, and the West Coast, using some of its 757-200's. It will be headed by John Selvaggio, President, 56. By end of 2003, expects to use 36 757's, 199Y passengers, replacing all of Delta Express 737's. Unit costs will be approximately -20% below those of mainline 757's and is aiming for 13.2 hours utilization/day. Will have its own dedicated website, and expects 70% of its tickets to come from its site and (DAL) reservation centers.

Code share with "Summa" alliance, parent company, of Avianca (AVI), ACES (ACE), and (SAM) by next summer, including frequent flyer tie-up.

2 737-832's (30541; 30800) returned from Westjet (WJI).

December 2002: Code share with Air Jamaica (JAM), Montego Bay to Belize, and Bonaire. In January 2003, Salt Lake City to Washington (DCA). In May 2003, Atlanta - Vancouver (757, daily).

After only 2 months operations the new cargo booking Web site has recorded $1 Million in cargo bookings (+54%) over 1st month.

3 727-232's (21311; 21432; 21494) & 1 727-247 (22112) sold to (P&W). Sold 3 757-200's to Arkia (ARK) for $47.4 Million and leased back for 9 to 11 years for $84 Million.

January 2003: (DAL) said it may lay off -4,000 employees, who do not opt for voluntary termination.

4th Quarter = -$363 Million, and was -$230 Million, excluding special items (-$734 Million). 2002 = -$1.27 Billion, was -$998 Million, excluding unusual items (-$1.22 Billion): 102.02 Billion (RPM) (+.3%); -4.1% (ASM); 72% LF (+3.2).

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport - Salt Lake City International Airport (757-200, 183 PAX, 2 class, daily nonstop). Daytona Beach - Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), and seasonal Daytona Beach - Cincinnati & Atlanta.

Names its new low-fare operation "Song." In April 2003, New York (JFK) to Florida (757's, 199Y), 1st flight (JFK) - West Palm Beach. All airplanes will offer in-flight satellite TV, from partnership with Matsushita Avionics Systems and EchoStar Communications Corp and its DISH Network (TM) satellite TV service, to provide personal touch-screen monitors, a digitally-streamed, MP3 library, pay-per-view programming, and Internet connections. Plans 144 daily flights with 36 757-200's (13.2 hours/day utilization).

Plans to retire its last 727-200 in April 2003. It did have 116. Retires 1 MD-11.

February 2003: (DAL) Technical Operations agreement to provide integrated maintenance support services for code share partner, Royal Air Maroc's (RAM) 767-300ER's, including engineering, line and component maintenance, inventory and administration support.

To show (DAL)'s commitment to share the burden of its overall cost-cutting goals, Leo Mullin Chairman & (CEO), and Fred Reid (COO), will take a -10% pay cut, and other executives at the VP level and above, will take a -8% cut.

Launches interline e-ticketing with Northwest Airlines (NWA).

2 727-225's (21291; 21293) returned to Finova (GRB). MD-11 (48476) WFU at Goodyear (BFG).

March 2003: In April 2003, Song (JFK) - West Palm Beach, and in June 2003, New York (JFK) - Atlanta Hartsfield (757-200, 2/day).

In response to military activities in Iraq, (DAL) is cutting its network capacity by -12%.

727-247 (22533), withdrawn from use (WFU) at Victorville. 737-232 (23101) removed from storage.

April 2003: Amid a hailstorm of Congressional criticism and negative publicity, Leo Mullin Chairman & (CEO) said he would cut his compensation by an estimated -$9.1 Million.

60,000 employees.

Retired its last 727-200. MD-11 (48474) leased to World Airways (WLD).

May 2003: Proposed -22% pay cut for pilots (FC) and elimination of raises in 2003 & 2004.

In June 2003, Cincinnati to Grand Rapids, Greensboro, & Indianapolis. In August 2003, Atlanta - Honolulu (767, daily nonstop).

737-232 (23103) removed from storage. MD-11 (48480), WFU at Goodyear.

June 2003: Plans to achieve a $2.5 Billion "profit improvement program," that is intended to cut nonfuel unit costs by -15% by end of 2005.

In July 2003, Cincinnati - Nashville. In November 2003, Cincinnati - Honolulu (767-400, daily nonstop).

Delta (DAL) and SkyTeam partners (AFA), (CSA), (AMX), & (KAL) are leasing facilities from airports operator (ADP) in the new purpose-built # EUR750 Million/$892 Million Terminal 2E at Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG). Alitalia (ALI) operations will remain for now in nearby 2F. Terminal 2E, basically consisting of a main concourse 450 m long and a boarding pier 650 m long, ultimately will have a handling capacity of 17 on-stand parking gates and up to 10 Million passengers/year, with 6 Million passengers/year in the initial phase.

July 2003: 2002 = -1.27 Billion (-$1.22 Billion): 164.27 Billion (RPK) (+.3%); -4.1% (ASK); 72% LF (+3.2); 107 Million PAX (+2%); 2.41B (FTK) (-5.6%); 75,100 EMPLOYEES (-1.2%).

2002 TOP 25 WORLD AIRLINES - TRAFFIC - Billions - (RPK)
1 (AAL) 195.81; 2 (UAL) 176.15; 3 (DAL) 164.27; 4 (NWA) 115.91; 5 (BAB) 99.71; 6 (AFA) 96.80; 7 (CAL) 95.51; 8 (DLH) Grp 88.57; 9 (JAL) 83.54; 10 (QAN) 75.23; 11 (SWA) 73.05; 12 (SIA) 71.12; 13 (ACN) 69.42; 14 (USA) 69.42; 15 (KLM) 58.89; 16 (ANA) 52.97; 17 (CAT) 49.04; 18 (TII) 48.51; 19 (KAL) 41.80; 20 (IBE) 40.47; 21 (MAS) 36.90; 22 (AMW) 31.98; 23 (SAS) Grp 30.91; 24 (EAD) 30.17; 25 (ALI) 29.84.

1 (FED) 13.20; 2 (LUB) 7.16; 3 (UPS) 6.62; 4 (KAL) 6.25; 5 (SIA) 6.08; 6 (AFA) 4.87; 7 (CAT) 4.85; 8 (CHI) 4.60; 9 (JAL) 4.39; 10 (CLX) 4.16; 11 (BAB) 4.12; 12 (KLM) 3.99; 13 (EVA) 3.28; 14 (NWA) 3.24; 15 (AAL) 2.93; 16 (UAL) 2.79; 17 (AAR) 2.75; 18 (NCA) 2.21; 19 (POA) 1.97; 20 (EAD) 1.96; 21 (MAS) 1.92; 22 (BEJ) 1.88; 23 (TII) 1.824; 24 (DAL) 1.823; 25 (ACN) 1.58.

Code share with Aeromexico (AMX), Ontario - Los Cabos & Las Vegas - Monterrey. In October 2003, Atlanta - Orange County, California (757, 183 PAX, 2 Class, 5/day nonstops).

Ricardo Okamoto, Field Director Pacific, Tokyo.

L-1011-385-1 (1199) sold to Cuda Ray Investments.

August 2003: In October 2003, (DAL) Atlanta - Oakland (737-800, 148 PAX, 3/day nonstops). In December 2003, (DAL), Atlanta - Jackson Hole (757, 183 PAX, Saturdays). Also, Salt Lake City - Steamboat Springs (Hayden), and Atlanta - Hayden (Saturdays). In January 2004, Atlanta - Liberia (Costa Rica) (737-800, 148 PAX, 5/week). Also, Tokyo Narita - Atlanta (777, daily).

Code share with Aeromexico (AMX), Fort Lauderdale - Mexico City and Orlando - Monterrey.

L-1011-385-1 (1199, N730DA) sold to Cuda Ray Investments.

September 2003: In November 2003, Cincinnati - St Louis. Code share with Avianca (AVI), Miami - Bogota, Baranquilla, Cartagena, Cali, & Medellin; New York - Bogota, & Medellin; and Bogotta - Baranquilla, Cali, Cartagena, Medellin, & Pereira.

October 2003: In November 2003, Cincinnati - Honolulu. In December 2003, Salt Lake City - Jackson Hole. In January 2004, Salt Lake City - Detroit. Salt Lake City - Phoenix. Song, Las Vegas to Boston & New York (JFK) (757-200, 199 PAX, daily nonstops).

737-247 (23186) removed from storage. In a move to reduce expenses and enhance liquidity, will sell 11/10 737-800's scheduled for delivery in 2005 to an unnamed 3rd party, and defer delivery until 2008 of an additional 8, which were also scheduled to be delivered in 2005. This will reduce capital expenditures by approximately -$500 Million through 2005. It still will take deliveries of 2 777-200's in 2005. L-1011-385-1 (1226) sold to Cuda Ray Investments.

November 2003: Atlanta - Palm Springs. Boston - Orlando (Saturdays). In December 2004, Cincinnati - Nassau. Atlanta/Cincinnati - Vail (Eagle) (Saturdays). Atlanta - Los Cabos. Atlanta - Providenciales (Saturdays). Code share with Continental (CAL), Atlanta - Santiago. In May 2004, Cincinnati - Amsterdam/Rome.

Has started testing a new one-class business (C) service on 12 flights between Atlanta and Houston & 16 flights between Atlanta and Kansas City. Using 737-800's with leather seats that feature 36-inch pitch and Empower outlets for laptops. On boarding, passengers receive complimentary coffee and newspapers, and a wider selection of snacks and expanded in-flight entertainment. Also between 3 - 7 pm, passengers receive 1 complimentary cocktail, beer or wine.

Leo Mullin, chairman & CEO will retire as CEO in January 2004, and Chairman in April 2004, and be succeeded by John (Jack) Smith Jr, 65, as Chairman, and by Gerald Grinstein, 71, as CEO, ex-Western Airlines.

737-247 (23187, N239WA) removed from storage.

January 2004: 2003 = -$773 Million (-$958 Million): 143.9 Billion (RPK) (-5.2%); 74.2% LF; 84.25 Million PAX (-6.4%); 1.63 Billion (FTK) (-9.8%).

New York (JFK) - Dallas.

February 2004: Will spend $300 Million in upgrades to Terminals 2 & 3 at New York (JFK).

Will begin code share on Continental (CAL)'s flights from Newark to the Caribbean, Halifax, and Quebec City. Northwest (NWA) begins code sharing on Delta (DAL)'s flights Atlanta - Guatemala City.

In April 2004, New York (JFK) to Denver, San Juan. (JFK) - Barcelona. Atlanta - Barcelona. In June 2004, (JFK) - Santo Domingo. (JFK) - Las Vegas. In July 2004, (JFK) - San Diego. In December 2004, Atlanta - Buenos Aires (767-300ER, 204 PAX, daily nonstop).

US Airways (USA) & Delta Airlines (DAL) launched reciprocal e-ticketing.

MD-11 (48600), WFU at Goodyear. MD-11 (48475) leased to World (WLD).
L-1011-385-1 (193C-1213) sold to Orient Thai (OTH).

March 2004: Delta (DAL) and Avianca (AVI) have joined each others' frequent flyer programs.

Fred Reid, President & COO, resigns to become CEO of Virgin Group's US airline (VUS).

11 L-1011-385-1's (1090; 1097; 1135; 1136; 1139; 1147; 1150; 1180; 1224; 1123; 1143) sold to Jet Midwest. 11 L011-385-3's (1189; 1181; 1184; 1185; 1176; 1208; 1210; 1202; 1207; 1216; 1218), sold to Wells Fargo Bank.

April 2004: 75th anniversary! To celebrate, has painted a 767-232 (N102DA) in special 75th anniversary livery "The Spirit of Delta" a recreation of the original DC-3 livery of 1940, which will make appearances with the traveling exhibit at Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Dallas/Fort Worth, Boston, Cincinnati, New York and Washington DC.

Delta (DAL) and Air France (AFA) began interline e-ticketing. Code share with Northwest (NWA), Atlanta - Santiago (Chile) and Los Angeles - Mexico City, as part of extensive marketing agreement between Delta (DAL), Northwest (NWA) and Continental Airlines (CAL). In May 2004, code share with China Airlines (CHI), Los Angeles, San Francisco, Honolulu,, New York , Seattle, to Taipei.

In June 2004, Salt Lake City - Jackson Hole.

Delta Technical Operations delected Teledyne's Next Generation Automated Test System (NxGen ATS) to support Delta's fleet of Boeing airplanes. In addition, TechOps will use the NxGen ATS to service and maintain the Boeing airplanes owned by its Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) customers.

Michael Palumbo, 57, Executive VP & CFO, ex-(TWA), replaced Michele Burns who resigned.

May 2004: Plans to recall 1,060 pilots (FC) who were furloughed after "9/11."

Joe Kolshak, 47, (ex-VP Flight Operations), Senior VP & COO. Vicki Escarra, 51, Senior VP & Chief Customer Service Officer. Paul Matsen, 44, VP & Chief Marketing Officer. Jim Whitehurst, 36, Senior VP & Chief Network & Planning Officer. Greg Riggs, 56, Senior VP, General Counsel & Chief Corporate Affairs Officer. Lee Macenczak, 42, Senior VP & Human Resources Officer. Dan Lewis, Head Corporate Communications, replacing Tom Slocum, who is retiring.

Implemented a wireless baggage transfer system at its Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport hub. The system uses wireless devices - - similar to handheld computers - - that are attached to ground support equipment and furnish updated real-time flight info to employees driving ground vehicles. In the near future the system will provide driver assignments, facilitate two-way messaging and help determine the most time-efficient routings for baggage transfer.

Atlanta - Vancouver. Code share with China Airlines (CHI), New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Honolulu - Taipei. In July 2004, Cincinnati - Houston.

2 737-232's (23091; 23098) & 737-247 (23185) returned to service.

June 2004: This summer, Delta (DAL) will use and evaluate (NASA)'s new Turbulence Prediction and Warning System designed to detect turbulence associated with thunderstorms. The system, which is part of the (NASA) Aviation Safety & Security Program, will be installed on a 737-800 that operates between the US and South America. (NASA) teamed with (DAL), AeroTech Research, and Rockwell Collins to develop the system.

British Airways (BAB) and Qantas (QAN) implemented the latest release of Sabre AirFlite SlotManager. Delta Airlines (DAL); Lufthansa (DLH); El Al (ELA); & Japan Airlines (JAL) also use the new system.

Todd Helvie promoted to Senior VP & Treasurer. Jorge Fernandez, VP International & Alliances. Monar Warwar, VP Corporate Tax. Gary Beck, VP Flight Operations & Chief Pilot. Beth Johnson, VP Human Resources Field Operations. Paulette Corbin, Senior VP In-flight Services Division. Pam Elledge, VP Sales & Distribution.

Has taken a 15% stake in Republic Airways Holdings.

(DAL) outsources its parts management to Boeing's Material Management where Boeing (TBC) is responsible for the purchasing, inventory management and logistics for a number of Delta (DAL) expendables, initially focuses on (TBC) parts.

767-232 (22218, N106DA) removed from storage.

July 2004: Agreements with Alaska (ASA), Aloha (ALO), Continental (CAL), Hawaiian (HWI), & United (UAL) to offer interline electronic ticketing, which allows passengers to use one e-ticket when traveling on itineraries that include (DAL) and one of the cooperating airlines. It eliminates the need for the passengers to obtain a paper ticket to transfer from one airline to another, an important convenience in the event of irregular operations.

September 2004: Delta (DAL) has a restructuring plan including cutting as many as -7,000 jobs and closing the Dallas/Ft Worth (DFW) hub. May be forced to seek bankruptcy protection if it cannot restructure within 1 month.

All 4 USA airlines that fly 777's over the North Pacific ocean: American (AAL), Continental (CAL), Delta (DAL), & United (UAL), plus All Nippon (ANA), Singapore (SIA), & Korean (KAL) are flying 207-minutes Extended Twin-Engine Operations (ETOPS). Boeing (TBC) twin-engine airplanes have dominated flights over the North Atlantic ocean and are now expected to dominate the Pacific. With the current trend of 390 Pacific (ETOPS) flights/day and rising, Pacific (ETOPS) flights will soon outnumber those over the Atlantic ocean.

Northwest Airlines (NWA), (KLM), & Continental Airlines (CAL) become the newest members of the SkyTeam (STM) alliance to join Aeromexico (AMX), Air France (AFA), Alitalia (ALI), (CSA) Czech Airlines, Delta (DAL), & Korean Air (KAL).

In May 2004, Tony Charaf, Senior VP, Delta Technical Operations, succeeds Ray Valeika, who will retire. Neil Stronach, VP Operations Planning, Control, & Reliability Division, succeeds Bill Wangerien, who retired. Ben Darnell, Managing Director Logistics, succeeds Tony Charaf.

Comprehensive marketing agreement with Alaska Airlines (ASA), including code sharing, reciprocal frequent-flier programs and airline lounge privileges.

As part of a long-term transformation plan, will retire >100 airplanes or about -20% of its fleet. Will invest more in its core fleet and improve its airplanes interiors and in-flight entertainment system.

Sells 8 MD-11's and 4 spare engines to FedEx (FED).

October 2004: As part of its transformation plan, selected Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide to help develop a communication strategy and launch a new advertising campaign in 2005.

Enters into a commitment letter with American Express Travel Related Services Company to provide up to $600 Million in financing to the airline. Up to $100 Million of the financing will be in the form of a loan from AmEx as part of a new credit facility currently being negotiated with other lenders - for which a commitment has not yet been obtained from those lenders - and $500 Million will be in the form of a prepayment of SkyMiles, Delta's frequent-flier program.

L-1011-385-1 (193C-1213) sold to Cuda Ray Investments.

November 2004: Enters into a commitment letter with (GE) Commercial Finance under which the latter will provide $500 Million of financing to (DAL). $300 Million will be in the form of senior secured revolving credit facility and $200 Million in the form of a senior secured term loan. The revolving credit facility will be collaterized by a portion of (DAL)'s accounts receivable and the term loan by a pool of "substantial portion of (DAL)'s remaining unencumbered assets."

Ratified a deal with its pilots (FC) to accept a -32.5% pay cut that will provide (DAL) with $5 Billion in cost savings over a 5-year period. The pilots (FC) also received a total of 30 Million stock options.

Expects to furlough -6,900 employees beginning in January 2005, affecting admin, maintenance & customer service positions.

Atlanta - Palm Springs. Code share with Aeromexico (AMX), Salt Lake City - Cancun. In December 2004, Atlanta - Providenciales (Saturdays), Los Cabos. Salt Lake City - Jackson Hole; - Steamboat Springs (Hayden). Atlanta - Vail (Eagle); - Gunnison, Jackson Hole, Hayden (Sats). Cincinnati - Vail (Eagle) (Sats). In January 2005, Salt Lake City - Baltimore. Cincinnati - Nassau. In February 2005, Salt Lake City - Los Cabos. In March 2005, Atlanta - St Croix (737-800, 2/week nonstop); - Cozumel (weekends). In May 2005, Salt Lake City - Fairbanks.

Signed a long-term agreement with Carmen Systems AB for the use of Carmen's Crew Planning solutions including its Crew Pairing & Crew Rostering products.

Gail Grimmet, Managing Director & Assistant Treasurer, Business Analytics & Treasury Development. Laura Fuselier, Managing Director Investor Relations.

January 2005: 4th Quarter = "staggering" -$2.21 Billion (-$332 Million), the majority related to reductions in the fair market value of its wholly owned Delta Connection carriers Atlantic Southeast Airlines and Comair (COI). 2004 = -$5.21 Billion (-$790M): 109.32 Billion (RPM) (+10.8%); +8.8% (ASM); 74.8% LF (+1.4).

March 2005: Delta Technical Operations Division will have -1,600 to -2,000 job cuts which are part of the -6,000 to -7,000 job cuts previously announced. Has deceided to partner with two suppliers of heavy maintenanace work resulting in outsourcing and a -34% cost reduction for work. Avborne will conduct work on (DAL) MD-88's & MD-90's and Air Canada Technical Services will conduct work on (DAL) 757's & 767's. In addition, will shift package service visits & letter checks from its Tampa hangar to Atlanta.

April 2005: Long-term contract with Navtech to provide crew management solutions, including the use of Navtech's preferential bidding system, Class, by Delta's pilots (FC).

Intends to retire 28 mainline airplanes this year, including 25 737 classics and 3 767-200's.

May 2005: Delta Air Lines (DAL) is a major USA airline operating over 2,600 flights/day to 230 cities domestically and in 29 countries around the world. (DAL) also operates an extensive feeder network under the Delta Connection banner. Its Atlanta hub is the world's largest.

70,600 employees.

(IATA) Code: DL - 006. (ICAO) Code: DAL (Callsign - DELTA).

Parent organization/shareholders: Publicly held (89%); & employees (11%).

Owns: Atlantic Southeast Airlines (100%); Comair (COI) (100%); Delta Connection (100%); & Song (SGD) (100%).

Alliances: SkyTeam (STM); Air Jamaica (JAM); American Eagle Airlines; Atlantic Coast Airlines; Atlantic Southeast Airlines; Avianca (AVI); Chautauqua Airlines; China Airlines (CHI); China Southern Airlines (GUN); Comair (COI); El Al (ELA); FlyBe (BEE); Pinnacle Airlines; Royal Air Maroc (RAM); SkyWest Airlines; & South African Airways (SAA).

Main Base: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International airport (ATL).

Hubs: Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International airport (CVG); & Dallas/Fort Worth International airport (DFW).

New York (JFK) - Berlin Tegel (daily nonstop).

Hank Halter, Senior VP Finance & Controller.

July 2005: Edward H Bastian, Executive VP & (CFO), replaced Michael Palumbo, who resigned "to pursue other opportunities." Jim Whitehurst, (COO). Joe Kolshak, Executive VP & Chief of Operations. Lee Macenczak, Executive VP & Chief of Customer Service. Paul Matsen, Executive VP & (CMO). Glen Hauenstein, Executive VP & Chief of Network & Revenue Management, ex-Alitalia (ALI).

August 2005: 69,150 employees (-2.1%).

USA airlines cancelled dozens of flights across the Gulf Coast region as Hurricane Katrina came ashore.

September 2005: Delta Air Lines (DAL) will cut capacity (ASM)'s at Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport, its second-largest hub, by -26% effective December 1 and will sell 11 767-200s to ABX Air (ABX). In a letter to staff, (DAL) said the reductions will result in around -1,000 job eliminations at the hub among (DAL) and Comair (COI) staff.

The aim of the downsizing is "to better match service to local passenger demand and optimize the balance of local and connecting traffic," (DAL) said, while the 767-200 "is the least efficient widebody" in its fleet. (DAL) expects to boost the share of local traffic carried at Cincinnati to nearly 50% in line with its Atlanta and Salt Lake City hubs. Sale of the 767-200s, which have an average age of 22 years, will leave the carrier with three, which it expects will be gone by year end. Last year, it said it planned to eliminate up to four subfleets.

Some of the freed capacity will be redeployed to its other hubs, where (DAL) will add service to 20 destinations. It also is boosting service to a number of international destinations, particularly routes to Latin America and the Caribbean. Since January, it has introduced or announced 21 new international routes and international (ASM)s capacity represented 28% of mainline capacity in August.

ABX Air (ABX) said it will spend $190 million to acquire the (DAL) 767s and convert them to freighters, a job it "anticipates" will be handled by Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI). It previously acquired a 767-200 from (DAL) in July.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) could file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as early as this week, but not before a final board meeting to discuss the situation. (DAL) will receive approximately $1.65 billion in debtor-in-possession financing from a group of creditors led by (GE)'s commercial finance unit. Around $1 billion will be used to retire an existing loan from (GE) that helped the carrier avoid bankruptcy last winter. The loan will be secured by virtually all of the company's remaining unencumbered assets, including Regional airline Comair (COI), gates and slots, and route authorities for Tokyo and London.

Shares of Delta common stock, which likely will be worthless after a Chapter 11 filing, plunged -23% to a new low of 85 cents per share.

Delta TechOps will provide engine and (APU) maintenance along with component and inventory support services under a five-year agreement with Eos (EOS), the transatlantic startup.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) and Northwest Airlines (NWA) filed for bankruptcy, meaning that four of the Big Six USA legacy carriers currently are restructuring under Chapter 11 protection.

The filings, which occurred in the USA Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York within an hour of each other, had been expected. Both airlines said they will maintain their full schedules as they cited the impact of soaring fuel prices since Hurricane Katrina as the immediate cause of the filings. Each previously had warned that filings might be necessary owing to impending financial commitments, continuing losses since 2000 and huge pension obligations. (DAL) cited debts of more than $28 billion, while (NWA) owes almost $18 billion.

(DAL)'s filing covers itself, its Song (SNG) low-fare subsidiary and Comair (COI), its Regional affiliate. In a statement, it said it had obtained a commitment for $1.7 billion in debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing from (GE) Commercial Finance and Morgan Stanley as co-Lead Arrangers. The commitment includes up to $1.4 billion of financing on an interim basis pending final approval of the full (DIP) financing at a later date. As reported, this replaces an earlier $980 million financing arranged by (GE) and American Express (AmEx). (DAL) has an "agreement in principle" with (AmEx) for an additional $350 million of secured financing.

(DAL) said it will use the Chapter 11 process to reconfigure its fleet, including elimination of four fleet types by the end of 2006. It will deploy smaller airplanes on many routes and continue to "right-size its hub operations." It also will shrink the airline and reduce pay and benefits for employees. It said it will stop making payments to its defined benefit pension programs and will continue to seek pension reform legislation; however, "there can be no guarantees - - even with pension reform" about the future of the plans. Both United Airlines (UAL) and US Airways (USA) used the bankruptcy process to terminate their plans.

"(DAL)'s financial problems are severe, but by no means insurmountable," (CEO), Gerald Grinstein said. "We are optimistic about our future because we have been working for months on a business plan that builds on the substantial improvements we've already made and demonstrates that Delta (DAL) can return to profitability once the company is able to restructure appropriately."

(DAL) plans to eliminate -7,000 - -9,000 jobs by the end of 2007 and reduce pay for most of those employees who remain as it tries to restructure under bankruptcy protection, (DAL) said. The cuts are in addition to -6,000 - -7,000 jobs targeted for elimination in last year's Transformation Plan, which aimed at achieving financial benefits totaling $5 billion through 2006. In this announcement, (DAL) put the size of its current workforce at 52,000, although in a supplemental brief to the bankruptcy filing, it claimed 60,000 employees.

The workforce changes are part of an "expanded and stepped up transformation plan" intended to provide an additional $3 billion in financial benefits that will "save (DAL) in the near term, so that it can compete and win in the long term," according to (CEO), Gerald Grinstein.

Also included in the $3 billion figure are savings of -$970 million expected from such things as "debt relief, lease and facility savings and fleet modifications." (DAL) said it has rejected leases on 40 mainline airplanes it was not operating at the time of the filing and plans to eliminate another "-80 -plus" airplanes through the end of 2006, at which point it will operate seven mainline types, down from 11 today and 14 in 2001.

(DAL) expects to save -$930 million through layoffs, pay cuts and productivity gains. Of this, -$325 million will come from the airline's pilots (FC) in addition to $1 billion in pay and benefit reductions assumed by the work group last year. The remaining $605 million will come from the non-pilot workforce. Grinstein will take a -25% pay reduction, other officers -15%. Supervisory and other administrative personnel will take a -9% cut while most frontline employees will see wages cut -7% - -10%, excluding those earning less than $25,000 per year.

(DAL) has begun shrinking its operations by returning all 30 of its 328JETs, which are believed to parked, as well as five MD-11s, three of which are subleased to World Airways (WLD), and four 737-200s.

September 2005: Delta Air Lines (DAL) on May 1 will launch a 1X daily non-stop service between Atlanta and Copenhagen.

October 2005: Delta Air Lines (DAL) said it is resuming its full flight schedule after canceling "select flights" as part of emergency fuel conservation efforts adopted "to address critical fuel shortages" in the southeastern USA that were created by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

(DAL) will inaugurate nonstop service from Atlanta to Antigua on December 18th and will operate 2 flights a week, on Wednesday/Sunday, with a 737-800.

Fourteen years ago, (DAL) made a bad bet on international expansion during a period of heavy losses. Now it raised the ante. In what it described as "the largest international expansion in its history," the bankrupt carrier said it will launch non-stop wide body service from its hub at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) and base at New York (JFK) to 11 cities in Europe and the Middle East.

The new wave of flights will begin March 27 between Atlanta and Tel Aviv and continue through June 6 when the carrier launches service to Venice. In between, service will be inaugurated between (ATL) and Dusseldorf, Copenhagen, Edinburgh, Nice and Athens and between (JFK) and Budapest, Dublin/Shannon, Manchester and Kiev. The (JFK) - Kiev service is subject to government approval and the launch date will be announced.

"Next summer's increase in international flying is an integral part of our customer-focused transformation plan," (CEO), Gerald Grinstein said. "Since January, we have announced our intentions to serve more than +50 new international markets, making (DAL) the fastest-growing USA carrier to Europe, the Middle East, the Caribbean and Latin America." By next summer it will serve 66 international markets in 40 countries, making Hartsfield-Jackson the third-largest international hub in North America.

This is not the first time (DAL) has sought to ease its pain at home with an international fling. In November 1991, fresh off a company record (at the time) loss of -$343 million, it acquired substantially all of Pan American World Airways (PAA)'s transatlantic route authorities, with the exception of its London Heathrow services that had been sold to United Airlines (UAL), as well as (PAA)'s Frankfurt hub and beyond rights to nine cities for $416 million. Overnight it became - - as it claims it again is becoming - - "the largest transatlantic airline," inaugurating service to 24 cities in 19 countries, the majority of them formerly served by Pan Am (PAA).

Unfortunately, things did not work out as planned. (DAL) lost more than -$1.5 billion over the next three years, much of it on its newly acquired services. The Frankfurt base was closed, cities were dropped and by the end of the decade the carrier no longer laid claim to the title of world's largest transatlantic airline.

On Tuesday, (DAL) said it also plans to update the interiors of its entire international fleet, enhancing its BusinessElite product and introducing an improved domestic coach cabin. To support the new expansion, it may ask its pilots (FC) union to permit it to bring back some retired pilots (FC) to address staffing shortages.

(DAL) announced it plans to merge Song (SGD) into Delta (DAL). JP Morgan analyst Jamie Baker viewed the step as a positive for (DAL) and a negative for JetBlue (JBL).

November 2005: Delta Air Lines (DAL) asked a USA Bankruptcy Court to permit it to impose a new contract on its pilots (FC) under Section 1113 of the USA Bankruptcy Code that would reduce pilot (FC) pay rates by -19.5%, providing estimated savings of -$325 million annually, according to (DAL). The pilots (FC) are the only unionized workgroup at (DAL). (DAL) is imposing $605 million in pay and benefit reductions on its 44,000 other employees.

(DAL) took the action after talks with the Air Line Pilots Association representing the carrier's 7,000 pilots (FC) broke down. Late last year, the pilots (FC) agreed to a -32.5% pay rate reduction that is providing the airline with savings of approximately $1 billion per year. However, according to (DAL), current pilot (FC) pay remains higher than at all other passenger carriers except Northwest (NWA) (currently in Chapter 11) and Southwest Airlines (SWA).

Following the -19.5% pay cut, (DAL) said its pilots (FC) will be paid +1.9% more than the average pay of pilots (FC) at United Airlines (UAL) and US Airways (USA)/(AMW), -12.9% less than the average pay of pilots (FC) at American Airlines (AAL) and Continental Airlines (CAL) and -1% less than the average pay at seven midsize carriers, among them AirTran Airlines (CQT) and JetBlue (JBL), two Low Cost Carriers (LCC)s that have played a large role in (DAL)'s current financial problems.

Interestingly, (DAL) noted that a reduction in pay rates does not necessarily translate into an equivalent lowering of pilot labor costs because, "pilots (FC) . . . are generally free to change their bidding practices to increase the number of hours and days they work." For example, although pay rates were cut -32.5% from December 2004, "the reduction in compensation experienced by the average pilot was only -15.4%, meaning that pilots (FC) have recouped more than half of the -32.5% rate reduction."

It also noted that "from 2000 - 2004, while [its] pilots were enjoying an average +34% pay rate increase, the pay rates for (DAL)'s nonpilot employees generally were static; with a handful of exceptions, there have been no general increases in nonpilot employees' wages since April 2000." (DAL) implemented a -10% pay reduction for nonpilot employees in January 2005.

Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson Airport last week launched an airport-wide Wi-Fi network that includes 150 access points covering all 5.8 million sq-ft of the terminal and outlying areas. The airport will manage the system and set a base charge per connection. "Competitive pricing" to the user will be maintained by a variety of end-product service providers, with three already signed up and competing.

(DAL) opened a sales office in Beijing, signaling its intent to offer service from Atlanta in time for the 2008 Summer Olympics, although it does not serve the country currently.

Delta (DAL) Shuttle is introducing nine 142-seat MD-88s on its East Coast Shuttle between New York LaGuardia, Boston Logan and Reagan Washington National, replacing 120-seat 737s. The airplanes, which currently are flying in a two-class configuration, will be refitted to carry 134 in a roomier single-class arrangement.

December 2005: SkyTeam (STM) members (DAL), Northwest Airlines (NWA), and Continental Airlines (CAL) announced that their club members will have access to each others' airport lounges beginning today. The three carriers have more than >90 lounges worldwide.

December 2005: (DAL) inaugurated nonstop service from Atlanta to Managua, Nicaragua. The airline now operates a daily flight using a 737-800. Effective January 1, (DAL) will add three more daily flights between Atlanta and New Orleans, restoring service on the route to pre-Hurricane Katrina levels with 10 daily round-trip flights. (DAL) will launch service from New York LaGuardia to New Orleans (daily) beginning February 16. (DAL) added 2 Hawaii routes to its network, when it began daily nonstop service from Atlanta to Kahului (Maui) as well as daily service on the Atlanta - Salt Lake City - Kona route. While both routes get 5 flights a week, daily except Tuesdays/Wednesdays, Kahului is served with a 767-300 and Kona with a 767-400. (DAL) notified the (DOT) that it plans on starting nonstop service from New York (JFK) to Sao Paulo on April 1st. (DAL) will inaugurate nonstop service from New York (LGA) to Miami on February 16th and will operate 2 daily flights with MD-80s.

(DAL) announced a deal with Orbitz to implement the Cendant subsidiary's Supplier Link technology, which (DAL) said will reduce distribution costs by establishing a link to its internal reservation system.

(DAL) partnered with SideStep in a deal intended to promote (DAL) fares and services via the travel search engine. "A combination of search results listings and geographically targeted in-product advertising will enable (DAL) to reach active travelers as they search for specific trips," SideStep said in a statement. Customers will earn bonus SkyMiles, avoid booking fees, and obtain the carrier's best fares by booking directly on "SideStep brings (DAL) both the traffic of the leading search engine and the focus of a dedicated travel site," VP Sales & Distribution, Pam Elledge stated.

(DAL) laid off -68 customer service employees at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The layoffs will take effect during the first two weeks of February, the "Puget Sound Business Journal" reported.

(DAL) received some welcome financial relief as cargo carrier (ABX) Air and CIT Group (TCI) agreed to purchase a combined 21 airplanes from (DAL). (TCI) announced it will buy 10 737-800 delivery positions from (DAL) in a deal worth approximately $600 million. The airplanes, part of (DAL)'s order backlog with Boeing (TBC), will be delivered in 2007 (nine) and 2008 (one). (TCI) manages a fleet of more than >300 commercial and regional airplanes operated by more than 100 airlines.

(ABX) Air had agreed to purchase 11 767-200s a week before (DAL) entered Chapter 11, under which it was forced to file a motion with the USA Bankruptcy Court requesting approval for the sale, subject to higher bids at an auction. The motion was approved when no bids were received.

January 2006: For the full year 2005 (including regional operations) Delta Air Lines (DAL) = Passenger traffic 193.01 Billion (RPK) (2nd highest in world).

(DAL) applied to operate daily Atlanta - Quito/Guayaquil service aboard 757-200s beginning June 1. (DAL) will launch daily, New York (JFK) - Sao Paulo service from July 1. (DAL) also will add service to New Orleans and Long Beach from its Salt Lake City hub. (DAL) announced that its New York (JFK) - Kiev Borispol service will operate five-times-weekly from June 5. (DAL) will be the only USA carrier serving Kiev. (DAL) will launch Raleigh/Durham - Los Angeles service daily, except Saturday from June 8 aboard 737-800s. (DAL) continued its rapid expansion into Latin America, unveiling 12 new routes to Mexico. City-pairs and launch dates are: Atlanta to Acapulco (April 5), Merida (Feb 26) and Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa (April 12); Cincinnati to Cancun (June 1) and Los Cabos (Feb 18); Los Angeles to Cancun (June 3) and Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa (April 15); New York (JFK) to Acapulco (March 11), Cozumel (June 3), Los Cabos (April 8), and Puerto Vallarta (March 4), and Salt Lake City to Mazatlan (March 8). Merida is a new (DAL) destination. Service is pending Mexican government approval. (DAL) is seeking USA (DOT) approval to serve New York (JFK) - Cancun, Los Angeles - Puerto Vallarta and Los Angeles - Los Cabos by summer. (DAL) has launched, added or applied to serve more than >35 new routes to Latin America and the Caribbean in the past year.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International (ATL) has surpassed Chicago O'Hare (ORD) as the busiest airport in the USA, the (FAA) said. (ATL) logged 980,197 takeoffs and landings in 2005 compared to 972,246 at (ORD). Dallas/Fort Worth International (DFW) finished a distant third with 718,291. Growth at Atlanta largely reflects (DAL)'s increased activity there, while (DFW)'s declining position similarly is a result of (DAL)'s closing its hub last year.

(SITA) said it implemented a distributed antenna system at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, providing wireless coverage to 5.8 million sq ft and giving passengers access "to the highest quality wireless phone coverage throughout the entire airport including its transportation mall," according to the company.

(DAL) is moving forward with previously announced plans to cut its workforce. According to media reports, -800 to -1,000 Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) jobs at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport will be eliminated. The cuts go into effect April 1 when the airline will close a hangar at Hartsfield.

February 2006: Delta Air Lines (DAL) likely will seek to terminate its pilot (FC) pension plan during its bankruptcy reorganization, a top member of the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) said as he repeated a warning that the union will go on strike if (DAL) attempts to cancel the existing labor contract and impose a new one.
(DAL)'s turbulent year, which featured its September bankruptcy filing, ended with a net loss of -$3.82 billion, or -$2.21 billion excluding reorganization and special items, with the former figure representing a +26.5% improvement over a 2004 deficit of -$5.2 billion. In the fourth quarter ended December 31, its first full three-month period in Chapter 11, (DAL) lost -$1.23 billion, narrowed -44% from the -$2.21 billion spilled in the year-ago quarter.

Annual operating revenue increased +6.3% to + $16.19 billion as expenses fell -1.9% to $18.19 billion, including a -20.2% drop in salaries and related costs to $5.06 billion and a +46.1% rise in fuel costs to $4.27 billion. Operating loss was -$2 billion, a + 39.5% improvement over a 2004 loss of -$3.31 billion.

Yearly passenger traffic rose + 5.9% to 120 billion (RPM)s but yield was up just +0.2% to 12.19 cents. Capacity grew +3.4% to 156.8 billion (ASM)s, lifting load factor +1.8 points to 76.5% LF. Operating (RASM) climbed + 2.9% to 10.33 cents and operating (CASM) fell -5.2% to 11.6 cents, or -8.6% to 8.31 cents excluding fuel and special items.

March 2006: Delta Air Lines (DAL) received permission from the USA Bankruptcy Court to enter into fuel hedges. It hedged approximately 26% of its February consumption at an average of $1.75 per gallon.

(DAL) has an order for three 777-200s, which could be delivered as 777-200LRs in 2008.

(DAL) is seeking to have the current pilot (FC) contract thrown out under Section 1113 of the USA Bankruptcy Code. The two sides agreed to arbitrate the company's motion but the pilots (FC) have threatened to strike if the arbitrator sides with management and (DAL) imposes a new contract.

Some -$1 billion of savings are expected to come through new contracts with airports, suppliers, caterers and other vendors. The remaining -$1 billion will be achieved through employee concessions and takeaways.

(DAL) expanded its maintenance support agreement with Royal Air Maroc (RAM). Delta (DAL) TechOps will provide Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) work and inventory exchange services covering an additional (RAM) 767-300ER, the (PW2000) engines on a 757 and (GTCP331-200) and (131-9B) Auxiliary Power Units (APUs) on airplanes operated by (RAM) subsidiaries. Delta (DAL) TechOps already services (RAM)'s 767-300ERs, (PW2000)s and 767-300, 757 and 737-800 (APU)s.

April 2006: Delta Air Lines (DAL) pilots (FC), represented by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), agreed to -$280 to -$290 million in annual concessions, including a -14% pay cut. The pilots' (MEC) said it would review the deal and decide whether or not to submit it to union members for a vote. The tentative pilot contract at (DAL), if ratified by its (ALPA) membership, will drop (DAL) from having the third-highest-paid narrow body captains (FC) to the middle of the pack, while Northwest Airlines (NWA), if its pilots (FC) ratify their agreement, will fall even further, from having the second-highest-paid work group to the No 8 position, just above JetBlue (JBL). Interestingly, the (NWA) and (DAL) pilot (FC) ratification voting periods overlap. This sets up a scenario in which the (NWA) pilots (FC) may develop a case of "(DAL) envy" because the terms of the (DAL) (TA) "appear significantly richer than those at (NWA)."
The analysis shows that a 12-year (NWA) A320 captain (FC) currently earns $180 per hour, which falls to $137 under the (TA). By comparison, a 12-year (DAL) 737 captain (FC)'s hourly pay will fall from $173 to $149. Prior to their November 2004 concessionary agreement, (DAL) captains were the highest-paid in the industry, earning $202 per hour.

In addition, (DAL) pilots (FC) will receive a $2.1 billion unsecured claim and management has agreed that if the pilot pension plan is rejected - - as appears likely - - they will get cash and securities worth $650 million.

The overall salary leader among USA passenger carriers is Southwest Airlines (SWA), whose 12-year 737 captains earn $186 per hour, according to JP Morgan. Among legacy network carriers, the leader is American Airlines (AAL) at $161. At the bottom is US Airways (USA) at $125, followed by United (UAL) at $131, and America West (AMW) at $134. US Airways (USA) and America West (AMW) pilots (FC) are in discussions about merging seniority lists.

(DAL) announced it has begun bringing the 48 Song (SGD) 757s back into the mainline fleet in anticipation of this fall's launch of a "new two-class, domestic long-haul product" combining "the best of the (SGD) and (DAL) brands, products and experiences." (DAL) decided to fold (SGD) last October.

(DAL) is expanding its self-service check-in kiosks to international services, equipping more than >1,000 kiosks at USA airports with passport readers. (DAL) said all USA kiosks will be upgraded by year end to handle international check-ins. Self-service check-ins for domestic (DAL) flights rose +10% last year, with 28 million passengers using the machines to obtain boarding passes.

Sabre Holdings announced agreements with United Airlines (UAL) and (DAL). (DAL) signed a seven-year, full-content agreement with Sabre Travel Network to make all published fares and inventory available to Sabre subscribers, including published fares that the airline sells through any third-party distributor and through its reservation offices and website. In addition to the Sabre agreement, (DAL) also signed a new marketing agreement with Travelocity and a participation agreement with Travelocity's Site59 unit. Sabre signed a similar agreement with (UAL) good for five years. (UAL) had signed five-year, full-content agreements with Worldspan and Galileo the previous week.

May 2006 Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport opened its fifth runway, 10-28, its first new runway since 1984. (DAL) said the 9,000-ft runway will improve arrival and departure rates by 25% - 35%.

(DAL) and Galileo International announced a seven-year, full-content agreement. (DAL) and CheapTickets, a subsidiary of Galileo parent Cendant Corporation, also executed a marketing agreement.

June 2006: Delta Air Lines (DAL) pilots (FC) ratified a new labor agreement that includes -$280 million in annual concessions (DAL) says are "crucial" to its effort to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) said 95% of eligible (DAL) pilots (FC) participated in the voting and 61% were in favor of the pact, which was reached by airline management and union leadership in April. (DAL) Executive VP & (CFO), Edward Bastian said the agreement "helps provide the competitive framework necessary for (DAL)'s successful restructuring."

July 2006: Delta Air Lines (DAL) told the USA Bankruptcy Court in New York that it has signed a letter of intent (LOI) with (ILFC) (ILF) to lease 10 757-200ERs. The airplanes, powered by Pratt & Whitney (PW2037)s, will be delivered from July 15 through November 15, 2007, after undergoing "C" maintenance checks and painting, and will be leased for seven years and three months each, according to the filing. In addition, (ILFC) will provide a cash contribution toward the purchase of winglets that will remain installed after each airplane is returned.

August 2006: Delta Air Lines (DAL) is back in the black, reporting a July net profit of +$69 million. (DAL) lost -$41 million in the year-ago month. The result included -$30 million in reorganization items, without which its monthly profit would have risen to +$99 million. "July's results reflect the continued momentum of our restructuring," Executive VP & (CFO), Edward Bastian said.

(DAL) filed for final USA Bankruptcy Court clearance to terminate its pilots (FC)'s pension plan, effective September 2. The move, which the pilots union has agreed not to oppose, would affect 13,000 active and retired workers and is part of the carrier's effort to cut costs in order to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Defined retirement programs for 91,000 active and retired flight attendants (CA) and ground employees will not be terminated. (DAL) established September 2 as the effective termination date, but still must obtain approval from the USA Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. Termination had been opposed by a group of 100 retired pilots (FC), but that organization removed its objection over the weekend.

(DAL) said it is using a new decision support tool called "Attila" that allows it to manage landings in Atlanta better during congested periods. The program sends information from (DAL)'s operations control center to cockpits to provide pilots (FC) with coordinated speed adjustments so landings are more evenly spaced.

(DAL) and (IBM) signed a seven-year agreement under which (DAL)'s Information Technology (IT) infrastructure management will be outsourced to (IBM).

(DAL) has made the self-service booking, check-in, loyalty program and shopping functions on its website available in Spanish. (DAL) added that it will introduce Spanish and French check-in kiosks early next year.

September 2006: Delta Air Lines (DAL) received approval from the USA Bankruptcy Court to cut -$50 million in health benefits per year, largely through increased premiums, from approximately 42,000 retirees and other beneficiaries, according to press reports.

(DAL) announced the recall of up to 65 pilots (FC) and around 200 flight attendants (CA) "to support changes the company is making to build a profitable network." (DAL) has added more than >50 international routes in the past year alone. Recalled pilots (FC) will begin training next month and return to flying "shortly thereafter." (DAL) recalled 64 pilots (FC) in June and said it is in the process of bringing back 100 maintenance (MT) personnel. (DAL) also said it is looking to hire cabin staff (CA) who speak French and Spanish.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport began reconstruction of Runway 8R-26L, the north departure runway, on Friday. Work on the 10,000-ft runway will continue for 60 days during which time departure capacity will drop. Flight delays are "possible," the airport said. The project will cost around $90 million and is being funded by passenger facility charges.

October 2006: Delta Airlines (DAL) (CEO), Gerald Grinstein, 73, was widely reported to have told a New York audience that (DAL) is on track to emerge from Chapter 11 in the first half of 2007 and that he will leave the company soon after. (DAL) named Kenneth Khoury, Executive VP & General Counsel.

Worldspan and (DAL) completed a new long-term distribution agreement affirming "Worldspan's Super Access Product as a preferred distribution program for (DAL) through June 2013."

(DAL) said it will introduce lie-flat seats made by Contour Premium Aircraft Seating in international business class (C) cabins on two 777-200ERs slated for delivery in early 2008. (DAL) will install the "sleeper suites," which will include on-demand digital video and music, on the remainder of its 777s, starting in fall 2008 and concluding by 2010. (DAL) also "expects" to put the seats in 767s.

(DAL) confirmed that it will be the USA launch customer for the 777-200LR and will take delivery of two of the type in early 2008, having converted two 777-200ERs it had on order from Boeing (TBC). "These airplanes will enable us to fly nonstop to ultra-long-distance destinations across Asia and the Middle East, as we continue our international expansion," said Mel Fauscett, Managing Director, Fleet Planning & Acquisition. The airplanes will be powered by (GE90) engines.

November 2006: US Airways Group (AMW)/(USA) continued its one-airline assault on the USA airline market structure with an $8 billion bid to merge with Delta Air Lines (DAL) as part of that carrier's bankruptcy restructuring.

The bid comes as US Airways (USA) and America West Airlines (AMW) continue their own integration into a single airline after America West (AMW) acquired US Airways Group (USA) out of bankruptcy in 2005.

(DAL) is bankrupt but profitable thanks to a +$98 million noncash gain from reorganization items, that propelled it to a +$52 million net profit in the third quarter, a monumental reversal from the -$1.13 billion loss incurred in the year-ago period. The special gain was related primarily to decreases in previously estimated pre-petition bankruptcy claims for the restructuring of airplane financing arrangements, (DAL) said. Excluding the gain, (DAL) suffered a net loss of -$46 million during the quarter compared to a -$438 million deficit, excluding special items, in the year-ago period. "(DAL)'s accomplishments of the past quarter - - from our second consecutive quarterly operating profit, to improving our customers' experience by launching our new domestic transcontinental product, and completing our goal of fleet simplification - - are evidence of the continued progress we are making in transforming our company," (CEO), Gerald Grinstein said. "Without a doubt, these are demanding times at (DAL), and (DAL) people are more focused than ever on our mission to emerge from bankruptcy as a profitable, competitive, standalone airline."

(DAL) announced plans to recall +1,000 flight attendants (CA) next year. During the "first few months" of 2007, it is scheduled to train up to 500 previously furloughed cabin staff. (DAL) recalled 200 flight attendants (CA in September.

Later, (DAL) announced yet another employee recall, this one for approximately +200 additional pilots (FC), who will rejoin (DAL) next year. (DAL) already has issued two recalls for a total of +129 pilots (FC) this year.

(DAL) leased 10 used 757-200ERs from (ILFC) (International Lease Finance Corporation) (ILF) for 7 years. These airplanes are due to be delivered between July 2007 and November 2007.

December 2006: Delta Air Line Pilots Association (MEC) Chairman, Lee Moak, who previously had voiced skepticism regarding the merger, said the pilots (FC) will officially oppose the plan, warning that (AMW)/(USA) could fire (DAL) workers "at will" after it completed the takeover.

(DAL) announced that it expects to recall all remaining furloughed pilots (FC) in 2007 and is accepting applications for new hires. (DAL) expects to add +200 pilots next year through recalls and new hires.

(DAL) reached airplane purchase and sale agreements with Boeing (TBC) and two airplane lessors, as part of an effort to right-size its fleet to emerge from bankruptcy as a standalone carrier with a heavy emphasis on international services. (DAL) agreed to take, but immediately sell 38 future deliveries of 737-800s it has on order; 15 will go to Aviation Capital Group (CGP) and 23 to Babcock & Brown Aviation Finance Ltd (BBB). In addition, (DAL) said it has converted five firm orders for 777-200ERs to 777-200LRs (two of these conversions were announced previously) and replaced future options for 737-800s with firm orders for 10 737-700s.

(DAL) said that the agreements support its "planned international expansion, give it additional flexibility to fly new routes, and complete an important element of its restructuring." The transactions are subject to bankruptcy court approval.

The airplane deals reached with Boeing (TBC) and the lessors, are "vital to (DAL)'s restructuring, and plans to emerge from Chapter 11 in the first half of 2007 as a solid, independent carrier," Managing Director Fleet Planning & Acquisition, Mel Fauscett said. He added that (DAL) will "provide more guidance on the fleet, when we file our plan of reorganization later this month." (DAL) said it has achieved -$400 million of its projected -$450 million in fleet savings.

January 2007: Adding to recent speculation, "The Wall Street Journal" reported that executives from (DAL) and Northwest Airlines (NWA) have been meeting regularly in recent weeks to discuss a possible merger after both carriers exit Chapter 11 later this year.

February 2007: Hard hit by heavy Chapter 11-related restructuring costs, Delta Air Lines (DAL) reported a -$6.2 billion net loss for 2006, widened from -$3.8 billion in red ink in the prior year, and bringing its net loss for the two-year period to -$10 billion.

Excluding reorganization and special items, however, its full-year net loss was just -$406 million, greatly improved, compared to a -$2.21 billion loss on a similar basis in 2005.

April 2007: Delta Air Lines (DAL) received confirmation of its reorganization plan from the USA Bankruptcy Court, paving the way for it to exit Chapter 11 protection on April 30 after its $2.5 billion in exit financing has closed.

(DAL) hired 24 pilots (FC) in March, and expects to hire 19 this month. Has all furloughed pilots recalled.

May 2007: Delta Air Lines (DAL) (DAL) currently serves 109 international destinations and operates more than >400 weekly transatlantic flights to 37 destinations in Europe, Africa, India and the Middle East.

(DAL)'s fleet numbers 440 airplanes, -82 fewer than on June 30, 2005, the end of the last full quarter before it entered Chapter 11. The number of employees fell -11.3% to 47,000, domestic destinations climbed to 223 from 202 and international destinations rose to 109 from 60. (DAL) is even saving money with its new paint job. The livery comprises four colors instead of the eight required by the most recent "flowing fabric" design and will reduce the paint cycle by one day and the number of man-hours and amount of out-of-service time required by 20%. Painting of the entire fleet is expected to take four years.

(DAL) Executive VP Operations, Joe Kolshak was on hand to detail the benefits performance-based navigation has brought to his carrier. (DAL) received approval in March for its 737-800s to fly (RNP) approaches, joining Alaska Airlines (ASA), Horizon Air and Continental Airlines (CAL), and Atlanta Airport (ATL) has been (RNAV)-equipped since Fiscal Year (FY) 2005. Kolshak said average delays have been reduced at (ATL) by 3 minutes, which he said was the equivalent of adding three airplanes to the fleet. (DAL) ranked sixth among USA legacy carriers in ontime performance two years ago and stands second so far this year. The fifth runway and new taxiway also have been key contributors. Kolshak said (DAL) is conducting constant descent approach beta testing on early morning transcontinental arrivals at Atlanta and that initial indications are that it will save 400 lbs of fuel per flight, or 13 million gallons per year.

June 2007: Delta Air Lines (DAL) and Gol (GOT) announced an interline agreement effective July 1 under which (DAL) passengers will be able to connect through Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paulo to each of (GOT)'s 58 Brazilian destinations, as well as eight in South America.

"A joint venture (JV) agreement between (AFA), (DAL), (KLM) and (NWA) will create a comprehensive and integrated partnership among the four SkyTeam (STM) members across the Atlantic," (NWA) said in a statement. "A more integrated (STM) alliance offers significant advantages to consumers, including more choice in flight schedules, travel times, services and fares." The carriers are attempting to take advantage of route opportunities made possible in the (EU) - USA "open skies" accord that goes into effect next year.

(DAL) said it plans to install Aviation Partners Boeing (APB) blended winglets on 38 737NGs, 10 757-200s and 15 767-300ERs, with options to outfit the remainder. (DAL) said it expects to realize a combined +3.5% improvement in fuel consumption and a +5% increase in range as a result.

July 2007: The Carlyle Group, a private equity firm, reached a definitive agreement to acquire (ARINC) from its current shareholders, which include more than a dozen major airlines and Boeing (TBC). (ARINC), which generates more than >$900 million in annual revenue, specializes in transportation communications technology, and its Air Traffic Control (ATC) support systems are used by carriers and airports throughout the world. Primary shareholders in the 77-year-old company based in Annapolis, include American Airlines (AAL), United Airlines (UAL), Delta Air Lines (DAL), Continental Airlines (CAL), (NWA), US Airways (AMW)/(USA), Air Canada (ACN), Air France (AFA)/(KLM), Lufthansa (DLH), British Airways (BAB), Mexicana (CMA), Swiss International Air Lines (CSR), TACA (TAC), FedEx (FED), Hawaiian Airlines (HWI), and Philippine Airlines (PAL). (AAL) said it would receive $194 million from the sale of its stake and (UAL) expects $125 million. Other carriers did not immediately disclose expected proceeds and (ARINC) did not release financial details. The company said the transaction is expected to close in the third quarter subject to regulatory approval.

Continental Airlines (CAL), (NWA), and (DAL) jointly launched SkyCorp Direct, an online travel management tool designed to provide companies with a "one-stop solution" for corporate travel needs. "The site allows employees to easily book their own flights, hotels and rental cars while providing corporations with the ability to track and manage employee travel costs," said John Slater, (CAL) Managing Director Distribution Planning & e-Commerce. The site has no user or booking fees, unless a ticket is booked on an airline other than the three sponsor carriers, and can be used by companies of all sizes. It also will allow companies and their employees to book hotels and rental cars when purchasing flight tickets.

INCDT: The USA National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating a runway incursion involving United Airlines (UAL) and (DAL) jets that took place July 11 in Fort Lauderdale, in which the airplanes came within less than <100 ft vertically of each other. According to (NTSB), the event occurred at about 2:30 pm. The crew of UA Flight 1544, an A320, received taxi clearance from the terminal to Runway 9L via Taxiway T7. At the same time, DL 1489, a 757, was inbound from Atlanta for a landing on 9L. The tower controller noted that the A320 was going too fast to hold short of 9L and told the ground controller to tell it to stop. The airplane stopped on 9L, 30 ft from the runway centerline. The (DAL) flight that was touching down was ordered to do a go-around and became airborne, clearing the (UAL) jet by less than <100 ft, tower controllers reported. The (NTSB) said that the (UAL) crew (FC) claimed they missed the turn on Taxiway B. The USA (FAA) classified the incident a pilot (FC) deviation.

Later, the (FAA) confirmed that on July 11, a (DAL) 757 arriving at Fort Lauderdale "touched down and had to take off again to avoid colliding" with a (UAL) A320, that was taxiing to a runway and "had missed a turn." It said that on July 5, a (DAL) airplane landing at New York LaGuardia "narrowly missed" a Delta Connection airplane, that was "mistakenly cleared to taxi across the runway at the same time."

Precision Conversions received an order for a 15-pallet 757-200F freighter conversion from Cargo Aircraft Management (CAM). Work on the ex-(DAL) 757 will begin in September at the Flightstar facility in Jacksonville. The airplane will be redelivered to (CAM) in December.

August 2007: Delta Air Lines (DAL) Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) subsidiary, Delta TechOps reached a five-year, $9 million deal with Las Vegas-based Vision Airlines (VIS) to provide component, (APU) and landing gear (MRO) along with inventory support services for Vision (VIS)'s 767-200s.

2006 Results: (DAL) is world #4 airline by passenger operations ranked by traffic: 186.86 billion (RPK) (-3.2%); 238.12 billion (ASK) capacity (-5.6%); 78.5% LF (+2.0); 106.6 million passengers (-10.3%); 51,300 employees (-7.9%); 1.81 billion (RTK) (-37.6%) cargo traffic; 434 airplanes (see link to world airline (RPK) comparison chart).

(DAL) ended its long search for a (CEO), naming current (DAL) board member and former Northwest Airlines (NWA) (CEO), Richard Anderson to succeed Gerald Grinstein, who had said he would retire after Delta (DAL) emerged from bankruptcy. (CFO), Edward Bastian, who also had been considered a contender for Grinstein's position, was named President and retained the (CFO) title as well. Anderson officially takes over September 1. "I have known Richard for a long time. He is a ferocious competitor, thoroughly knowledgeable about airline operations, and understands the link between passenger satisfaction and living up to our service commitments," Grinstein stated.

Anderson, 52, left (NWA) in October 2004, to become Executive VP of UnitedHealth Group, a health insurer. He became (CEO) of (NWA) in February 2001, capping a career there that began in 1990, when he was named deputy general counsel. During his tenure, he also served as Senior VP Technical Operations aswell as Executive VP & (COO). Anderson came into the industry with Continental Airlines (CAL) in the waning days of the Texas Air Corp empire, lured from a career as a rising assistant district attorney in Houston by a neighbor employed by (TAC)/(CAL). While at (NWA), he worked closely with current (CEO), Doug Steenland, another (CAL) alumnus who also came to (NWA) through the legal side. Steenland served as President at (NWA), while Anderson was (CEO), and was named to succeed him upon Anderson's departure.

The two carriers recently joined together with SkyTeam (SKT) partners Air France (AFA)/(KLM), Alitalia (ALI), and (CSA) Czech Airlines to file for transatlantic antitrust immunity (ATI). An earlier request was withdrawn in the face of government objections.

"(DAL) people have made amazing accomplishments and have a passion for customer service that is renowned in the industry. I am honored to accept the challenge of leading this legendary company into a future that holds great promise," Anderson said. James Whitehurst remains (COO). He has been rumored to be a candidate to succeed Virgin America (VUS) (CEO), Fred Reid, who must depart (VUS) within six months.

Later, (DAL) (COO), Jim Whitehurst announced his resignation, having been passed over for the (CEO) position awarded to Richard Anderson, and the role of President that was given to (CFO), Edward Bastian.

September 2007: Delta Air Lines (DAL) hired 50 pilots (FC) in July, 50 in August, and 60 in September, and expects to hire 300 pilots (FC) in 2007.

(DAL) named Comair (COI) President, Don Bornhorst as Senior VP Delta Connection, putting him in charge of the daily operations of nine partner carriers.

Aviation Partners Boeing (APB) announced an order for 15 blended winglet shipsets for (DAL) 767-300ERs. (DAL) now plans to install winglets on 30 767-300s by early 2010, and holds options on the remainder, (APB) said.

October 2007: Delta Air Lines (DAL) (CEO), Richard Anderson said that a decision "on whether we should own Comair (COI)" will be made within 3 to 6 months.

SkyTeam (STM) partners Air France (AFA)/(KLM) and (DAL) announced a wide-ranging agreement on the joint operation of transatlantic flights, including a number of flights from London Heathrow (LHR) to USA destinations, as the carriers seek to challenge British Airways (BAB) directly, when the (EU)-USA "open skies" accord takes effect at the end of March. (DAL) (CEO), Richard Anderson spoke of the "enormous amount of value" resulting from "the opportunity we have with (AFA) across the transatlantic." He noted that (DAL) and (AFA) enjoy antitrust immunity. According to several analyst reports, the new transatlantic plans involve flights under the (AFA) code from (LHR) to nine USA destinations, including a Los Angeles service operated by (AFA). Currently, (DAL) does not have the right under Bermuda II to operate transatlantic flights to and from (LHR). (AFA)/(KLM) and (DAL) also reportedly plan to launch a daily Paris Orly - New York (JFK) service next summer.

November 2007: Delta Air Lines (DAL) hired 60 pilots (FC) in October; and expects to hire 30 in November. (DAL) predicts it will hire a total of 300 pilots (FC) in 2007.

(DAL) Maintenance arm, Delta TechOps (DTO) signed a 10-year, $1 billion-plus deal with Chromalloy Gas Turbine Corp, that represents "the largest and most significant [PMA] agreement in the airline industry," adds the (CFM56-5) to (DTO)'s portfolio and will result in 250 additional engine overhauls. "Chromalloy already had extraordinary capabilities in (PMA) development, and by working with them, Delta TechOps will be well positioned in the marketplace to better compete and, in turn, offer greater flexibility to our more than >100 customers worldwide," Senior VP, Tony Charaf said. (DAL) and Chromalloy will work together on development of (PMA) parts for the (CFM56-5) and (CFM56-7), including life-limited parts, and (DAL) will serve as launch customer by incorporating certain parts into its (CFM56-7) fleet.

The USA Department of Transportation (DOT) fined (DAL) $115,000 "for failing to provide information on the ontime arrival performance of its flights when asked by consumers," it announced.

December 2007: Delta (DAL) is actively recruiting first officers (FC). (DAL) hired 25 pilots (FC) in November, and expects to hire 25 in December. Applications are handled online. (DAL) indicates some new hires are getting 757/767 bids.

January 2008: 2007 statistics: 166.45 billion (RPK)s passenger traffic +4.6%; +1.8% capacity (ASK)s; +2.2 load factor for 81% LF. SEE ATTACHED COMPARISON CHART TO SELECTED OPERATORS - "DAL-2007-STATS."

Delta Air Lines (DAL), the focus of rampant merger speculation, posted net income of +$1.61 billion for 2007, reversed from a loss of -$6.2 billion in 2006, with both figures skewed by the carrier's bankruptcy restructuring. Discounting extraordinary gains upon its April 30 emergence from Chapter 11, (DAL) reported 2007 pre-tax income of +$604 million, reversed from a pre-tax loss excluding reorganization items of -$762 million in the prior year. Its fourth-quarter net loss was -$70 million owing to "the unprecedented increase in jet fuel prices from $2.31 [per gallon at the beginning of the quarter] to as high as $2.77 per gallon," but was a noteworthy improvement over a net loss of -$1.98 billion in the year-ago quarter.
CEO, Richard Anderson said the company's "review" of "strategic options" is "ongoing," but declined to discuss merger talks (DAL) may be having with Northwest Airlines (NWA), United Airlines (UAL) or other carriers. President & CFO, Edward Bastian said that "the business must be recalibrated to this high-fuel-price environment" and noted that (DAL)'s domestic capacity will be slashed -4% to -6% in 2008. Full-year revenue increased +9.2% to $19.15 billion, while expenses rose +3.4% to $18.06 billion, producing operating income of +$1.1 billion, dramatically improved from +$58 million in 2006. Consolidated traffic escalated +5.1% to 122.07 billion (RPM)s on a +2.5% lift in capacity to 151.76 billion (ASM)s, producing a load factor of 80.4% LF, up +1.9 points. Passenger yield increased +4% to 13.87 cents as (PRASM) lifted +6.5% to 11.15 cents, and (CASM) rose +0.3% to 11.61 cents. (CASM), excluding fuel, fell -1.1% to 8.41 cents.

757-231 (28479, N705TW), ex-American Airlines (AAL), Pegasus (PSS) leased. 737-8HX (29681), delivery and sold to Aviation Capital Group (CGP).

February 2008: The "Star Tribune" reported that Air France (AFA)/(KLM) will invest $750 million in the combined Delta Airlines (DAL)/Northwest Airlines (NWA). It is a SkyTeam (STM) Alliance partner of both USA carriers.

737-8HX (29649), sold to Aviation Capital Group (CGP). 757-231 (28485, N717TW), ex-American Airlines (AAL), Pegasus (PSS) leased. 777-232LR (29740, N701DN "The Delta Spirit"), delivery - SEE ATTACHED PHOTO - "DAL-777-232LR-FEB08."

March 2008: Delta Air Lines (DAL) said it will offer voluntary severance payouts to roughly 30,000 employees - - more than half its work force - - and cut domestic capacity by an extra -5% this year, as part of an overhaul of its business plan to deal with soaring fuel prices. Executives at (DAL) said in a memo to employees that (DAL)'s goal is to cut -2,000 frontline, administrative and management jobs through the voluntary program, attrition and other initiatives. The severance program primarily affects mainline (DAL) employees. It will not affect (DAL) pilots (FC), who have a union contract with the company, and employees at (DAL) regional carrier Comair (COI), which is based in Erlanger, Kentucky. One part of the program is for employees who are already eligible for retirement or for those whose age and years of service add up to at least 60, with 10 or more years of service. The other part of the program is an "early-out" offer for frontline employees such as flight attendants (CA) 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. (DAL) had 55,044 total full-time employees as of the end of last year.

Oil prices recently cracked $111 a barrel, nearly twice what they were a year ago. The memo from CEO, Richard Anderson, and President, Ed Bastian did not mention (DAL)'s talks with (NWA) about a combination that would create the world's largest airline.

(DAL) announced that it will follow (UAL) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA) in charging passengers $25 for a second checked bag starting May 1.

(DAL) promoted Delta TechOps Senior VP, Tony Charaf to President of the Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) division. VP Maintenance Operations, John Laughter was promoted to Senior VP & VP Operational Control & Reliability, while Neil Stronach was elevated to Senior VP Operations Control. Gil West will join (DAL) as Senior VP Airport Customer Service.

Delta (DAL) TechOps, the maintenance arm of (DAL), next month will begin reporting financial results "as a standalone business with our own profit and loss sheet," TechOps President, Tony Charaf said. TechOps intends to build its third-party Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) business in engines and components, and views itself as competing with giants such as Lufthansa Technik (DLH) (LTK) and Air France (AFA) Industries in an increasingly globalized market for (MRO )services. Charaf noted that (DAL) now gets its 767s overhauled in Hong Kong by (HAECO) (CAT), while TechOps is competing to do work for Indonesia's Lion Air (MLI). He cited the fact that (DAL)'s maintenance workforce is nonunion as a significant advantage over unionized rivals, because of the flexibility it provides.

(DAL) grounded all 117 MD-88s to inspect wiring, leading to an expected 275 flight cancellations. The move came a day after American Airlines (AAL) began wiring inspections on all 309 of its MD-80s. (AAL)'s inspections continued, leading to more than >130 flight cancellations in addition to the 325 it cancelled previously. Inspections stem from the USA (FAA)'s audit of domestic airlines' compliance with agency airworthiness directives (AD)s. "(DAL) is working in full partnership with the (FAA), and is proactively and voluntarily revalidating the full compliance of a prior Airworthiness Directive (AD) completed earlier this year," it said. (DAL) added that an "aggressive and proactive re-inspection schedule" would allow it to return to a full schedule. According to (AAL), the inspections are to ensure that bundles of wires on auxiliary hydraulic systems are installed and spaced in accordance with an (AD). (AAL) said inspections would be completed, allowing a return to a normal schedule. (DAL) said it added extra staff at its Atlanta hub to help deal with the crowds of passengers the cancellations were expected to cause. Southwest Airlines (SWA) and United Airlines (UAL) also have grounded airplanes temporarily this month for inspections.

(DAL) took delivery of the first of eight 777-232LRs last month, becoming the first USA carrier to add the type to its fleet. President & CFO, Edward Bastian said it was (DAL)'s first new delivery from Boeing (TBC) in six years. The airplane entered service March 8 on Atlanta (ATL) - Los Angeles and operated (ATL) - Tokyo Narita the following day.

737-8HX (29684), sold to Aviation Capital Group (CGP), leased to SunExpress (SNS). 737-8K2 (29651), sold to (BBAM) (BBB), leased to Transavia France (TAV). 777-232LR (29741, N702DN), delivery.

April 2008: The USA Department of Transportation (DOT) tentatively approved transatlantic antitrust immunity for six SkyTeam (STM) members - - Air France (AFA), (DAL), (KLM), (NWA), Alitalia (ALI), and (CSA) Czech Airlines - - nearly four years after (DAL) and (NWA) first petitioned the (DOT) to allow the alliance. After an initial denial, they reapplied last June with a substantially revised agreement. Currently, (DAL) has antitrust immunity with (AFA), (ALI), and (CSA), while (NWA) enjoys immunity with (KLM). The (DOT) said it "concluded that the proposed alliance is in the public interest, because it features a proposed new and highly integrated joint venture, that will likely produce efficiencies and provide consumers with additional price and service options, such as lower fares and more nonstop and connecting flights." In response, (DAL) Executive VP Network Planning & Revenue Management, Glen Hauenstein said he was "pleased" that the (DOT) "recognizes once again that antitrust immunity offers significant advantages to customers" and that the grant will "significantly strengthen the SkyTeam (STM) alliance." (AFA) and (KLM) said the preliminary decision "seems to be a logical response to both the (AFA)-(KLM) merger and the new European Union (EU)-USA "Open Skies" agreement," and that they would "welcome a quick and final decision from the USA Authorities." The immunity will enable (AFA), (KLM), (DAL), and (NWA) to establish a joint venture agreement among the four and ultimately integrate their transatlantic operations. (AFA) and (DAL) last year initiated their own partnership modeled after the (NWA)/(KLM) tie-up launched a decade ago. The (DOT) proposed that as a condition of obtaining immunity, the carriers must launch their alliance within 18 months.

For details about (DAL)'s international growth plans, please read the attached - - "DAL-INTNL-GROWTH-APR08."

Later, (DAL) and (NWA) announced a merger agreement to create a mega-airline, that would be the world's largest, absent divestitures with aggregate annual revenue of more than >$35 billion, a fleet of more than >800 airplanes and 75,000 employees worldwide. Following months of speculation, the carriers unveiled a proposed combination in which (DAL) essentially would acquire (NWA) in a stock-swap transaction. (NWA) shareholders would receive 1.25 shares in the new carrier for each current (NWA) share, a 16.8% premium based on current prices. The new airline, to retain the Delta (DAL) name and be based in Atlanta, will have an enterprise value of $17.7 billion, according to the companies. (DAL) CEO, Richard Anderson would be CEO of the combined entity. "The transaction is expected to generate more than >$1 billion in annual revenue and cost synergies from more effective airplane utilization, a more comprehensive and diversified route system, and cost synergies from reduced overhead and improved operational efficiency," the airlines said in a statement. "The company expects to incur one-time cash costs to not exceed $1 billion to integrate the two airlines." The merged carrier is expected to have liquidity of nearly $7 billion at closing. The merger must be approved by both companies' shareholders and gain required regulatory approvals, including antitrust clearance from the USA Dept of Justice. "It is expected that the regulatory review period will be completed later this year," the carriers said.

(DAL) Chairman, Daniel Carp would become Chairman of a new board of directors that would total 13 members, comprising seven current (DAL) directors, five (NWA) directors and one representative from the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA). (NWA) Chairman, Roy Bostock would become Vice Chairman and current (NWA) CEO, Doug Steenland would be a member. (DAL) President & CFO, Ed Bastian would have the same roles with the new (DAL).

The new airline and its regional partners would have a network of 390 destinations in 67 countries. "We're announcing a transaction that is about addition, not subtraction, and combines end-to-end networks that open a world of opportunities for our customers and employees," Anderson said. Steenland added that the "new carrier will offer superior route diversity across the USA, Latin America, Europe, and Asia and will be better able to overcome the industry's boom-and-bust cycles. The airline will also be better able to match the right planes with the right routes."

The new (DAL)/(NWA) plans "no hub closures" and will feature "improved international access to benefit small communities," the carriers said, adding that consolidation is necessary because "record fuel prices have fundamentally changed the economics of the airline industry." Fuel costs have "significantly [eroded] the financial benefits of restructuring" gained during both carriers' Chapter 11 processes that ended last year. A key to the accord is a tentative agreement with (DAL)'s pilots (FC) to extend their existing collective bargaining agreement through 2012. (DAL) pilots (FC), represented by (ALPA), would gain a 3.5% equity stake in the new company if the agreement is ratified. (DAL) said it will "use its best efforts to reach a combined (DAL)-(NWA) pilot (FC) agreement, including resolution of pilot (FC) seniority integration, prior to the closing of the merger." USA-based nonpilot employees of both companies additionally would be provided a 4% equity stake in the new airline upon closing. No "involuntary furloughs" of frontline workers are anticipated, according to the airlines, which promise to keep current pension plans intact.

The announcement of the merger agreement between (DAL) and (NWA) rippled across the USA commercial aviation landscape as the respective pilot (FC) groups took opposing sides and the identity of future consolidation candidates was scrutinized. Initially the principal roadblock to a (DAL)/(NWA) combination, the respective pilot (FC) groups represented by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) remained at odds, with the (NWA) Master Executive Council (MEC) announcing that it "strongly opposes the merger . . . as it stands." With (DAL)'s approximately 6,000 pilots (FC) agreeing to new contract terms independently, the (NWA) (MEC) said its roughly 5,000 pilots (FC) "will be disadvantaged in obtaining a joint contract, and potentially in the seniority list integration process" and that without parity, they potentially could be "on a B-Scale for years." (MEC) Chairman, Dave Stevens said he met with (DAL) executives and unsuccessfully "suggested" they delay the merger announcement "and spend a short period negotiating a joint contract with a focus on their harmonization issues." Having previously rejected arbitration as a means to settle the seniority dispute, (DAL) pilots (FC) now favor the process, he said, and "may choose not to cooperate on a joint contract for the benefit of the (NWA) pilots (FC), while they seek an agreement on seniority that favors the Delta (DAL) pilots." He warned that "no pilot (FC) group is going to put up with this" and that "no amount of money can sustain a carrier which creates this level of discord . . . We will be turning our efforts to stopping this merger." (DAL) pilots (FC) approved of the deal, saying that their new contract includes "improvements and financial returns for the value the pilots (FC)'s participation provides to the merger" and is a "far super solution" to the "traditional merger scenario."

The International Association of Machinists (MT) and Aerospace Workers, which represents (NWA)'s 12,500 ground employees, said it opposed the merger on the grounds that failure would result in the liability for each airline's frozen, underfunded pension plans falling on the government's Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (NWA) cabin staff (CA) represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA will "demand an end to concessions and a stake in the merged [airline] equal to equity granted other labor groups." It did not oppose the combination but promised it would look to recover concessions granted during (NWA)'s bankruptcy and "immediately begin to seek to negotiate improvements to our collective bargaining agreement."

(CAL) Chairman & CEO, Larry Kellner acknowledged that the (DAL)/(NWA) merger "will change the competitive landscape for (CAL) and the entire airline industry" and that (CAL)'s "preference" to remain independent will be reviewed. (DAL)'s agreement with (NWA) will allow (CAL) to recover the latter's "golden share" and pursue its own combination. (UAL) Chairman, President & CEO, Glenn Tilton said "the old paradigms no longer apply" and echoed his support for industry consolidation. While press reports and analysts said a (CAL)/(UAL) merger could come soon, the pilots (FC) from both carriers issued a joint statement warning that they will "not allow any merger unless management meets or exceeds our demands to be treated fairly and equitably."

Executives from (DAL) and (NWA) moved quickly to persuade investors, employees, consumers and regulators, that the proposed blockbuster merger of the two carriers will be positive for all, while insisting they will avoid many of the pitfalls of past mergers. "Not all mergers are created equal," (DAL) CEO, Richard Anderson, who would run the combined airline, told analysts. Even though the new Delta (DAL) would be the world's largest, with more than >800 mainline airplanes and more than >$35 billion in annual revenue, he asserted that the tie-up will not be unwieldy, because both airlines are doing relatively well, and the two companies already codeshare and are SkyTeam (STM) partners. "Mergers since deregulation and even before involved carriers one or the other of which were in distress," he said. "In this case, you have two carriers who just came off strong performances in 2007." In addition, the two already cooperate. "We are well ahead of the game by having this merger take place within an existing alliance relationship," (NWA ) President & CEO, Doug Steenland said. "As alliance partners, we already have pretty integrated Information Technology (IT) systems." Anderson and Steenland insisted there would be little trouble gaining antitrust clearance. While the new Delta (DAL) would have a "compelling package of worldwide destinations that no other USA carrier could match," Steenland noted that it still would hold only a 20% share in the USA domestic market, while Southwest Airlines (SWA) "will remain the largest domestic carrier." Since domestic overlap of routes is "minimal," with only 12 nonstop city-pairs operated by both, and their hubs located in different parts of the country, "the impact of the merger on competition will be little if any," he said.

The USA Department of Justice said that it "will look at the competitive effects of the transaction and how it would affect consumers." The carriers are hoping to finish the regulatory review process before a new President takes office next January.

Air France (AFA)-(KLM) said it was "pleased" by the (DAL)/(NWA) merger announcement and that it looked forward to combining with the new carrier "in the form of a joint venture offering a network with extremely attractive multiple hubs." (AFA)-(KLM) said it had offered short-term financial aid to the airlines as part of the transatlantic alliance granted antitrust immunity last week, but said that "considering the strong liquidity position of the combined airlines," it is "totally satisfied with the new framework which strengthens our North Atlantic partnership without the need for financial aid on our part."

(DAL) CEO, Richard Anderson and (NWA) President & CEO, Doug Steenland promoted the carriers' merger before Congress, insisting that the combination wouldn't affect competition and is necessary to allow the USA industry to compete against large European and Asian airlines. The CEOs testified before both the House of Representatives and the Senate. The merger "really creates the first USA global airline," Anderson told the House Judiciary Committee. "This gives us the ability to compete and win against foreign flag carriers." He and Steenland reiterated that the merger would result in no hub closures and that only executive, nonfrontline workers would be subject to involuntary layoffs. "Ticket prices will still be set by the market," Anderson said, noting that the combined airline would carry only 20% of domestic passengers and that there is minimal route overlap. The merger would make the combined airline "more financially resilient and stable" and able to withstand "volatile fuel costs and cyclical downturns," Steenland said.

The International Assn of Machinists and Aerospace Workers President, Tom Buffenbarger told lawmakers that the USA airline industry is "in disarray" and mergers will make matters worse. "Airline executives are using a crisis of their own making to create what can only be called a monopoly," he said, warning that job losses, degraded service and "more senseless mergers" would result if the (DAL)-(NWA) tie-up is approved.

While lawmakers are asking tough questions, Congress does not appear to have the power to stop the transaction. "Our sense is that this is essentially a regulatory process with the Department of Justice (DOJ)," Anderson said. "While we'll cooperate with Congress fully, this process runs through the Department of Transportation and the (DOJ)."

(DAL) TechOps (DTO) extended maintenance agreements with airberlin (BER), Gol (GOT), and (ABX) Air, totaling a projected $800 million. (BER)'s 10-year extension is for off-wing maintenance on (CFM56-7)s powering 737NGs. Gol (GOT) added 10 years for maintenance of (CFM56-3)s and (CFM56-7)s powering 737 Classics and NGs. Extension of (ABX)'s engine Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) agreement was unspecified. (DTO) reached a five-year deal with Asiana Airlines (AAR) for (MRO) on (CFM56-3)s. The contract is expected to yield $45 million in revenue.

Thompson Solutions was contracted by (DAL) to develop its "Cozy Suite" economy class (Y) seat, featuring contoured shoulder rests and extra knee space for 767ER and 777 airplanes. Installation is slated for 2010, following regulatory agency approval.

757-232 (22813), WFU at Victorville.

May 2008: Opposition from some quarters to potential moves by USA airlines in response to the recent (DAL)/(NWA) merger announcement, is fierce, with Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA) vowing to fight a British Airways (BAB)/American Airlines (AAL)/Continental Airlines (CAL) transatlantic alliance and United Airlines (UAL)'s pilots (FC) expressing strong disapproval of management's reported merger negotiations with US Airways (AMW)/(USA). (CAL) said that it has ruled out a merger, but the current SkyTeam (STM) member is on the outside looking in at a (DAL)-(NWA)-Air France (AFA)-(KLM) transatlantic alliance and, according to (BAB), is exploring the possibility of leaving SkyTeam (STM) and joining with (BAB) and (AAL) in those carriers' long-proposed transatlantic partnership.

(DAL) and (NWA) executives continued to push the merits of their proposed merger, assuring both federal and state legislators that no "frontline" workers will be cut, while the two carriers' pilot (FC) groups plan to meet.

(DAL) hired 70 pilots (FC) in April; is hiring 30 in May. (DAL) is no longer interviewing, but is accepting applications through (DAL) will be attending and launching the Pilot Career Conference by producing a joint presentation with (NWA).

The airlines reiterated that about 1,000 jobs in management offices in Minneapolis and Atlanta will be eliminated as the new (DAL)'s headquarters are consolidated in Atlanta. But further job losses will be avoided barring a catastrophic, unforeseen event, (NWA) President & CEO, Doug Steenland told the USA Senate. "We have to recognize that there are variables out there that are completely outside our control [that could lead to job cuts in the future]," he explained. "It doesn't mean that we were misleading . . . It means there's been a sea change, a change in the external world that changes how this business needs to be run if it's going to stay in business."

(DAL) President & CFO, Edward Bastian testified this week before the Minnesota state legislature, assuring lawmakers angry that the state no longer will be the site of a major international airline's headquarters, that (MSP) will remain a key hub, and that frontline workers in the state will retain their jobs. He did not say how many of the 1,000 management office jobs to be cut will come from Minneapolis, but emphasized that the decision to headquarter the new (DAL) in Atlanta is final.


(DAL) flight attendants (CA) rejected representation by the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA), with more than >60% of eligible cabin staff (CA) in favor of continuing their "direct relationship" with (DAL), (DAL) announced.

737-8FZ (29678), sold to (BBB).

June 2008: Delta Air Lines (DAL) will offer a rebate of the $25 second-checked-bag fee to customers who purchased tickets before April 9 and traveled on or after May 5, making a "one time exception" to its policy of enforcing rules effective on the date of travel. (DAL) said the decision was "in response to customer feedback and as a matter of goodwill." It announced the new policy on April 9 and it became effective May 5.

(DAL) will add fuel surcharges to "SkyMiles" award tickets effective August 15 amounting to $25 on flights within the USA and between the USA and Canada and $50 on flights from the USA and Canada to all international destinations. (DAL) called it a "difficult but essential decision in the face of record-high fuel costs" and said it "hoped this is temporary."

The (DOT) announced a grant of transatlantic antitrust immunity to SkyTeam (STM) partners (DAL), (NWA), Air France (AFA), (CSA) Czech Airlines, Alitalia (ALI), and (KLM), upholding a tentative approval issued last month. The six now will be able to "coordinate their transatlantic fares, services and capacity as if they were a single carrier in these markets, subject to certain conditions," the (DOT) said, adding that the approval is unrelated to (DAL)'s and (NWA)'s merger plans. Those are subject to a separate review. The (DOT) said the alliance "is in the public interest, because it features a proposed new and highly integrated joint venture, that will likely produce efficiencies and provide consumers with additional price and service options," but that the alliance must be implemented within 18 months as a condition of immunity. (NWA) President & CEO, Doug Steenland said, "This enhanced ability to coordinate among the carriers will provide a more positive, seamless experience for our customers with single-ticketing, seamless baggage handling and greater customer ease and convenience. It is also good news in light of skyrocketing fuel costs."

Gategroup member companies eGate Solutions and Pourshins reached long-term agreements with (DAL) to implement next-generation business applications solutions and logistics management for inflight catering. EGate Solutions will provide its InFlight Exchange 4 suite featuring 24-hour support, while Pourshins assumes responsibility for most of (DAL)'s inflight food, beverage and equipment sourcing, and logistics.

USA airline executives stressed the debilitating nature of rising fuel prices and said further capacity reductions may be warranted, while (DAL) announced that it is raising its second-half year-over-year domestic mainline capacity reduction from a previously announced -10% to -13%. Carriers said they have been unable to come close to passing on the record fuel price increases to customers.

Clear has partnered with (DAL) to operate Fast Pass security lanes in (DAL)'s terminals at New York (JFK), LaGuardia (LGA), and Los Angeles. The agreement calls for enrollment centers to open in Delta Crown Room Clubs in Atlanta, and for Clear Fast Pass program promotion to SkyMiles members and via (DAL)'s website. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) pre-screens members and application involves iris and fingerprint image processing. Members pay $128 annually and receive a card giving them access to designated security lanes. Clear Fast Pass lanes currently are operational at airports throughout the USA, including such cities as Cincinnati, Denver, Indianapolis, Orlando, San Francisco, and Washington.

In related news, the USA (TSA) partnered with (DAL) to launch paperless mobile check-in for domestic mainline and Delta Connection travel from (LGA). Technology allows customers to check in and receive electronic boarding passes via their Web-enabled devices. Process involves (TSA) pass scans and identification checks. Standby upgrades and same-day roundtrip check-in capabilities are expected in the future.

(DAL)'s voluntary severance offer has been accepted by 4,000 employees, double the number of workers it originally planned to slash via the program. (DAL), which plans to cut domestic capacity by -10% year-over-year in the second half of 2008, said the workers accepting the severance offer will leave in the fall.

(DAL) and (NWA) pilots (FC), whose leaders reached a tentative agreement on a joint contract with (DAL) management, will enter into a period of "good faith" negotiations over details of seniority list integration and agreed to enter into binding arbitration by year end if differences still remain. Minneapolis's "Star Tribune" reported that the tentative joint contract would give (DAL) pilots (FC) a +5% pay raise next year and annual increases of +4% through 2012, with (NWA) pilots (FC) receiving larger raises to bring their pay to parity with their better-compensated (DAL) counterparts. The (DAL) Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) (MEC) has approved the tentative contract, and the (NWA) (ALPA) MEC reportedly will vote on it imminently. Pilots (FC) from both carriers then would be required to ratify it.

(DAL) hired 22 pilots (FC) in May. (DAL) is no longer interviewing but is accepting (FC) applications through its

757-232 (22823, N616DL), stored at Marana.

July 2008: Such is the state of the USA airline industry that Delta Air Lines (DAL) CEO, Richard Anderson found a silver lining to the -$1.04 billion second-quarter loss, which represented a reversal from the +$164 million earned in the year-ago quarter. The positive was the +$137 million profit the company posted excluding the special charges that resulted in the final figure. "When faced with the challenge of unprecedented fuel prices, (DAL) distinguished itself by reacting quickly and decisively with strong topline growth, domestic capacity rationalization, cost initiatives, fuel hedging, and a focus on liquidity," Anderson said, adding that with its "solid balance sheet" and impending combination with Northwest Airlines (NWA), (DAL) is "well positioned to seize opportunities in the current environment."

(DAL) announced its "recalibrated" 2008 business plan in March and has moved to cancel regional contracts with ExpressJet Holdings and Pinnacle Airlines. It expects second-half system capacity to fall -4% year-over-year and said it will cover 75% of the $4 billion raw impact of rising fuel costs through revenue and cost-cutting initiatives, international expansion, and hedging.

Six-month net loss was -$7.43 billion compared to a +$1.46 billion profit in the year-ago semester. The operating loss was -$7.35 billion compared to +$300 million last year.

Third-quarter system capacity is expected to be flat-to-down-2% and full-year capacity is expected to be flat compared to 2007.

(DAL) CEO, Richard Anderson will run the merged (DAL)/(NWA) out of Atlanta, the carriers announced as they unveiled the senior management team for what would be the world's largest airline, saying the team will "ensure the seamless transition of (NWA)'s operations into (DAL) over the next 12 to 24 months." Upon closing of the merger, (NWA) will be an operating subsidiary of (DAL) run by current (DAL) President, Ed Bastian, who will assume the titles of CEO & President of (NWA). Current President & CEO, Doug Steenland will vacate the post and sit on the (DAL) board.

(NWA) Senior VP Human Resources & Labor Relations, Mike Becker will become the new Executive VP & COO of (NWA). Other officers will be Mike Campbell, (Executive VP Human Resources, Labor & Communications), Steve Gorman (Executive VP Operations), Glen Hauenstein (Executive VP-Revenue & Network), Ben Hirst (Senior VP General Counsel), Laura Liu (Senior VP International), and Theresa Wise (Senior VP CIO).

"By naming its entire officer team in advance of the closing of the merger, (DAL) has laid a strong foundation for the combined airline to immediately begin capturing and exceeding the merger synergies expected following the close of the transaction," (DAL) said.

"The final organizational structure will evolve over time, as the transition to a single air operating certificate (AOC) is achieved," Bastian said. "We will not sacrifice revenue or cost synergies by moving too quickly to integrate. Combining these two great airlines will be a well-planned, deliberate process.'' Anderson said, "We are already making great progress on our integration planning and are well ahead of previously attempted airline mergers in anticipation of gaining approval by the Department of Justice (DOJ) later this year."

(DAL) announced that its stockholders will vote on the merger on September 25 at an Atlanta meeting, specifically the issuance of (DAL) common stock to (NWA) stockholders.

The six largest USA network carriers announced a partnership with Sojern Inc, an Omaha company funded by Norwest Venture Partners and Trident Capital, that will offer advertising on boarding passes. (DAL) launched the service for passengers flying to Las Vegas and "shortly" will roll it out to its remaining domestic gateways. "With millions of our passengers checking in online . . . the boarding pass becomes an increasingly valuable tool for sharing relevant, timely offers and destination-specific content with our customers before they travel," (DAL) General Manager Global Partnerships, Marc Ferguson said. American Airlines (AAL), Continental Airlines (CAL), (NWA), United Airlines (UAL) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA) will roll out the service before year end. Sojern Founder Gordon Whitten said passengers have indicated that they "love the concept" and that "advertisers are also clamoring to get involved." It confirmed that individual airlines will continue to operate and develop their respective websites, while Sojern will provide the advertising and other "content" directly on the boarding passes. Content will include items such as destination-specific weather forecasts, restaurants "that fit [passengers'] budget and lifestyle," event schedules and targeted advertising. The carriers will hold an equity stake in Sojern. (AMW)/(USA) VP Sales & Marketing, Travis Christ said Sojern "has found the right formula" for the project.

iSeatz launched its standalone booking engine developed for (DAL) and featured on (DAL)'s website. The technology offers advanced travel purchasing options and ancillary service connections.

757-232 (22912, N622DL), stored at Marana.

August 2008: 1st 6 months (including regional operations) = 97.3 billion (RPK)s traffic - - see "DAL-08TOPWLD6MTHSRPK."

(NWA) said that it has gained relevant government approvals to add the (DAL) code to all of its transpacific flights, another step toward the planned merger of the two carriers. (NWA) also will add the (DAL) code to its flights between Tokyo Narita and three Asian destinations. Expanded codesharing will take effect August 30.

(DAL) is no longer interviewing for Flight Crew (FC) positions, but is accepting applications through

September 2008: Delta Air Lines (DAL) will offer a first class (F) on its MD-88 shuttle service beginning December 1. Each airplane will feature 14 first class (F) seats and 128Y in economy (Y) and the shuttle will continue to feature open seating. (DAL) said first class (F) customers will "enjoy an expanded selection of snack options, a more expansive offering of complimentary cocktails, and wider, more comfortable seats." By next spring, the shuttle fleet will be equipped with Aircell's "Gogo" inflight broadband service. The Delta (DAL) Shuttle operates 30-times-daily from New York LaGuardia to Washington National and Boston Logan.

The USA (FAA) approved the merger transition plan submitted by (DAL) and Northwest Airlines (NWA) that envisions the carriers moving to a single air operating certificate (AOC) within 15 to 18 months. "The plan outlines the methodology, processes, tools, and timing to maintain the safety of the day-to-day operations and to achieve a single operating certificate," the airlines said in a statement. (DAL) Senior VP Maintenance Operations, John Laughter added that the (FAA)'s acceptance of the plan is "a significant milestone in our efforts to bring together our two airlines." Both carriers' shareholders are scheduled to vote on the merger, with approval widely expected. The combination already has gained clearance from the European Commission (EC), and (DAL) and (NWA) say they expect the USA Department of Justice approval by year end.

The merged airline, to be called Delta (DAL), will operate a mainline fleet of nearly 800 airplanes and employ approximately 75,000 workers worldwide.

(DAL) is accepting Flight Crew (FC) applications through

INCDT: The USA National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said it is investigating an August 28 incident in which a Transaero (TRX) 747-400 and a Delta Air Lines (DAL) 737-800 "came within zero feet vertical and 1 minute lateral separation at an altitude of 33,000 feet, about 179 miles north of San Juan, Puerto Rico." It added that the (TRX) 747 "descended 200 to 300 feet," after receiving a (TCAS) alert. The (DAL) airplane was en route from New York (JFK) to Port of Spain.

767-322's (24981; 24982) WFU at Victorville.

October 2008: (DAL) said it completed its acquisition of (NWA), hours after the USA Department of Justice (DOJ) said it would not challenge the merger, that creates the world's largest airline operating more than >800 mainline airplanes and generating more than >$35 billion in annual revenue. In a statement, (DAL) CEO, Richard Anderson said, "The airline industry faces a very difficult economic environment around the world, and this merger gives (DAL) increased flexibility to adapt to the economic challenges ahead." He added that the carrier "will be at the front of the pack in achieving the benefits of consolidation and is well positioned to navigate the tough waters ahead."

The (DOJ) said its antitrust division conducted "a thorough, six-month investigation" and concluded that the merger "is likely to produce substantial and credible efficiencies, that will benefit USA consumers and is not likely to substantially lessen competition."

The airlines had touted the tie-up as a combination of two carriers with complementary networks that would generate at least $1 billion in annual cost savings/synergies, a line of reasoning endorsed by the (DOJ). "The two airlines currently compete with a number of other legacy and low-cost airlines . . . on the vast majority of nonstop and connecting routes, where they compete with each other," the (DOJ) statement said.

The decision was far different from the department's block of the last major merger it reviewed, United Airlines (UAL)'s proposed acquisition of then-USAir (USA) in 2001. It also rejected (NWA)'s earlier effort to take control of Continental Airlines (CAL). The (DOJ)'s primary contention in 2001 was that "a vigorously competitive airline industry is vital to our economy" and that consumers benefited from a wider variety of flying choices. It appears that the growth of Low Cost Carriers (LCC)s in the USA market, among other factors, has convinced it that the creation of a mega-airline no longer is anticompetitive and hurtful to consumers.

(DAL) began the 12- to 24-month process of integrating (NWA), now a wholly owned subsidiary of (DAL), with the flying public likely to begin noticing changes in the first half of 2009.

(DAL) said its code will be added to "nearly all of the (NWA) system" by year end and "a fully consolidated worldwide flight schedule" will be launched in advance of summer 2009.

(DAL)'s livery, staff uniforms and onboard amenities will be introduced on (NWA) airplanes beginning in spring 2009, and the carriers' websites and frequent-flyer programs will be integrated next year. It will take 14 to 16 months for (DAL) and (NWA) to be granted a single (FAA) operating certificate. The agency already has approved their integration plan, and the Department of Justice signed off on the combination.

Ed Bastian, the (DAL) CFO, and new CEO of (NWA) was in Minneapolis to oversee the beginning of a long integration process for the two carriers. "It's probably going to take us two years before we can really operate as a single carrier," he predicted. Though pilots (FC) for both companies began working under a joint contract, it could take up to 16 months for the two airlines to win a single (FAA) air operating certificate (AOC).

(DAL) says it has no intention of closing any hubs following its merger with (NWA). "This hub is secure," Ed Bastian said upon arriving in Minneapolis to take over his duties as CEO at (NWA). "We made that commitment right from the outset." (DAL) says additional hubs in Detroit and Memphis also will remain, giving the company seven hub airports.

(DAL) will offer 180-degree lie-flat business class (C) seats on 767-400 flights from both Atlanta and New York (JFK) to London Heathrow (LHR), beginning next summer. (DAL) operates twice-daily, (JFK) - (LHR) service and will add an additional flight on the route to be co-operated with Air France (AFA) in summer 2009. It flies daily, (ATL) - (LHR).

(DAL) named John "Ned" Walker, Senior VP & Chief Communications Officer. Walker joins (DAL) from Continental Airlines (CAL), where he spent 21 years, most recently serving as Senior VP Corporate Communications.

November 2008: Delta Air Lines (DAL), fresh from completing its acquisition of Northwest Airlines (NWA), revealed its new officer lineup serving under (CEO), Richard Anderson; and President, Ed Bastian; headed by (COO), Steve Gorman, previously Executive VP Operations; and Senior VP & (CFO), Hank Halter, a 10-year (DAL) veteran, who previously was senior VP Finance & Controller. Tim Mapes was named Senior VP Marketing, Ray Winborne was promoted to Senior VP Finance & Controller; and Jim Cron, (NWA) Senior VP Revenue management, was named Senior VP Global Sales & Distribution, in addition to his (NWA) responsibilities. Other appointments included Gail Grimmett to Senior VP New York; Tom Bach to Senior VP Revenue Management; Vinay Dube to VP Alliances; Tammy Lee Stanoch to VP Corporate Affairs, Minneapolis; Jim Graham to VP Flying Operations; James Sarvis to VP International Airport Customer Service; David Watson to VP Inflight Service Business Operations; and Andy Zarras to VP Airport Customer Service Detroit.

Working directly on the integration process will be (NWA) Executive VP & (COO), Mike Becker; (DAL) Executive VP, Human Resources & Labor Relations, Mike Campbell; (DAL) Executive VP Network Planning, Glen Hauenstein; (DAL) Senior VP & General Counsel, Ben Hirst (who will serve as Chief Legal Advisor); (DAL) Senior VP & Chief Communications Officer (CCO), Ned Walker; and (DAL) Senior VP & Chief Information Officer (CIO), Theresa Wise, who will lead the effort to integrate systems.

(DAL) announced a series of initiatives to align its travel policies with those of (NWA), including fees of $15 for the first piece of checked luggage and $25 for the second piece on domestic flights from December 5. First (F) and business (C) class customers and certain premium members of (DAL) or (NWA) loyalty programs will be able to check up to three bags of 70 lbs each for free. Full-fare coach and international passengers will be able to check up to two 50 lbs bags for free. (DAL) was the only major USA network carrier not charging for the first checked bag.

(DAL) also began offering (NWA)'s Coach Choice Seats service on certain mainline and Delta Connection flights. Seats are selected at self-serve check-in and are available for $5 to $25 each. It will cancel its $3 curbside check-in fee and reduce its surcharge on tickets ordered through its reservation sales department to $20 from $25.

(DAL) and (NWA), which closed their merger last month, said they are aiming to integrate their flight schedule by next summer as (DAL) unveiled new flights intended to increase connectivity between the two networks and expand its global reach. (DAL) plans to launch 15 new international routes in June to coincide with the network integration. It will start daily 777-200ER flights between New York (JFK) and Tokyo Narita (NRT), as well as five-times-weekly, A330-200 Salt Lake City - (NRT) and daily, 757-200 (NRT) - Ho Chi Min services. It will add a second-daily, Atlanta (ATL) - (NRT) flight on May 4.

(DAL) and Alaska Air (ASA) Group, expanded their marketing services agreement to give (ASA) passengers more access to (DAL)'s international flights, and (DAL) passengers more access to (ASA)'s western USA network. The new pact, to be implemented next year, builds on an (ASA)-(DAL) agreement launched in 2004, and a code sharing relationship between (ASA) and (DAL) subsidiary, (NWA) that goes back more than >20 years. (DAL)/(NWA) will add (ASA)'s code to new (NWA) Seattle (SEA) - Beijing flights launching March 1, and (DAL) Los Angeles (LAX) - Sao Paulo Guarulhos service, scheduled to begin next spring.

By the end of 2009, (DAL) and (NWA) frequent-fliers will have access to (ASA) lounges in Anchorage, (SEA), (LAX), Portland, San Francisco, and Vancouver, and (ASA) frequent fliers will have access to (DAL) and (NWA) lounges worldwide. Elite frequent fliers will have reciprocal access to priority boarding, check-in, seat assignments and upgrades.

Compass Airlines, launched by (NWA) last year and now a subsidiary of (DAL), named (NWA) VP Regional Airline Operations, Tim Campbell as President. He succeeds John Bendoraitis, who will become President of Comair (COI).

INCDT: The USA National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said it is investigating an incident in which a (DAL) 777-200ER experienced an "uncommanded engine rollback in the cruise phase of an intercontinental flight." (DAL) Flight 18 was over Montana en route from Shanghai to Atlanta (ATL) on November 26 at about 12:30 pm MST, when the incident occurred to the No 2 engine. The airplane is powered by Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent 895)s, the same type of engines that powered the British Airways (BAB) 777 that crash landed at London Heathrow (LHR) last January after it suffered a dual engine rollback on final approach.

According to the (NTSB), the crew of the (DAL) jet descended to 31,000 ft whereupon "the engine recovered and responded normally thereafter" and the crew elected to continue to (ATL), where the airplane landed without further incident. The (NTSB) said flight data recorders and other applicable data and components were retrieved from the airplane for testing and evaluation. Senior Air Safety Investigator, Bill English, who is serving as the USA Accredited Representative in the (LHR) accident investigation, is the investigator in charge of the (DAL) incident. The UK Air Accident Investigations Branch has assigned an Accredited Representative to the (DAL) case and "is working closely with the (NTSB) to determine if there are issues common to both events."

See "February 2009" Boeing (TBC) progress on this incident.

December 2008: Delta Air Lines (DAL) said that systemwide capacity for both it and new subsidiary (NWA) will be down -6% to -8% in 2009, comprising a -3% to -5% international cut and an -8% to -10% domestic reduction. The capacity down-gauging from 2007 to 2009 collectively will total around -20%, equaling the capacity slashed by United Airlines (UAL) over the two-year period. It likely will necessitate further job cuts, (DAL) CEO, Richard Anderson and President, Ed Bastian told employees in a memo. "We are analyzing the impact on staffing as it pertains to these capacity reductions and, as in the past, we will offer voluntary programs to adjust staffing needs," they wrote. "We will continue to make decisions that are in the long-term interest." (DAL)'s 2008 voluntary severance offer was accepted by 4,000 employees. The executives explained that the cuts are necessary to meet an anticipated fall in demand owing to the recession. "These economic hurdles are difficult," they said, adding that it is important to "be decisive and not delay."

Bastian told an investors conference in New York that (DAL) has "seen a fairly significant dropoff in demand," "Bloomberg News" reported. "The revenue environment is as cloudy as it's ever been," he added. "We've never seen the level of demand destruction that some are forecasting for our business."

The USA Air Transport Association (ATA) named (DAL) General Manager Security Technology, Compliance & Facilitation, Eric Thacker as Director Security Operations responsible for daily coordination with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), effective immediately. It also appointed (DAL) Director Government Affairs, Sametta Barnett as Managing Director Security, effective next month.

(DAL) announced a multiyear extension of its branded credit card partnership with American Express (AMEX) that will provide it with more than >$2 billion in combined incremental liquidity and contract enhancements. (DAL) said it will receive "an immediate $1 billion boost to its liquidity" from an (AMEX) purchase of "SkyMiles," in addition to $1 billion in contract improvements through 2010.

American Airlines (AAL) suspended its Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP), which allowed pilots (FC) to report safety issues confidentially without fear of punishment from the carrier or the USA (FAA). (AAL) said its pilots (FC) union, the Allied Pilots Association (APA), declined to extend the program. According to the "Associated Press," (APA) believed (AAL) was using the program to discipline pilots (FC). (FAA) Acting Administrator, Bobby Sturgell said the suspension and a similar disbandment of Delta Air Lines (DAL)'s (ASAP) in 2006 are "disheartening," adding, "I encourage [airlines and unions] to separate safety from the labor issues, and put these programs back in place."

(DAL) and the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC), which manages Minneapolis-St Paul International airport (MSP), reached a tentative agreement that will allow (DAL) to largely retain financial benefits that subsidiary (NWA) received for maintaining its headquarters and primary hub there. In exchange, the combined carrier will base its "Delta North" headquarters in Minneapolis, keep 10,000 (NWA)/(DAL) employees based there - - -1,500 fewer than were based at the (NWA) HQ prior to the merger - - and operate at least 400 daily flights at (MSP). Under terms of long-time (NWA)/(MAC) pacts, if (NWA) moved its headquarters the airport authority could demand immediate payback of a $245 million loan given to the carrier in the form of bonds in 1992, as well as withdraw from rent-reduction and concessions/parking revenue-sharing agreements at (MSP) that saved (NWA) about -$12 million annually.

(DAL) decided to transfer all main headquarters operations to its Atlanta base post-merger, which angered Minnesota officials and caused (MAC) to assert that (NWA) had "a legal commitment to this state."

(DAL) said it will offer in January a voluntary severance program in line with its recent decision to cut capacity -6% to -8% next year. "These capacity reductions will reduce the number of people needed to operate the airline," CEO, Richard Anderson and President, Ed Bastian told employees in a memo. "Consistent with how we have managed headcount reductions in the past, we again will offer voluntary programs to (DAL) employees, including those who have joined from (NWA)." (DAL) did not say how many of its 75,000 workers it is seeking to cut. Its 2008 voluntary severance offer was accepted by 4,000 employees. (DAL) said the program, for which a majority of workers will be eligible, would be similar to the one offered last year, and that it hoped involuntary layoffs would not be necessary.

Aircell said (DAL) will launch its Gogo in-flight Internet service onboard six airplanes, the first in a series of more than >300 (DAL) domestic airplanes to feature the offering. The technology initially will be available on five MD-88s flying between New York LaGuardia, Boston Logan and Washington National, as well as one 757 flying throughout its domestic network.

(DAL) rolled out the first (NWA) 747-451 (N665US) repainted in white (DAL) livery.

With more planes at its disposal and fewer international flights in the works, (DAL) appears ambivalent about the 18 787 orders it inherited in its merger with (NWA).

2 757-232s (22814; 22818), parted out to (AAR).

January 2009: Delta Air Lines (DAL) reported a full-year 2008 net loss of -$8.9 billion, a result that represented a major reversal from net income of +$1.61 billion in 2007, attributing the huge deficit mostly to non cash charges related to goodwill impairment ($7.3 billion) and its acquisition of Northwest Airlines (NWA) ($970 million). CEO, Richard Anderson told analysts and reporters that the result was positive considering the global financial crisis and the carrier's completion of the (NWA) merger in October. He predicted (DAL) would be "solidly profitable" in 2009 owing to "lower fuel costs, capacity discipline and merger synergies." Though (DAL) projects that USA industry revenue is likely to drop -8% to -12% for the year, Anderson insisted it would have to plunge -20% for (DAL) to fall into the red in 2009. President & CFO, Ed Bastian, who also is serving as (NWA) President & CEO during the merger transition, added that he expects "lower fuel expenses to offset revenue declines by almost two to one."

(DAL) posted a +18.5% rise in revenue to $22.7 billion while expenses increased +71.7% to $31.01 billion, producing an operating loss of -$8.3 billion, reversed from an operating profit of +$1.1 billion in the prior year. (DAL) said its 2008 results include (NWA) for October 30 to December 31, which along with goodwill impairment charges in 2008 and one-time bankruptcy exit gains in 2007 skew year-over-year comparisons. Consolidated combined traffic (including (DAL), (NWA) and regional affiliates) for full-year 2008 increased +2.7% to 202.7 billion (RPM)s on a +0.4% lift in capacity to 246.2 billion (ASM)s, producing a load factor of 82.4% LF, up +0.6 point.

For full-year 2009, (DAL) plans to lower combined mainline capacity -6% to -8%, representing a -10% to -12% domestic cut and a -3% to -5% international decrease. "We're seeing softness throughout the domestic economy," Bastian explained. (DAL) forecasted combined 2009 mainline (CASM) of 11.62 to 11.76 cents.

The Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC), which manages Minneapolis-St Paul International (MSP), voted to approve an agreement with (DAL) under which (MSP) will become the "Delta North" headquarters and the airline will retain many of the financial benefits that subsidiary (NWA) enjoyed by basing its headquarters there. (DAL) and (MAC) reached a tentative deal in December, but (MAC)'s board declined to approve it this month. (DAL) held firm to the deal, demanding an up-or-down vote at the (MAC) board meeting. Board members voted 9-to-1 to approve, with several members abstaining. "This agreement solidifies our commitment to Minnesota," (DAL) CEO, Richard Anderson said, adding that it "protects jobs and air service" at (MSP). (DAL) will keep 10,000 workers at its North headquarters, operate at least 400 daily flights at (MSP) and pay off loans from (MAC) to (NWA) by 2016 instead of 2022. (DAL) also will base its regional airline management in the Minneapolis area.

(DAL) is threatening to steer some of its flying out of its Atlanta (ATL) hub if the airport follows through on a proposal to raise fees.
"In a business where airports are our factories, a cost escalation from $5 to $10 per enplanement, as proposed by the latest version of the airport's capital improvement plan, would make it unlikely that we could continue to grow and invest profitably at Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson (ATL)," VP Corporate Real Estate, John Boatwright said in a January 13 letter to Hartsfield Aviation General Manager, Benjamin DeCosta. Boatwright said two-thirds of (DAL)'s (ATL) traffic could be rerouted to the connecting hubs in Memphis, Cincinnati or Detroit.

(DAL), which is in talks with (ATL) over extending a lease that expires in 2010, also expressed concern over a slowdown in construction of (ATL)'s new Maynard Holbrook Jackson Jr International Terminal. AirTran Airways (CQT) also would consider moving flights elsewhere if fees were raised, a spokesperson told the "Associated Press."

Meanwhile, Memphis International (MEM) would welcome more (DAL) flights with open arms. "We are obviously in discussions with them about how they are going to evolve, how their merger [with (NWA)] is going to work," (MEM) Executive VP, Scott Brockman said. "We are going to do everything we can to offer a product that is efficient and cost effective and let them make their own decision." (MEM) charges $5.90 per passenger enplanement but does not levy an additional passenger facility charge.

(DAL) said in a statement yesterday that it "is seeking to preserve this mutually beneficial relationship through an agreement that ensures (DAL) can continue to grow and invest in Atlanta as we have for more than >70 years." (ATL) officials declined comment.

Pratt & Whitney (P&W) signed two 10-year contracts with Delta Air Lines (DAL) to provide engine maintenance, material and aftermarket support. (P&W)'s Commercial Engines & Global Services unit will cover material replacement and parts repair for more than 80 (PW4000)s in (DAL)'s fleet under an Inventory Logistics Program agreement. The unit also will handle material replacement and part repairs for Delta TechOps' Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) customers under a second contract. Valued at more than $1 billion, the agreements are focused on developing and implementing repairs in both (DAL)'s and third-party customers' fleets. "Bringing our (OEMRO) approach, we can provide knowledge as the (PW4000) manufacturer, as well as (MRO) flexibility through our Global Service Partners network," President Commercial Engines & Global Services, Todd Kallman said.

In a separate deal, (P&W) signed a long-term agreement with (DAL) for the provision of (JT8D-219) engine parts. The $50 million dollar contract covers most (JT8D-219) material, including compressor and turbine blades and vanes. (P&W) will stock the parts in a consignment warehouse within Delta TechOps' Atlanta facility.

(DAL), with a worldwide staff of 75,000, has offered an early retirement package in an effort to trim its payroll in anticipation of capacity cuts this year. "We are expecting a number of around -2,000 because the capacity reduction is going to be around -6% to -8%," CEO, Richard Anderson told reporters in Tokyo. Richard Anderson said he expects (DAL)'s voluntary severance program will lead to 2,000 early retirements this year.

(DAL) also announced that Delta TechOps technicians (MT) approved a seniority integration agreement struck by (DAL) employees and pre-merger Northwest Airlines (NWA) technicians (MT) represented by the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association. The list covers some 6,000 technicians (MT) and will enter into effect on January 21. (DAL) said that more than >25% of its workforce now has resolved seniority issues.

(DAL) signed a Memo of Understanding (MOU) with the Air Line Pilots Association and the USA (FAA) "to reinstate the airline's Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP) covering pre-merger (DAL) pilots (FC). The revised program mirrors an existing (NWA) pilot (ASAP) program." (ASAP)s encourage flight crews (FC) to submit reports identifying safety-related concerns and incidents without fear of punishment. The information is used "to develop corrective action and to educate the appropriate parties to prevent a recurrence of the same type of event," (DAL) noted. "Re-establishing our pilot (ASAP) program has been a top priority for (DAL), (ALPA) and the (FAA), and this agreement is a testament to the partnership and hard work of these parties on behalf of all (DAL) pilots (FC)," (DAL) Senior VP Flight Operations, Steve Dickson said. The (FAA), the National Transportation Safety Board and the Flight Safety Foundation all welcomed the news. The (FAA) also urged US Airways (AMW)/(USA), American Airlines (AAL) and their labor unions "to resolve their differences and reinstate voluntary reporting programs."

2 737-732s (29633, N306DQ; 29679, N307DQ) deliveries.

February 2009: Delta Air Lines (DAL) will launch daily, New York (JFK) - Port au Prince service June 20 and daily, New York LaGuardia - Bermuda flights May 22.

The USA National Mediation Board terminated the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA)'s representation of former Northwest Airlines (NWA) technical employees, Delta (DAL) TechOps President, Tony Charaf announced. TechOps will continue to integrate former (NWA) employees and will bring them up to (DAL) pay scales and premiums at the next pay period. They will be eligible for profit-sharing and rewards programs this year and will shift to (DAL)'s benefits programs in January 2010. A TechOps committee reached a seniority list agreement with (AMFA) last month. This relates to the more than >6,700 airplane maintenance technicians (MT) of the "new" (DAL).

(DAL) announced an expansion at its Salt Lake City hub comprising new service starting June 4 to Bismarck, Des Moines, Fargo, Sioux Falls (all daily on a CRJ-200), Indianapolis, Nashville (both daily on an MD-90), El Paso (daily on a CRJ-900) and Milwaukee (twice-daily on a CRJ-900). It also will add more daily flights to nine destinations. A five-times-weekly service to Tokyo Narita starts June 3.

(DAL) said that it and subsidiary (NWA) will stop using about 170 gates at airports throughout the USA as the merged carriers consolidate operations. CEO, Richard Anderson told employees in a recorded message that (DAL) and (NWA) facilities at USA airports all will bear the (DAL) name by year end. Branding will become uniform at airports internationally by the middle of next year, he said. He claimed the consolidation of airport facilities "translates into multimillions of dollars of rental savings."

Boeing (TBC) sent a notice to all (Trent 800)-powered 777 operators that both the un-commanded loss of thrust on a (DAL) 777-200ER in November and the dual rollback that led to the British Airways (BAB) 777-200ER crash landing at London Heathrow 13 months ago likely were caused by ice in the fuel feed system. A (TBC) spokesperson told the "Seattle Post-Intelligencer" that the notice includes precautionary measures that pilots (FC) can take in flight to reduce the chance that ice could affect thrust and that a "permanent fix" is expected. The "P-I" said the (FAA) codified (TBC)'s previous recommendations in September, before the (DAL) incident, and that (TBC) now has revised pilot (FC) procedures.

Later, the USA (FAA) amended an Airworthiness Directive (AD) pertaining to (Trent 800)-powered 777s to incorporate new procedures recommended by Boeing (TBC) to prevent the fuel feed system icing that is believed to have caused both the un-commanded loss of thrust on a (DAL) 777-200ER last November and the dual rollback that led to the January 2008, British Airways (BAB) 777-200ER crash landing at London Heathrow. The new rules revise in-flight procedures "by reducing the step climb from 3 to 2 hours prior to descent and by requiring flight crews (FC) to retard the throttles to minimum idle for 30 seconds at the top of descent." The (FAA) added that the "manufacturer," presumably (TBC) or Rolls-Royce (RRC) or both, "is currently developing a modification that will address" the fuel feed system icing issue. It said additional rule-making may be considered once the modification "is developed, approved and available." It did not place a timetable on the modification or detail it. The revised (AD) becomes effective on March 20. The (FAA) said a standard notice and public comment period are "impracticable" because of the "critical need to assure the proper functioning of the main tank fuel feed system."

The USA National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) later issued an "urgent safety recommendation" calling for (RRC) to "redesign" the (Trent 800)'s fuel/oil heat exchanger (FOHE) to prevent the fuel feed system icing that is believed to have caused both the un-commanded loss of thrust on a (DAL) 777-200ER last November and the dual rollback that led to the January 2008, (BAB) 777-200ER crash landing at London Heathrow (LHR).

The UK's Air Accidents Investigation Board issued (AAIB) a second interim report on the (LHR) crash that details extensive testing conducted by Boeing (TBC) demonstrating that the accident likely was caused by (FOHE) ice buildup that restricted fuel flow. "With two of these rollback events occurring within a year, we believe that there is a high probability of something similar happening again," (NTSB) Acting Chairman, Mark Rosenker said.

The USA (FAA) recently issued an amended airworthiness directive (AD)
pertaining to (Trent 800)-powered 777s to incorporate new procedures recommended by (TBC) to reduce the risk of fuel feed system icing.
But the (NTSB) stated, "While the procedures may reduce the risk of a rollback in one or both engines due to (FOHE) ice blockage, they add complexity to flight crew (FC) operations, and the level of risk reduction is not well established. And because the recovery procedure requires a descent, the airplane may be exposed to other risks." The (NTSB) added that "the only acceptable solution to this safety vulnerability is a redesigned (FOHE) that would eliminate the potential of ice buildup."

While (RRC) has not commented publicly on a redesign, the (NTSB) said that (RRC) "indicated [on February 23] that a redesign of the (FOHE) was underway, and that they anticipated the redesign to be tested, certified and ready for installation within 12 months." (RRC) said in a statement issued to media that the (AAIB) interim report on the (LHR) incident "clearly states that the (RRC) equipment on this flight met or exceeded all requirements. The report also highlights the emerging issue of ice buildup in commercial 'long-cold-high' routes. This is an industry-wide issue which requires detailed research that is likely to shape future regulations and requirements."

(DAL) indicated it is having second thoughts about committing fully to (NWA)'s 2005 order for 18 787-8s, eliminating the airplanes from its list of firm orders in its annual report just released this month. "The Boeing Company (TBC) has informed us that (TBC) will be unable to meet the contractual delivery schedule for these airplanes. We are in discussions with (TBC) regarding this situation," (DAL) said in the report filed with the USA Securities & Exchange Commission. (DAL) has not canceled the order. (NWA)'s order followed Continental Airlines (CAL)'s by some four months, but it was (NWA) that was scheduled to take the first delivery. (DAL)'s current firm order book comprises 63 other airplanes, including eight 777-200LRs. The remaining airplanes are single-aisle planes or regional jets. (DAL) listed 18 787 options in its "Airplanes on Option" table along with six 767-300ERs, 12 767-400s and 27 777-200LRs that have scheduled delivery slots. (DAL) said those 787 options, if exercised, are scheduled to begin delivery in 2013. (TBC) has had orders for 32 787s canceled this year: 16 by Dubai lessor (LCAL), 15 by S7 Airlines (SBR) and one VIP order.

MD-88 (49532, N901DL), scrapped.

March 2009: Delta Air Lines (DAL) said it is cutting international capacity by an additional +10% beginning in September, with transatlantic capacity down -11% to -13% year-over-year through the 2009 to 2010 winter schedule and transpacific capacity -12% to -14% lower.

In a memo to employees, CEO, Richard Anderson and President & CFO, Ed Bastian said the move is in response to "the worsening global economy," adding, "To achieve these capacity changes, we will exit low-performing markets, down-gauge certain routes, adjust frequencies and move some markets to seasonal service." They said the reduction necessitates that (DAL) "re-assess our staffing needs. As in the past, voluntary programs are always our first consideration to adjust staffing needs." They did not specify how many job cuts would be sought.

The combined (DAL)/(NWA) mechanic (MT) staff, though unionized by (AMFA) at (NWA), will not be unionized.

(DAL) and Midwest Airlines (MWX) forged an alliance that will include code share flights, linked loyalty programs, joint marketing efforts and expanded access to airport lounges across North America. The agreement is an extension of an existing deal between (MWX) and (DAL) subsidiary, (NWA). The code share arrangement between (MWX) and (DAL) takes effect in June, with the loyalty program link to follow.

(DAL) will launch thrice-weekly, Atlanta - Brasilia flights on December 17 aboard a 757-200ER. No other carrier flies nonstop from the USA to Brazil’s capital city. This past December, (DAL) opened flights to the Brazilian cities of Manaus, Fortaleza and Recife. It will also begin Sao Paulo - Los Angeles nonstops this May. American Airlines (AAL), for its part, launched Miami service to Belo Horizonte, Salvador and Recife in November. (DAL) is withdrawing from Boston - Fort Lauderdale and Boston - Fort Myers. JetBlue (JBL) serves both markets.

(DAL) and V Australia (VAZ) signed an interline agreement covering each carrier's transpacific flights and remaining networks. (DAL)'s Los Angeles - Sydney service begins July 1. (VAZ) signed an interline agreement with (NWA) last year.

Who really acquired whom? That’s the question asked by Ted Reed of, who examines the power structure at the new (DAL), which technically acquired (NWA) last year. But ex-(NWA) personnel
now dominate the executive ranks, perhaps not surprising considering
CEO, Richard Anderson was (NWA)’s former CEO. One observer
said, “(NWA) took over (DAL) using (DAL)’s money and (DAL)’s
name.” Reed notes that the new (DAL) seems to be culturally more similar to the old (NWA), known for its feistiness, than the old (DAL), known for being cordial and genteel. Evidence of this are recent fights that (DAL)’s picked with its hometown hub, three of its regional partners and the American Society of Travel Agents. But one aspect of the new carrier’s business remains more like it was at the old (DAL): labor relations are rather benign.

(DAL) Executive VP Human Resources & Labor Relations, Mike Campbell said in a merger update sent to employees that "seniority integration has already been resolved for pilots (FC), dispatchers, Maintenance Technicians (MT)s and meteorologists" and that progress is being made on "a fair and equitable integration for cabin attendants (CA)." If (NWA) (CA) agree to recommendations made by their (DAL) counterparts, "we would have seniority integration issues resolved for the vast majority of our combined employee groups," he said.

(DAL) named Starbucks Coffee VP Internal Audit, Patricia Harvey as VP Corporate Audit, effective March 23.

(DAL) is now the world's largest airline. From its hubs in Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Memphis, Minneapolis-St Paul, New York (JFK), Salt Lake City and Tokyo-Narita, (DAL), its (NWA) subsidiary and Delta Connection carriers offer service to 379 destinations in 66 countries and serve more than >170 million passengers each year. (DAL)'s marketing alliances allow customers to earn and redeem either SkyMiles or WorldPerks on more than >16,000 daily flights offered by the SkyTeam (STM) alliance and other partners. (DAL)'s more than >70,000 employees worldwide are reshaping the aviation industry as the only USA airline to offer a full global network. Customers can check in for flights, print boarding passes, check bags and flight status at

Delta (DAL) TechOps announced an eight-year, $55 million power-by-the-hour contract extension with Star Air (SDK) covering Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) on the 22 (CF6-80A2/C2) engines powering (SDK)'s 11 767-200SFs. The deal also includes Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) and component support.

3 777-232LRs (29739, N704DK; 29752, N705DN; 32222, N703DN), deliveries.

April 2009: Delta Air Lines (DAL) will begin serving Dallas Love Field on July 6 with thrice-daily service to/from Memphis aboard CRJ-200s operated by Pinnacle Airlines. (DAL) currently flies to Dallas/Fort Worth from seven USA cities. American Airlines (AAL) recently announced the suspension of its Love Field service from June 11.

(DAL) announced the imposition of a $50 fee for a second checked bag on international flights and the grounding of its 14 747-200F (NWA) freighters, as well as 36 additional airplanes by year end, in response to a -$794 million first-quarter loss, narrowed from a -$6.39 billion deficit in the year-ago period when heavy goodwill impairment charges dragged on the bottom line. (DAL) said the 2009 deficit mostly was attributable to -$684 million "in realized fuel hedge losses" as the carrier still had 77% of its fuel consumption hedged in the first quarter at well above current prices. "We essentially broke even for the quarter excluding fuel hedges and special items," CEO, Richard Anderson said. (DAL) has 75% of its fuel consumption hedged in the current quarter but will wind down to 36% in the fourth quarter.

(DAL) became the first USA major to extend domestic bag check fees to long-haul international flying. The new fees are effective for tickets purchased beginning immediately for travel from July 1. (DAL) predicts they will generate more than >$100 million annually.
It also believes costs will be reduced by retiring the entire (NWA) 747-200F fleet. It additionally is aiming to ground another 36 airplanes by year end and Anderson said it is "looking at" CRJs, MD-88s and 757s for potential retirement but insisted it still will operate each type. "We are not exiting out any whole categories of [passenger] airplanes," he said.

The decision to ground the freighter fleet - - the only one operated by a USA passenger airline - - was made after the transpacific all-cargo operation lost -$150 million in 2008, (DAL) executives said, adding that the "inefficient" freighters no longer are worth operating (the airline revealed it already has grounded seven), particularly since it plans to reallocate Tokyo Narita slots used for cargo to passenger flights.

(DAL) also confirmed that 2,500 employees have accepted the voluntary leave program offered in January.

(DAL) said new signage will be appearing this week at former (NWA) hubs in Detroit, Memphis and Minneapolis-St Paul as part of its $500 million integration effort. It expects to have all domestic airports re-branded by year end, with international facilities finished next year. Former (NWA) employees began wearing (DAL) uniforms this week as well. The carrier said 33 (NWA) airplanes already have been repainted, with some 250 left to complete before the end of 2010.

(DAL) CEO, Richard Anderson and President, Ed Bastian told employees in a memo that "it is prudent for us to restructure and reduce the size of our executive team" and announced that five management officials will leave the company June 1, the "Associated Press" reported. The departing executives are Senior VP International, Laura Liu; (NWA) Senior VP Customer Service, Crystal Knotek; (NWA) VP Chief Accounting Officer, Anna Schafer; Minneapolis/St Paul (MSP) VP Corporate Affairs, Tammy Lee Stanoch. and (MSP) Senior VP Customer Service, Todd Anderson. As a result, (NWA) COO, Mike Becker will assume responsibility for International Operations, and (DAL) Senior VP Customer Service, Gil West also will oversee Customer Service for (NWA). (NWA) Senior VP Flight Operations, Bill Lentsch was named Senior VP Minnesota Operations.

Delta TechOps finalized new five-year contracts worth more than >$200 million with Global Aviation Holdings subsidiaries, World Airways (WLD) and North American Airlines (NNA). Under the contracts, which are extensions to previous deals, it will perform component repair, inventory exchange programs and drop-in "A" and "C" maintenance check support. It also will provide time and material engine maintenance for (WLD)'s (PW4000)s and (CF6-80C2)s and be the exclusive provider of 331-200 Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) repairs for (NNA).

2 737-8FZs (29680; 29682), sold to (BBB). 737-8HX (29647), sold to Aviation Capital Group (CGP). 757-232 (27589) stored at Victorville. 2 777-232LRs (30440, N706DN; 39091, N707DN), deliveries.

May 2009: CEOs of the Air France (AFA)/(KLM) Group and Delta Air Lines (DAL) signed a profit/loss-sharing joint venture (JV) agreement in Paris covering a wide network around 10 hubs representing more than >200 flights and approximately 50,000 seats per day. The airlines said their (JV), which will concentrate on service to/from Amsterdam, Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis, New York (JFK) and Paris Charles de Gaulle as well as Cincinnati, Lyon, Memphis and Salt Lake City, represents about 25% of the industry's total transatlantic capacity. "This strategic partnership puts us in a good position compared with other major alliances, which are extremely active on the world's leading long-haul market, "(AFA)/(KLM) President & CEO, Pierre-Henri Gourgeon said at the Paris news conference, stressing that by "optimizing the use of our pooled resources, this joint venture will help us weather the current economic situation and protect our product offering." The (JV) is expected to generate annual revenue of more than >$12 billion based on 2008 - 2009 data and $150 million in synergies for each of the two groups by the second year.

It covers routes between North America and Europe as well as between Europe and South America and between the USA and Africa and the Middle East. On all routes between North America and Europe, between Amsterdam and India, and between North America and Tahiti, (AFA), (KLM) and (DAL) will "consensually" share capacity, revenue, costs and profits/losses. The deal can be cancelled only with a three-year notice after an initial 10-year term.

The (JV) effectively replaces two existing agreements, the one between (AFA) and (DAL) signed in 2007, and the one between (KLM) and (NWA), now part of (DAL), signed in 1997. The (KLM)-(NWA) deal was the first transatlantic (JV) between two carriers. "We know from experience that the success of a (JV) calls for shared vision and long-term commitment, the simplest of operating rules and fair sharing of revenues and costs," (KLM) President & CEO, Peter Hartman emphasized. The (JV) will not lead to the creation of a subsidiary, he said.

The (USA) Department of Transportation granted the SkyTeam (STM) partners expanded antitrust immunity last year and "other competition authorities have received the same information" as USA regulators, Gourgeon said, adding that he is not worried the deal will be blocked by the European Commission (EC). Alitalia (ALI) is interested in joining but first must receive anti-trust immunity (ATI), he said. (ALI) was included in the (STM) (ATI) but went bankrupt soon after. (ATI) cannot be transferred from a bankrupt company to a new company.

Gourgeon insisted the agreement is not a virtual merger or a prelude to an equity swap and noted that in the current environment, he prefers to preserve the group's cash position. (DAL) CEO and former (NWA) CEO, Richard Anderson added, "What we discovered over the years is that there is no need to make an equity investment because we can obtain all the benefits without doing so."

(DAL) said it has installed Wi-Fi on 139 of the more than >300 domestic mainline airplanes it operates including its entire MD-88 fleet. The airplanes are equipped with Gogo In-flight Internet. (DAL) added that all of its MD-90s will be equipped by the end of May with the remainder of the domestic fleet scheduled for completion by September. The cost of Wi-Fi on a (DAL) flight ranges from $7.95 to $12.95. In June, it will begin offering "month-long, unlimited use passes."

3 767-332s (23435; 23438; 24852), WFU at Victorville.

June 2009: Delta Air Lines (DAL) and American Airlines (AAL) announced additional capacity and job reductions in the second half of 2009, with international flying in particular taking a bigger hit than previously planned, and other USA carriers said they are considering further capacity reductions. (DAL) said the additional capacity cuts will begin in September and reduce its overall system capacity -10% for the full year compared to 2008. International capacity, which it previously said would be cut -10% in the fall, will be lowered -15% year-over-year for the last four months of the year. From September, it will suspend Atlanta (ATL) - Seoul Incheon, (ATL) - Shanghai, Cincinnati (CVG) - Frankfurt, (CVG) - London Gatwick, and New York (JFK) - Edinburgh flights.

"Customer demand for international travel has fallen significantly," (DAL) CEO, Richard Anderson and President, Ed Bastian told employees in a memo. They added, "The additional capacity reductions mean we again must reassess staffing needs." While making no "guarantees," they pledged to try to avoid "involuntary furloughs of frontline employees." (DAL) has said that 2,500 workers accepted the voluntary leave program it offered in January.

(AAL) said it will reduce full-year capacity -7.5% compared to 2008; it previously planned a -6.5% slash. It said second-half 2009 mainline domestic capacity will be -7.5% lower year-over-year, 1 point below prior guidance, and international capacity will be down -5.5%, -3.5 points lower than previously planned. (AAL) said an additional -1,600 jobs will be cut including -1,200 flight service positions. "Capacity discipline has been our mantra for many years," (AAL) Chairman & CEO, Gerard Arpey said, adding, "We think an adjustment to our fall schedule is warranted, so we are making additional cuts beginning in late August." While other carriers did not announce new cuts, they signaled that second-half capacity reductions may be necessary. United Airlines (UAL) Senior VP Corporate Planning & Strategy, Greg Taylor said, "We're assessing [capacity] day-to-day, and we've demonstrated in the past a willingness to make hard choices and we'll do it again in the second half of 2009 if necessary . . . We have unencumbered airplane that we could sell or ground if we need to." Southwest Airlines (SWA) Chairman & CEO, Gary Kelly added, "It's hard to find any bullish view of any kind of turnaround anytime soon."

(DAL) launched four-times-weekly, Detroit - Shanghai flights on June 1. The service is operated by Northwest Airlines (NWA). (DAL)'s new service from Atlanta (ATL) to Nairobi (via Dakar), scheduled to launch this month, was postponed indefinitely because it did not receive USA Department of Homeland Security approval. The June 8 start of its (ATL) - Cape Verde - Monrovia flight also has been pushed back, pending approval.

(DAL) petitioned the USA Department of Transportation for permission to make the following scheduling adjustments "in light of the adverse global market conditions that are continuing to suppress demand for international air travel": Dormancy waivers from September 1, 2009, to September 1, 2010, on seven weekly frequencies from Atlanta (ATL) to Shanghai and Capetown (via Dakar); a delay in the launch of five-times-weekly seasonal New York (JFK) - Buenos Aires service from this December to December 18, 2010; conversion of three year-round trip (JFK) - Kiev Boryspil frequencies and four year-round trip (ATL) - Moscow Sheremetyevo frequencies to seasonal effective September 1.

(DAL)'s credit facility rating was downgraded by Fitch Ratings, which cited "the continued erosion of (DAL)'s near-term cash flow generation" and the expectation that it will "report another year of substantially negative free cash flow in 2009 as (DAL) struggles to adjust capacity to a diminished level of demand." Still, (DAL) is in better shape than several of its rivals, Fitch pointed out. Its credit rating was lowered to B- from B. In comparison, American Airlines (AAL), US Airways (AMW)/(USA) and United Airlines (UAL) all have ratings of CCC. "Any of those carriers" could be forced to file for bankruptcy protection "as early as the winter if operating trends fail to stabilize," Fitch warned.

Even taking into account (DAL)'s comparatively sturdy liquidity position, "the steady erosion of cash balances since last fall threatens [its] ability to comfortably meet heavy fixed obligations without improved access to capital," Fitch said, noting that the company has "scheduled debt maturities of over $5 billion between now and the end of 2011" including $2.9 billion in 2010. It added that (DAL)'s "ability to maintain liquidity near current levels depends upon improved credit market openness and a stabilization of the industry operating environment in 2010 . . . Fitch regards a cash position of over $4 billion as critical."

The rating agency said USA airlines' unit revenue continues to fall sharply year-over-year in the current quarter with little sign of improvement in sight. "The big driver of negative (RASM) comparisons in the second quarter remains weak business bookings on high-fare transatlantic and transpacific routes," it noted. "In order to offset the impact of poor front cabin loads, USA legacy carriers and foreign flag carriers have been engaged in aggressive fare discounting. Fitch expects this fare and unit revenue pressure to continue through the summer, dampening hopes of a free cash flow turnaround in the second half of the year.", an assistance service for professional pilots (FC), recently released a report of what each major USA carrier pays its captains and first officers. For the eleven largest USA airlines, including freight carriers FedEx (FED) and (UPS), the average annual pay for a first-year first officer flying the smallest mainline airplane is about $36,000. But the range between the best and worst paying airlines is large, with (FED) paying $51,000 and US Airways (AMW)/(USA) just $22,000. Southwest Airlines (SWA) is the second highest paying at the entry level ($50,000), while Continental Airlines (CAL) and United Airlines (UAL) are tied for second last at $27,000. At the other end of the scale are long tenured captains flying the largest airplanes, who earn an average of $165,000 per year. Again, the cargo carriers are tops with (UPS) and (FED) paying $231,000 and $211,000, respectively. The best paying passenger airline is (SWA) ($181,000), quite remarkable considering its pilots (FC) only fly narrow body 737s. The worst is JetBlue (JBL) ($123,000). notes that pilots (FC) can earn considerably more than their base pay through international overrides, overtime work, per diems and other items.

Recently released federal government employment figures for airline pilots (FC) and mechanics (MT) run counter to data compiled by private organizations and the personal stories of highly-trained pilots (FC) standing in unemployment lines. recently held a pilot (FC) recruiting conference in Dallas-Fort Worth in which only a handful of airlines were on hand to interview pilots (FC). Last year’s event drew 35 airlines, spelling out how drastic the drop in pilot (FC) hiring has been, as air carriers quit hiring and in many case furlough pilots (FC). says the 15 largest USA airlines it tracks hired 2,300 pilots (FC) in 2006 and 2,440 in 2007. But last year, only 1,300 pilots (FC) found jobs. Through the first four months of 2009, only 28 new pilots (FC) joined the 15 air carriers.’s figures jive with that of AIR Inc, the aviation career information service, that for two decades served as a reservoir of data on pilot (FC) hirings. But if anyone needed more evidence of the worsening condition of the airline industry, Air Inc in February this year, shuttered its operation as a result of the sorry state of the economy worldwide, which has produced a dearth of new commercial pilot (FC) jobs as legacy airlines shed capacity, implementing pilot (FC) furloughs and layoffs while also putting off new flight deck crew (FC) hiring.

By the end of 2008, as the recession deepened, it became clear that the future would be bleak for newly minted flight school graduates. Air Inc said airline pilot (FC) hiring totals for 2008 were less than half of what they were the previous year, 6,479 compared to 13,157 in 2007.

However, the federal government says USA scheduled passenger airlines employed +2.3% more pilots (FC) and +5.9% more maintenance (MT) workers in 2008 than in 2007, while total industry jobs declined by -3.0%. According to the USA Department of Transportation (DOT)’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), the seven large network carriers employed +1.1% more pilots (FC) and +8.6% more maintenance (MT) workers in 2008 than in 2007. The seven largest low-cost carriers (LCC)s employed +5.2% more pilots (FC) and -6.8% fewer maintenance (MT) workers from 2007 to 2008.

(DAL) had the largest increase in pilots (FC) of any network airline from 2007 to 2008,K while Alaska Airlines (ASA) had the greatest percentage decrease in pilot (FC) employment of the network airlines. United Airlines (UAL) had the largest increase in maintenance workers of any network airline from 2007 to 2008, while Northwest Airlines (NWA) had the smallest increase.

All of the low-cost carriers (LCC)s except Frontier Airlines (FRO) added pilots (FC) from 2007 to 2008. Spirit Airlines (SPR) had the largest increase in pilot (FC) employment followed by Allegiant Airlines (WJE). (WJE) had the largest increase in maintenance (MT) workers of any low-cost airline from 2007 to 2008, while (SPR) had the largest reduction. The seven network carriers employed 13.2 pilots per airplane in 2008, down from 13.5 pilots (FC) per airplane in 2007. The (LCC)s employed 11.2 pilots (FC) per airplane in 2008, down -1.8% from 11.4 pilots (FC) per airplane in 2007.

Alaska Airlines (ASA) had 12.0 pilots (FC) per airplane in 2008, down from 12.9 (FC) per airplane in 2007, the fewest of any network airline. (DAL), with 14.9 per airplane, up from 14.3 per airplane in 2008, had the largest increase in the number of pilots (FC) per airplane from 2007 to 2008 and had the most pilots (FC) per airplane of any network carrier.

Allegiant (WJE) had 9.3 pilots (FC) per airplane in 2008, the fewest of any (LCC), compared to 9.6 pilots (FC) per airplane in 2007. Spirit (SPR), with 15.5 (FC) per airplane, up from 12.6 (FC) per airplane in 2007 had the most pilots (FC) per airplane in the (LCC)s group.

As regards airline mechanics (MT), the (BTS) said the passenger airlines had 8.9 maintenance (MT) workers per airplane in 2008, up from 8.3 per airplane in 2007. The network airlines had 12.9 maintenance (MT) workers per airplane in 2008, up from 12.3 (MT) per airplane in 2007. Spending by network airlines for outsourced maintenance increased from 42.5% of total maintenance spending in 2007 to 42.8% in 2008. The (LCC)s had 3.2 maintenance (MT) workers per airplane in 2008, down from 3.7 (MT) per airplane in 2007. Spending by (LCC)s for outsourced maintenance increased from 52.1% of total maintenance spending in 2007 to 54.6% in 2007.

(NWA) had 0.8 maintenance (MT) workers per airplane in 2008, the fewest of any network airline and unchanged from the 0.8 employees per airplane in 2007. (NWA)’s spending for outsourcing maintenance declined from 71.0% of total spending in 2007 to 65.9% in 2008. American Airlines (AAL) had 22.4 maintenance (MT) workers per airplane in 2008, the most of any network airline. (AAL)’s spending for outsourcing was 23.6% of total maintenance spending in 2008, the lowest percentage spending share of the network carriers.

Virgin America (VUS) had 1.7 maintenance (MT) workers per airplane in 2008 the fewest of any (LCC). Of the (LCC)s, Spirit (SPR) spent the smallest portion of its maintenance expense on outsourcing at 22.6%. Southwest (SWA) had the highest percentage share for outsourcing at 61.3%. Frontier (FRO) had 3.9 maintenance (MT) workers per airplane in 2008, the most of any (LCC) but down from 7.7 (MT) employees per airplane in 2007. (FRO)’s spending for outsourcing increased from 20.5% of total maintenance spending in 2007 to 24.9% in 2008.

(DAL) said its international product will be standardized this month as it continues to integrate (NWA). All long-haul airplanes will feature (DAL)'s BusinessElite cabin, complimentary alcoholic beverages in economy (Y) and other offerings. In the coming months, (DAL) will introduce a new business (C) class amenity kit. It said it "continues its progress to achieve a single air operating certificate (AOC) by the end of the year."

Neel Shah, VP Cargo (DAL) stated that all (DAL)/(NWA) freighter activities will be terminated by the end of 2009 (in effect all (NWA) 747-200Fs will be retired).

July 2009: (DAL) launched its first service to Australia with a daily, Los Angeles - Sydney 777-200LR flight. (DAL) joins United Airlines (UAL), Qantas (QAN) and V Australia (VAZ) on the route.

(DAL) and Virgin Blue (VOZ) announced a joint venture (JV) that will expand both carriers' reach in the USA, Australia and the South Pacific through an alliance involving route and product planning, code sharing and loyalty program linkage.

In advance of the (JV), the two are moving to implement code shares, frequent-flyer program reciprocity and lounge exchange privileges. They are filing antitrust immunity applications with the USA Department of Transportation and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). That application will face stiff opposition in Australia. In January, Air Canada (ACN)'s and Air New Zealand (ANZ)'s application to code share on Vancouver - Sydney (SYD) and Vancouver - Auckland services was rejected by the (ACCC) following protests from Qantas (QAN).

(DAL) launched a daily, Los Angeles (LAX) - (SYD) service on July 1 with a 777-200LR while V Australia (VAZ), a Virgin Blue (VOZ) subsidiary, began daily (LAX) - (SYD) flights aboard a 777-300ER in February.

The partnership builds on the relationship between (VOZ) and (NWA) prior to (NWA)'s acquisition by (DAL).

(DAL) is adding a $5 charge for each of the first two pieces of luggage checked at an airport ticket counter, kiosk or curbside on domestic tickets purchased on/after July 16 for travel from August 4. Bag fees paid online ((DAL) charges $15 for the first bag and $25 for the second) will not be subject to the $5 fee.

Navtech expanded its contract with (DAL) for its Preferential Bidding System crew rostering tool to include more than >4,500 pilots (FC) from (NWA).

The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, which represents (NWA) flight attendants (CA), asked the USA National Mediation Board to declare that (NWA)'s merger with (DAL) requires a representation election for all the new airline's cabin staff (CA). (DAL) flight attendants (CA) are not unionized.

Delta TechOps entered into a Memo of Understanding (MOU) with Hawaiian Airlines (HWI) to provide Complete Fleet support for (HWI)'s new A330-200 fleet. The long-term agreement, which is valued at up to $500 million, also includes an extension of an existing deal covering its 767s.

August 2009: Delta Air Lines (DAL) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA) announced a massive slot swapping deal that will greatly enhance (AMW)/(USA)'s presence at Washington National (DCA) and enable (DAL) to "create a domestic hub" at New York LaGuardia (LGA). Under terms of the agreement, (AMW)/(USA) will obtain 42 slot pairs at (DCA) from (DAL), which also will transfer route rights to serve Japan and Brazil, while (AMW)/(USA) will transfer to (DAL) 125 pairs of slots at (LGA) used to provide US Airways Express service via Piedmont Airlines, discontinuing those operations. (DAL) additionally will take over (AMW)/(USA) gates and terminal space at (LGA). "The transaction is structured as two simultaneous asset sales and is expected to be cash neutral," (AMW)/(USA) said in a statement, adding that it believes the deal "will improve profitability by more than >$75 million annually."

Delta TechOps won a $7 million, four-year contract from Canadian charter airline, CanJet (CNJ) to provide component and inventory logistics support for its 737-800 fleet, including avionics, pneumatics, and hydraulics.

September 2009: Delta Airlines (DAL) said it expects to realize more than >$400 million in merger synergies through the first nine months.

Delta (DAL) TechOps signed a three-year, $1.3 million component services contract with First Air (BRS), which recently acquired a 767-200SF. Delta (DAL) TechOps signed a three-year contract with (EVA) Air and its UNI Air (MAK) subsidiary under which it will provide component services for (EVA)'s 747s and UNI (MAK)'s MD-90s in partnership with Evergreen Aviation Technologies. (DAL) TechOps signed a one-year contract with (LAN) Airlines to install blended winglets and provide airframe maintenance on a portion of its 767 fleet. (DAL) TechOps signed an open-ended extension of its Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) agreement with Ethiopian Airlines (ETH) covering its (PW2040) engines.

The (FAA) will give USA airlines until early January to replace the Thales (THL) speed probes on A330s and A340s with Goodrich (BFG) probes, according to "Bloomberg News," which cited a Federal Register notice it said is scheduled for publication today. (EASA) already has mandated the replacements be made on A330s/A340s operated by European airlines in the wake of June's Air France (AFA) A330-200 accident. Among USA carriers, (DAL) (inherited from Northwest Airlines (NWA)) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA) operate the A330.

October 2009: Delta Air Lines (DAL) reached agreement with the City of Atlanta to extend its lease at Atlanta Hartsfield International, its headquarters hub, through 2017.

(DAL) published its summertime 2010 flight schedule, complete with several new long haul international routes. In Asia, for example, an enhanced partnership with Alaska Airlines (ASA) makes it feasible to fly from Seattle to both Beijing and Osaka with 767-300ERs. Growing synergies between the (DAL) and (NWA) networks, convinced executives that Detroit can support new non stops to both Hong Kong and Seoul with 777-200s. Existing routes like Detroit - Shanghai, New York (JFK) - Tokyo, and Los Angeles - Tokyo will also get new
capacity next summer, while Salt Lake City - Tokyo will return following a wintertime suspension.

(DAL) announced the following new routes: five-times-weekly Detroit (DTW) - Hong Kong on June 2 aboard a 777-200, five-times-weekly, (DTW) - Incheon on June 1 aboard a 777-200, daily flights from New York (JFK) to both Copenhagen and Stockholm Arlanda on May 27 aboard 757-200s, thrice-weekly Atlanta-Accra on June 1 aboard a 767-300, thrice-weekly (JFK) - Abuja on June 1 aboard a 767-300. The latter is currently flown via Dakar.

INCDT: The USA (FAA) revoked the licenses of the two Northwest Airlines (NWA) pilots (FC) who flew 150 miles past their destination on an October 21 flight from San Diego to Minneapolis - St Paul. Air Traffic Control (ATC) and airline officials were unable to make contact with the pilots (FC) for more than >1 hour and the crew (FC) later told the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) that they had been using their laptop computers and were distracted. The (FAA) cited them with a number of violations, including "failing to comply with air traffic control (ATC) instructions and clearances and operating carelessly and recklessly." The revocations are effective immediately but the pilots (FC) have 10 days to appeal to the (NTSB).

"It was effective immediately because of the issues involved," an (FAA) spokesperson said. "We thought the emergency revocation was appropriate. This obviously raises the question of the pilots's (FC)'s professionalism, which is one of the issues the Administrator has talked about over the past few months. We can require pilots (FC) to adhere to rules and standards but it's difficult to enforce professionalism."

The (NTSB) said both pilots (FC) from the (NWA) A320 that "overflew" (MSP) claimed in interviews with board investigators over the weekend that they "lost track of time," while having an extended discussion regarding "the new monthly crew flight scheduling system" implemented as part of the carrier's merger with Delta Air Lines (DAL). Flight 188 en route to (MSP) from San Diego failed to contact (ATC) for 78 minutes as it went well beyond its intended destination. While the airplane eventually landed safely, the incident sparked widespread media speculation about what the pilots (FC) were doing in the cockpit. "Both pilots (FC) stated that they were not fatigued," the (NTSB) said in a statement. "Both said they did not fall asleep or doze during the flight. Both said there was no heated argument."

According to the (NTSB), the pilots (FC) said they become so involved in their discussion regarding the scheduling system that "they did not monitor the airplane or calls from (ATC) even though both stated they heard conversation on the radio. Also, neither pilot (FC) noticed messages that were sent by company dispatchers."

The pilots (FC) revealed that their discussion led both of them to access and use their personal laptop computers. "The use of personal computers on the flight deck is prohibited by company policy," the (NTSB) stated.

The (NTSB) said that "neither pilot (FC) was aware of the airplane's position until a flight attendant (CA) called about 5 minutes before they were scheduled to land" asking for an Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA). The (CA)'s query caused the captain (FC) to look at his primary flight display and he "realized that they had passed (MSP)," the (NTSB) said.

The pilots (FC) then contacted (ATC) and were given a flight track to (MSP). "When asked by (ATC) what the problem was, they replied 'just cockpit distraction' and 'dealing with company issues,'" according to the (NTSB).

Later, (DAL)'s pilots (FC) union slammed the (NTSB) for its handling of this Northwest Airlines (NWA) A320 "overflew" incident, saying the (NTSB) overstepped its bounds as a safety investigation organization. (DAL) (ALPA) (MEC) Chairman, Lee Moak said the pilots (FC) thought they were "voluntarily coming forward with information" and did not expect their "cooperation" to be "exploited" in an (NTSB) press release. "The (NTSB)'s . . . rush to judgment . . . is both irresponsible and in conflict with its own mission statement," he said.

(DAL) is accepting pilot (FC) applications through No pilot (FC) interviews are scheduled.

November 2009: (DAL) has stopped flying to Lyon from New York (JFK).

Delta (DAL) TechOps signed a five-year deal with Omni Air International (OAE) covering component and inventory support of (OAE)'s 767s.

AJ Walter Aviation (AJW) said it received approved supplier status from Delta (DAL) TechOps.

December 2009: Delta Air Lines (DAL) expects to report a -$1.5 billion net loss for 2009, compared to a -$8.9 billion deficit in 2008 that largely was the result of goodwill impairment, and an operating profit of +$100 million. Excluding special items, the 2009 loss is expected to be -$1.1 billion. (DAL) expects December passenger unit revenue to fall just -1% year-over-year to 10.8 cents. The largest decline was June's -23%. Next year's consolidated unit cost excluding fuel is expected to be flat compared to 2009's 8.25 cents. It also said it expects to realize +$600 million in merger synergies next year.

(DAL) said year-over-year unit revenue declines are down to around -8%, providing some statistical indication that the USA industry has weathered the worst of the demand storm. (DAL) expects to report a -8% year-over-year decrease in fourth-quarter unit revenue, CFO, Hank Halter said during a Morgan Stanley investor conference available via webcast. Passenger (RASM) was down -18.1% in the third quarter. "By October, we were down in the -11% to -12% range and for the fourth quarter, our previous guidance was unit revenue down about -8% and we're tracking to that," he said.

Halter warned USA airlines to avoid injecting too much capacity into the market in anticipation of an economic recovery. "The challenge for the industry is that we don't start flooding the industry with capacity when demand isn't there," he said. "Even if a modest recovery occurs, I would hope that the industry maintains flat capacity" next year.

(DAL) is still paring capacity, however. It confirmed that it plans to eliminate flights from Cincinnati to Montreal, Oklahoma City, Providence, Des Moines, and Tri-Cities, Tennessee, in February. A spokesperson told the "Associated Press" that no job cuts are planned as a result and no mainline operations will be affected. Regional service from (CVG) to Charleston (South Carolina), Savannah, Tulsa, and Huntsville is scheduled to end next month.

(DAL) will operate flights to Honolulu from both Detroit (thrice-weekly from June 2) and San Diego (daily beginning June 3) using either 757s or A330s.

Nigerian Eagle Airlines (VNA) signed a Memo of Understanding (MOU) with Delta Air Lines (DAL) "to explore areas of commercial cooperation that will expand travel options," the carriers announced. The agreement opens the door for loyalty program linkage and a code share on (DAL)'s New York (JFK) - Dakar - Abuja service.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) said the Australia Competition and Consumer Commission granted authorization for its proposed joint venture (JV) with Virgin Blue (VOZ) to operate flights between Australia and the USA. "(DAL) and [(VOZ) subsidiary] V Australia (VAZ) are eager to move forward with their (JV) and to bring new services to the market," (DAL) said. "We look forward to a similar decision from the USA Department of Transportation (DOT) and urge the (DOT) to quickly conclude its review."

Delta Air Lines (DAL) and Virgin Blue (VOZ)/V Australia (VAZ) will commence code share flights next month as part of the partnership that gained approval from Australian competition authorities. (VOZ)/(VAZ) will place its code on (DAL) flights from Los Angeles to Cincinnati, New York (JFK), Orlando International and Salt Lake City beginning January 18, and (DAL) will code share on (VOZ) service from Sydney to Brisbane and Melbourne from February 15. The airlines also will offer reciprocal airport lounge and loyalty program benefits. The USA Department of Transportation has approved the code share and is reviewing the application for antitrust immunity (ATI).

The USA Air Transport Association (ATA) announced that 15 airlines have signed Memos of Understanding (MOU)s with either AltAir Fuels, Rentech or both expressing nonbinding commitment to support future biofuel supply. Air Canada (ACN), American Airlines (AAL), Atlas Air (TLS), Delta Air Lines (DAL)/(NWA), FedEx Express (FED), JetBlue Airways (JBL), Lufthansa (DLH), Mexicana (CMA), Polar Air Cargo (PAO), United Airlines (UAL), (UPS) Airlines, and US Airways (AMW)/(USA) signed with both providers. Alaska Airlines (ASA) and Hawaiian Airlines (HWI) went with AltAir only and AirTran Airways (CQT) signed with Rentech. The (ATA) said discussions with additional fuel producers "about other projects" have started. "This agreement is a significant step forward, establishing a framework for a large group of diverse carriers to negotiate a definitive fuel purchase agreement," Rentech President & (CEO), D Hunt Ramsbottom said.

AltAir is working on producing some 75 million gallons of jet and diesel fuel derived from camelina oils or comparable feedstock per year at a new plant in Anacortes, Washington, USA. Rentech plans to produce around 250 million gallons per year of synthetic jet fuel derived principally from coal or petroleum coke near Natchez, Mississipi, USA with the resultant carbon dioxide sequestered and the carbon footprint potentially further reduced by integrating biomass as a feedstock. Last summer, eight airlines operating at Los Angeles International (LAX) signed a deal with Rentech for the supply of a renewable synthetic diesel fuel for use in ground service equipment (GSE).

Delta (DAL) TechOps signed a five-year agreement with Skymark Airlines (SKM) to provide (CFM56-7B maintenance in partnership with Evergreen Aviation Technologies.

Navtech said that (DAL) completed its transition to its Preferential Bidding System rostering software. Pilots (fc) will use the tool beginning next month.

January 2010: Delta Air Lines (DAL)/(NWA) posted a 2009 net loss of -$1.24 billion, narrowed considerably from a massive deficit of -$8.92 billion in 2008, when results were affected by heavy goodwill impairment charges and costs related to its acquisition of Northwest Airlines (NWA). (DAL) acquired (NWA) on October 30, 2008, so its 2009 income and revenue include those of (NWA). But (DAL)'s 2008 figures include (NWA) only for October 30 - December 31. (DAL)/(NWA)'s combined 2008 net loss was -$14.38 billion. (DAL)/(NWA) executives told reporters and analysts that merger activities are nearly complete and predicted that results in 2010 will benefit from a lack of integration costs and complications. The carriers have been on a single air operating certificate (AOC) since January 1. CEO, Richard Anderson said the company is in "the home stretch of the merger integration," adding, "We will shortly in the [late] first quarter have just one Delta (DAL)/(NWA) . . . with the airplanes free-flowing rather than having to operate" two airlines as was the case in 2009, leading to operational restrictions on a number of routes.

(DAL)/(NWA)'s 2009 revenue was $28.06 billion, officially up +24% from 2008 but down -18.1% from combined (DAL)/(NWA) revenue of $34.25 billion for that year. Its expenses were $28.38 billion, down considerably over the combined (DAL)/(NWA) 2008 expenses that exceeded >$40 billion, and operating loss was -$324 million, significantly improved over a combined (DAL)/(NWA) operating loss of -$13.74 billion in 2008.

Full-year 2009 consolidated traffic lowered -6.8% (RPM)s compared to combined (DAL)/(NWA) 2008 traffic to 188.94 billion (RPM)s on a -6.4% cut in capacity to 230.3 billion (ASM)s, producing a load factor of 82% LF, down -0.4 point. Yield decreased -14% to 12.6 cents as (PRASM) declined -14.3% to 10.34 cents, and (CASM) fell -36.5% to 12.01 cents. (CASM) excluding fuel and special items increased +3.8% to 8.28 cents.

Fourth-quarter net loss was -$25 million, improved over a combined (DAL)/(NWA) net loss of -$9.55 billion in the prior-year period.

(DAL) and subsidiary, Northwest Airlines (NWA) were granted a single air operating certificate (AOC) by the USA (FAA) on December 31, an expected move that cleared the way for full integration to be completed by late first quarter/early second quarter.

(DAL) and Continental Airlines (CAL) raised their fees for first and second checked bags on North American flights to $25 and $35 respectively, matching US Airways (AMW)/(USA)'s fee levels imposed in the second half of last year. United Airlines (UAL) and American Airlines (AAL) currently charge $20 and $30, respectively. (DAL) said it now is charging $23 for a first checked bag and $32 for a second checked bag if the passenger checks in online, believed to be the highest fees among USA carriers for online check-in. Premium passengers and military personnel are exempt from the new (DAL) and (CAL) charges.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) private jet service subsidiary, "Delta AirElite" acquired Segrave Aviation, a North Carolina company specializing in wholesale charter aviation services, private airplane management, airplane maintenance and fixed-base operations. (DAL) said the transaction was "all cash" but declined to state a figure. It said the acquisition will "double the size of the Delta AirElite fleet."

(DAL) is ending its nonstop service from Los Angeles to Sao Paulo.

(DAL) intends to invest $1 billion over the next three years on a wide range of measures designed "to improve the customer experience in the air and on the ground," including new business class (C) seats on 90 Boeing wide body airplanes. (DAL) did not directly address plans for the order for 18 787s inherited in its acquisition of Northwest Airlines (NWA), but President, Ed Bastian said, "Rather than invest in new airplanes, (DAL) will be spending its capital to improve the quality and consistency of the on board product and efficiency of the airplanes we already own."

Called "the most significant investment we have made in our customers in more than a decade" by (CEO), Richard Anderson, the upgrade will be anchored by installation of new lie-flat seats in the BusinessElite cabins on 14 767-400ERs, 52 767-300ERs, 16 747-400s and eight 777-200ERs. In addition, the economy (Y) cabins on 16 747-400s and 52 767-300ERs will be outfitted with individual audio video on-demand (AVOD) In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) units, extending the service to all seats on all (DAL) wide bodies. A first class (F) cabin will be added to 66 CRJ-700s operated by Delta Connection affiliates SkyWest Airlines, Atlantic Southeast Airlines and Comair (COI), bringing to 219 the number of regional airplanes offering the product. Finally, (DAL) will retrofit 269 Northwest Airlines (NWA) airplanes with (DAL)'s blue leather seats, new lighting and increased overhead storage space (on 757-200s).

Outside the cabin, winglets will be added to more than >170 767-300ER, 757-200 and 737-800 airplanes, while Sky Club lounges will be added in Seattle, Philadelphia, and Indianapolis, plus being renovated in Los Angeles. "This investment will be made while staying well within the level of our historical capital expenditures," Bastian said.

(DAL) said it now operates more than >100 domestic airplanes with in-seat (AVOD) (IFE) and more than >340 with in-flight Wi-Fi service. It plans to have more than >530 airplanes with wireless Internet by mid-year.

737-8FZ (29674), delivered and sold to Babcock & Brown (BBB). 767-332ER (24803, N175DN) WFU at Marana. A330-323 (552, N805NW), returned to service.

February 2010: Delta Air Lines (DAL) completed the integration of Northwest Airlines (NWA)'s reservation system and transitioned all (NWA) flights and passenger reservations to the (DAL) system, allowing for the retirement of (NWA) flight numbers and its website: (NWA) customers will be able to use their original reservation and confirmation numbers, (DAL) said. "Throughout the integration of (DAL) and (NWA), we've taken a phased, deliberate approach to make the transition simple and seamless for our customers," Senior VP & CIO, Theresa Wise said. (DAL) rebranding now has replaced (NWA) branding at all airports following the conversion of Philadelphia International on January 18. The final (NWA) flight, NW2470, was from Los Angeles to Las Vegas last month.

(DAL) plans to transfer 225 Cincinnati (CVG)-based pilots (FC) to other airports as it continues to downsize its operation there, according to company and Air Line Pilots Association memos obtained by "The Cincinnati Enquirer." The pilots (FC) slated to move, fly (DAL)'s 767s. "Unfortunately we have simply run out of time," VP Flight Operations, Jim Graham wrote to pilots (FC). "Barring a change in network strategy . . . the base will most likely close at some point in 2010." (CVG)'s only European service, to Paris Charles de Gaulle, will continue with crew and airplanes based elsewhere, (DAL) said, and 767 pilots (FC) who wish to stay in Cincinnati could transition to a smaller airplanes. The total pilot (FC) base comprises around 450 employees, the "Enquirer" reported. According to the "Associated Press," the (DAL) memo said it currently operates 165 to 175 daily departures from (CVG), down from 480 in 2001. Its increasing focus on New York (JFK) and LaGaurdia also is a factor in the (CVG) cuts, (DAL) said. According to Air Transport World (ATW)'s "World Airport Report," the -13.4% decrease in passengers from 2007 to 2008 at (CVG) was the second-highest for an intercontinental hub in the world.

(DAL) will launch weekly, New York (JFK) - Grand Cayman service on June 12 aboard a 737-800.

American Airlines (AAL) and Delta Air Lines (DAL) joined United Airlines (UAL), Continental Airlines (CAL) and Hawaiian Airlines (HWI) in applying to serve Tokyo Haneda (HND). The USA Department of Transportation will distribute four slot pairs. (AAL) applied for the right to operate daily 777 flights to (HND) from both New York (JFK) and Los Angeles (LAX) beginning October 1 and (DAL) proposed daily flights from Seattle (A330-300s), Detroit, Honolulu, and (LAX) (all 747-400s) beginning October 31. (DAL) argued that with the Oneworld (ONW) alliance (Japan Airlines) and Star (SAL) Alliance (ANA) already entrenched in Tokyo, its presence at the airport "would add a third major airline alliance" and "is critical to advancing airline competition" in the capital. (DAL) currently serves 11 USA cities from Narita.

Airports in the USA Mid-Atlantic and Northeast reopened as the regions began to dig out from back-to-back storms that produced record snow accumulation in some areas. Seven consecutive days of snow removal were required at Washington Dulles and National, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority said. Baltimore, Philadelphia and the three major New York area airports also were operational, although airlines continued to cancel flights as they sought to reposition airplanes and employees and return to normal operation.

According to FlightStats, American Airlines (AAL) had canceled 465 of the 1,419 scheduled departures tracked, or 32.8%. The number of departures tracked represented 72.4% of the total. Continental Airlines (CAL) canceled 13.2% of its 675 tracked departures, representing 69.9% of the total schedule. Delta Air Lines (DAL) canceled 10.4% of its 1,658 tracked departures, representing 69.6% of its total. United Airlines (UAL) canceled 13.8% of its 741 tracked departures, representing 64.5% of its total. US Airways (AMW)/(USA) canceled 24.2% of its 921 tracked departures, representing 68.7% of its total. Southwest Airlines (SWA) canceled 22.4% of its 2,012 tracked departures, representing 62.9% of its total, FlightStats reported.

MD-90-30 (53583, N921DN), bought from China Eastern (CEA).

March 2010: Delta (DAL) TechOps expanded its maintenance agreement with Sun Country Airlines (SCA) to cover Auxiliary Power unit (APU) and component Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) services. The deal covers (APU)s on nine 737NGs for five years and extends an existing inventory supply and service contract covering (SCA)'s entire 737NG fleet through 2018.

DAL Global Services of Atlanta, a Delta Air Lines (DAL) subsidiary, will lay off -385 employees at Philadelphia International by March 15 because it lost cleaning contracts with US Airways (AMW)/(USA) and United Airlines (UAL), according to a letter to Pennsylvania state authorities cited by "The Philadelphia Inquirer."

Delta Air Lines (DAL) will close one of its two concourses at Cincinnati (CVG) on May 1, potentially leading to the layoff of -840 employees of (DAL)'s Regional Elite Airline Systems subsidiary, according to a memo cited by "The Cincinnati Enquirer." The airport confirmed the move in a statement. Mainline employees will handle ground operations at Terminal 3's Concourse B. (DAL) Senior VP Airport Customer Service, Gil West wrote that the consolidation is "yet another step in a series of changes we have made to optimize the network and work to return the (CVG) hub to profitability," and that the its operation "can no longer support two separate work groups performing the same function." (DAL) plans to operate 160 to 170 daily flights from (CVG) during the summer schedule, according to the "Enquirer." (CVG) said (DAL) is reducing the number of peak operations, lowering its gate requirement, and that it remains obligated to its Concourse A lease payments through 2015.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA) have softened their stance and will give up 12% of the slots originally included in their New York LaGuardia (LGA)/Washington National (DCA) swap deal in order to secure approval from the USA Department of Transportation (DOT). The (DOT)'s tentative approval of the arrangement was contingent on the sale of 20 of the 125 (LGA) pairs and 14 of the 42 (DCA) pairs. Six weeks ago, (DAL) (receiving the (LGA) slots) and (AMW)/(USA) (receiving the (DCA) slots) said parting with the slots likely would scuttle the deal because disposal "would negatively impact the consumer and economic benefits created" by the transaction.

Later the airlines announced a change of heart. They said that (DAL) has agreed to transfer up to five pairs of (LGA) slots each to AirTran Airways (CQT), Spirit Airlines (SPR) and WestJet (WJI), while (AMW)/(USA) will transfer five (DCA) slot pairs to JetBlue Airways (JBL).

Under the new arrangement, (DAL) would gain a net 110 slot pairs at (LGA) and (AMW)/(USA) a net 37 at (DCA). (AMW)/(USA) also would gain access to Tokyo Narita and Sao Paulo Guarulhos, it was revealed. JetBlue (JBL) currently serves Washington Dulles but not (DCA), while WestJet (WJI) would be new at (LGA).

"In New York, (DAL) will add or preserve service to dozens of small- and medium-sized communities, while adding service in a number of markets not currently served by (AMW)/(USA). (DAL) would also begin a multimillion-dollar construction program at (LGA) to connect the existing (DAL) and (AMW)/(USA) terminals," the carriers said.

Of (AMW)/(USA)'s 15 new daily flights at (DCA), eight will be to destinations that currently have no non-stop service to/from the airport. "The airline also will significantly expand its use of larger dual-class jets by nearly +50%," they said.

The (FAA) announced a proposed $1.5 million penalty against the former Northwest Airlines (NWA) for operating 32 757s without required windshield wiring inspections. (NWA) was acquired by Delta Air Lines (DAL) in late 2008 and (DAL)/(NWA) began flying on a single Air Operators Certificate (AOC) in December, but the flights in question took place between December 1, 2005, and May 27, 2008. The (FAA) said that a 1990 Airworthiness Directive (AD) "required inspections for the presence of undersized wires in the heating system for both the captain (FC)'s and first officer (FC)'s windows, and replacement if needed," but (NWA) omitted the inspection of the copilot (FC)'s window from maintenance instructions written to mechanics (MT) in April 1990. As a result, there were more than >90,000 flights in violation of the (AD). In May 2008, (NWA) revised the instructions but delayed the work further until the next overnight layover. "When an air carrier realizes that an Airworthiness Directive (AD) is not being followed, the problem must be corrected immediately. Safety cannot wait for the next scheduled maintenance," (FAA) Administrator, Randy Babbitt said.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) took delivery of its 18th 777, a 777-200LR that will enter service on its Detroit - Hong Kong route beginning June 1.

737-8FZ (31713), and 737-8KN (29636), delivered and sold to Babcock (BBB). 737-8V3 (29667), delivered and sold to Aviation Capital Group (CGP). 2 777-232LRs (40559, N709DN; 40569, N710DN), deliveries.

April 2010: Regarding the merger with Northwest Airlines (NWA), Bastian said (DAL)/(NWA) are "now operating on a single technology platform" and the "heavy lifting of integration is behind us." He claimed (DAL) achieved $200 million in merger synergies in the first quarter and is "now at $1 billion in annual run rate synergies." It did incur $46 million in merger-related expenses in the quarter and expects another $70 million in merger costs for the remainder of the year.

The decision to ground (NWA)'s fleet of 14 747-200F freighters last year produced -$60 million in expense savings in the first quarter, Bastian said. Meanwhile, (DAL) continues to be noncommittal on (NWA)'s order for 18 787s placed in 2005. When asked if (DAL) is still a 787 customer, Anderson responded, "Technically yes." But he added that he's happy with the airline's current long-haul fleet: "We're in good shape in terms of transoceanic airplanes."

(DAL) said it expected to operate 50% of its westbound transatlantic schedule and 100% of its eastbound nighttime schedule, although airline executives noted that London Heathrow, which was expected to reopen overnight, and Frankfurt are its most challenging destinations.

Gol (GOT) and Delta Air Lines reached a code share agreement under which (DAL) will place its code on more than 45 Gol (GOT) flights from Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro, and Sao Paulo. Registered frequent flyers from both airlines will be able to earn miles in both (GOT)'s "Smiles" and (DAL)'s "SkyMiles" programs on eligible flights.

Delta (DAL) TechOps signed a three-year contract with China Eastern Airlines (CEA) to provide maintenance and repair services to "various airplane engine types," initially to three (CFM56-7)s.

Delta TechOps signed a long-term contract with Global Avia Logistics to support overhaul and repair services on Nordwind Airlines (NWD)'s (PW2040)s and (GTCP) 331-200 Auxiliary Power Units (APU)s supporting the airline's 757 fleet.

737-8FZ (31717), sold to Babcock (BBB). 747-451 (26477, N671US), WFU and stored at Marana.

May 2010: Delta Air Lines (DAL) intends to launch a weekly service from Atlanta to Monrovia starting September 4, subject to government approval andL plans to use a 767-300ER on the route, which will be operated via Accra. (DAL) confirmed that it is eliminating service in five Cincinnati markets. Effective September 7, it will halt service to Albany, Buffalo, Charleston, West Virginia, Des Moines, and Little Rock.

The USA Department of Transportation (DOT) gave final approval to the Delta Air Lines (DAL)/(AMW)/US Airways (AMKW)/(USA) slot swap at Washington National (DCA) and New York LaGuardia (LGA) announced last August. But the (DOT) declined the carriers' request to modify its requirement that they divest 14 slot pairs at (DCA) and 20 at (LGA) as a condition of approving the deal. (AMW)/(USA) and (DAL) had made a counter proposal to transfer fewer slots to four Low Cost Carrier (LCC)s but the (DOT) determined that this "would be insufficient to preserve competition at the two airports."

Both carriers expressed disappointment with the decision. An (AMW)/(USA) spokesperson said that the carrier was reviewing the ruling, while a (DAL) spokesperson said that airline was "reviewing its options." Under the original agreement, (DAL) was to have transferred 42 slot pairs at (DCA) to (AMW)/(USA) in exchange for (DAL)’s obtaining 125 slot pairs at (LGA). (AMW)/(USA) also would receive (DAL) route authorities to Tokyo Narita and Sao Paulo Guarulhos. In February, the (DOT) tentatively approved the agreement on the condition that the carriers divest slots to airlines with little or no service at the airports through a blind sale in the following proportions: "Two slot-pair bundles at (DCA) with Bundle A containing 8 pairs and Bundle B containing 6 pairs; and four slot-pair bundles at (LGA), with Bundle A containing 8 pairs and Bundles B-D containing 4 pairs per bundle."

In response, the carriers proposed to transfer up to five pairs of (LGA) slots each to AirTran Airways (CQT), Spirit Airlines (SPR) and Canada’s WestJet (WJI), while (AMW)/(USA) would transfer five (DCA) slot pairs to JetBlue Airways (JBL).

In its final ruling, the (DOT) said it examined whether the presence of low-fare competition at nearby airports such as Baltimore, Washington Dulles and New York (JFK) could act as damper on higher fares at (DCA) and (LGA) but noted that average yields at those airports were considerably lower than at (DCA) and (LGA). It concluded "that if the airports were effective economic substitutes for all passengers, the yield spreads would not differ so significantly."

The USA Department of Transportation (DOT) tentatively proposed awarding two of four routes at Tokyo Haneda available under the new USA - Japan "open skies" agreement to Delta Air Lines (DAL) for services from Los Angeles (LAX) and Detroit.

In selecting (DAL) to receive half of the available daily routes, the (DOT) chose an airline that already maintains an enormous transpacific and inter-Asia hub at Tokyo Narita. The (DOT) was swayed in large part by the fact that (DAL) said it will use 747-400s on its (LAX) - Haneda service, which "would inject +63% more capacity into the USA - Tokyo market. It chose (DAL)'s proposal to operate from Detroit (DTW), citing among other things (DAL)'s "substantial hub presence and route network" at (DTW) and the "broad catchment area" of the Midwest region as well as (DAL)'s plan to use a 747-400 on the route.

737-8HX (29686) sold to (ACG) leasing. 737-8KN (31716) and 737-8FZ (29659), sold to Babcock Leasing (BBB). 747-451 (26477, N671US) and 757-232 (22908, N618DL), removed from storage.

June 2010: Delta Air Lines (DAL) is starting a new Asia - Hawaii route, connecting its Tokyo Narita hub with Honolulu. With Japanese tourists in mind, it's also connecting Narita with the Pacific island destination, Palau. Both routes will start in December.

(DAL) will add first class (F) service to all domestic flights longer than >750 miles beginning this fall. When the upgrade is complete, 50 routes that currently feature only one class of service will be upgraded to two-cabin airplanes. The upgrade is part of the airline's ongoing three-year, $1 billion investment program, which includes the retrofit of CRJ-700s.

(DAL) has bought 25 used MD-90s in the past few months.

2 757-232s (22912, N622DL; 24972, N661DN), and 767-332ER (27962, N186DN), returned to service (RTS) after storage. MD-90-30 (53585, N923DN), delivery, ex-(B-2262)

July 2010: (CEO), Richard Anderson projected that (DAL) will be "solidly profitable" for the full year. (DAL) said the result was its "best in a decade" but emphasized that it will continue to hold capacity expansion down at least through the end of 2011. Anderson said full-year 2010 system capacity will be up +1% to +1.5%, while 2011 system capacity will increase +1% to +3% "at most."

He characterized the revenue environment as "good but not yet great." President, Ed Bastian said (DAL) is being "cautious in our outlook" but noted the industry now has been in a recovery mode for about one year. "Advance bookings remain strong across the system," he said.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) will launch twice-weekly, Detroit - Sao Paulo service on October 21 aboard a 767-300ER, eventually increasing to five-times-weekly.

(DAL) said it has entered into definitive agreements to sell subsidiaries Mesaba and Compass Airlines, both of which it acquired in its merger with Northwest Airlines (NWA), for a combined $82.5 million.

Six airlines formed a member-based, not-for-profit organization called Open (AXIS) Group to promote a standardized XML (eXtensible Markup Language) schema as the optimal electronic messaging structure for airline system connectivity used in content distribution. The members are Air Canada (ACN), American Airlines (AAL), Continental Airlines (CAL), Delta Air Lines (DAL), United Airlines (UAL), and US Airways (AMW)/(USA). (ATPCO) has been invited to serve as the founding Allied Member and former Frontier Airlines (FRO) VP, Jim Young will serve as Executive Director.

The Open (AXIS) Group’s mission is to expand the adoption, promotion, enhancement and maintenance of a robust airline industry-standardized XML schema that supports a range of airline transactions, including booking and (PNR) management, multiple passenger management, ticketing, exchange, refunds, voids, optional services, bundling and (EMD) management. "Having this standard provides a one-stop shop for modern airline connectivity," said American Airlines (AAL) Director Merchandising Strategy, Cory Garner.

Membership is not a requirement to use the group's messaging standard; the XML schema is available to all on the group's website. "We plan on being an open, transparent and inclusive group," Young said. "The Open (AXIS) Group is structured to respond quickly to the fast-paced needs of the airlines."

2 737-832s (30823, N3772H; 30825, N3773D), ex-(N1786B & N1796B), 757-232 (22908, N618DL) return to service (RTS) after storage, 3 757-251s (26483, N536US; 26487, N540US; 26489, N540US), MD-90-30 (53587, N925DN), ex-(B-2265), deliveries.

August 2010: Delta Airlines (DAL) (Including Northwest Airlines (NWA)) 2009 Passenger Traffic = 304,009 Million (-6.8%) (RPK)s (World Highest #1) (#1), Total Employees = 81,106 (-3.8%) (World Highest #2).
SEE ATTACHED - - "DAL-2010-08-WLD RPK-2009."

Delta (DAL) launched a booking engine on its Facebook page August 12, which likely makes it the first airline to do so. To the extent other airlines offer bookings via a Facebook page, it is with a link to the booking engine on their websites. Alvenda, the Minneapolis-based software company that developed the Ticket Window application, says (DAL) also will use In-Stream Shopping to share special offers via the Facebook News Feed—and to let users make bookings via Ticket Window within the News Feed. And (DAL) partners, such as the New York Yankees, can embed Ticket Window on their websites, which would enable customers to order game tickets and book plane tickets from one site.

(DAL) has over >35,000 followers on its company Facebook page. "Our customers are spending more time online and are looking for new ways to connect with us," said VP eCommerce, Bob Kupbens. "We're now delivering technology where our customers are—from our own website to our Facebook page to Internet news sites and beyond. We already know Facebook is the most used website by in-flight WiFi users on more than >2,000 Delta flights every day." Customers can complete a full travel booking using the "Book a Trip" tab at, which currently accommodates departures from only USA destinations. (DAL) said it plans to expand its Ticket Window to "other sites," but did not identify the ones under consideration. It also announced plans to launch an iPhone application "in the coming weeks" to allow customers to check in for flights, check flight status, review flight schedules, set a parking reminder, review their loyalty program account balance and use eBoarding passes from iPhones. "Unlocking the full power of social media and mobile apps is the next step for Delta (DAL)," Kupbens said.

(DAL) on June 1, 2011, plans to inaugurate a non-stop service between John F Kennedy International Airport in New York and Keflavik International Airport in Reykjavik. (DAL) intends to operate a two-class 757-200 to Iceland, with 15 seats its BusinessElite cabin and 155Y seats in economy. (DAL) will also operate the service with the same flight number to its hub in Minneapolis-St Paul. “(DAL) ’s newest international destination from New York is part of its ongoing investment in the New York market, adding to the more than >40 new destinations introduced from LaGuardia and (JFK) combined in the last four years,” (DAL) says in a release. “Our new flight to Iceland is another milestone in our efforts to be the leading domestic and international carrier in New York,” adds Gail Grimmett, Senior VP for New York. “We have always prided ourselves in offering a large number of unique destinations from our (JFK) hub to provide customers convenient access to growing but under-served global markets. The addition of Reykjavik also marks the first service in Iceland for the SkyTeam (STM) Alliance, that includes (DAL), Air France (AFA)-(KLM), Alitalia (ALI) and nine other airlines,” she adds. The new Reykjavik flight will be operated as part of (DAL)’s transatlantic joint venture with Air France (AFA)-(KLM) and Alitalia (ALI).

Delta Air Lines (DAL) (CEO), Richard Anderson told employees in a message that (DAL) will begin rehiring furloughed flight attendants (CA) in January with the aim of putting them into service by mid-2011, "Bloomberg" reported. He did not say how many flight attendants (CA) are needed but noted that the focus will be on staffing international flights. "We need lots of folks with language skills given the extensive nature of our international network and the need to be able to communicate with passengers in their own language,” he said.

The Board of Commissioners of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) approved Delta Air Lines (DAL)'s proposal to move its international service into a new space at privately-owned Terminal 4 at New York (JFK).

Delta (DAL) international flights currently operate out of Terminal 3, the oldest of the airport's terminals, according to (PANYNJ). The $1.2 billion project involves the expansion of T4, which is owned by (JFKIAT), a unit of Schiphol USA. (DAL) will occupy nine newly-constructed gates and up to seven of the existing gate the Port Authority said. Following the move, T3 will be demolished, creating room for 16 additional airplane parking spaces. Expansion of T4 is expected to take 36 months and the demolition of T3 a further 24 months.

To accommodate the extra passengers, the international baggage claim hall and Federal Inspection Services processing capacity will also be expanded.

Northwest Airlines (NWA) has agreed to plead guilty to fixing prices on air cargo shipments and pay a $38 million criminal fine, the USA Department of Justice (DOJ) announced. According to charges filed, Northwest Airlines Cargo, which is now part of Delta Air Lines (DAL), “engaged in a conspiracy to fix the cargo rates for international air cargo shipments from at least July 2004 until at least February 2006.” Under the plea agreement, (NWA) will cooperate with the department’s ongoing antitrust investigation into other airlines.

(DAL) said: “The agreement between (NWA) and the (DOJ) relates to actions which occurred before the Delta (DAL) - Northwest (NWA) merger by certain employees of (NWA) Cargo Inc, the former cargo division of Northwest Airlines (NWA). The agreement doesn't assert any misconduct by any current or former officer or member of the Board of Directors of Northwest LLC, Northwest Corp, Northwest Airlines or Delta (DAL)."

It added that (NWA) "terminated the employment of the individual who it believed had primary responsibility for the conduct in question."

A total of 16 airlines have pleaded guilty or have agreed to plead guilty in the (DOJ)’s ongoing investigation into price fixing in the air transportation industry. To date, more than >$1.6 billion in criminal fines have been imposed and four executives have been sentenced to serve prison time. Charges are pending against a fifth executive.

AJ Walter (AJW) Leasing announced it will provide Delta (DAL) TechOps with a $10 million spare parts package to support A330 operators including Hawaiian Airlines (HWI).

September 2010: Delta Air Lines (DAL) said it will begin code sharing with Hawaiian Airlines (HWI) on September 15, placing the (DAL) code on (HWI) flights between Honolulu and Kahului, Lihue, Kona, and Hila, as well as between Kona and Kahului. The new agreement expands on an earlier frequent-flier agreement between the two carriers.

(DAL)’s Managing Director Global Alliances, Charles Pappas said, "While (DAL) is already a leader in service to Hawaii, with flights between the islands and nine cities in the USA and Japan, this new code share agreement with (HWI) will allow customers to connect beyond our main Hawaiian gateways to five popular vacation points." (HWI) provides service to 10 USA cities as well as the Philippines, Australia, American Samoa, Tahiti and — in the coming months — Japan and South Korea.

(DAL) is offering direct, one-stop service between Atlanta and Monrovia, Liberia. (DAL) will fly the route once a week, with a scheduled stop in Accra, Ghana. (DAL) becomes the first USA carrier in more than >20 years to offer regularly scheduled service to the West African nation, which endured more than a decade of civil war.
With the Monrovia route, (DAL) now flies to seven African destinations: Accra; Abuja and Lagos in Nigeria; Dakar, Senegal; Johannesburg; and Cairo.

Aircell announced it has installed its Gogo In-flight Internet service on the 1,000th airplane to be equipped, a Delta Air Lines (DALO) DC-9. (DAL) currently has 527 out of a planned 549 Gogo installations complete, Aircell said. "This is a big milestone for our company and for consumers who want to stay connected at 30,000 feet," Aircell President & (CEO), Michael Small stated. "A few years ago Internet on a commercial flight was unheard of, and today it is commonplace."

This month, Aircell equipped a total of 32 airplanes for Delta (DAL) (A320s, 757s, DC-9s), American Airlines (AAL) (737-800s) and Alaska Airlines (ASA) (737-700s). The service is currently available on approximately "one-third of all mainline domestic airplanes," it said, roughly translating to 3,800 daily flights, up from 2,100 last year.

"We have a couple hundred airplanes in the pipeline, about half of which we will install by end of year," an Aircell spokesperson said. "We continue to look for additional opportunities with our existing airlines partners and new airline partners." The in-flight connectivity provider said it expects to begin installations on Frontier Airlines (FRO)'s airplanes "very soon."

Delta Air Lines (DAL) said it will equip all of its 16 747-400s with "new fully horizontal flat-bed seats in the BusinessElite cabin and new economy class (Y) seats featuring personal, on-demand entertainment." The installations, which are part of (DAL)'s plan to invest more than >$1 billion through 2013 in improving its products and services, will begin next summer and be completed by 2012. When the program is complete, (DAL) will offer fully lie-flat seats on more than >100 airplanes, including all of its 777s, 767s and 747s. President, Ed Bastian said the investment "to completely revitalize our trans-oceanic fleet speaks to our strong commitment to the Asian market."

(DAL)'s 747-400s will feature 48 horizontal flat-bed business-class (C) seats manufactured by Weber Aircraft. The seats will be 81.7 inches long and 20.5 inches wide and will include Panasonic's 15.4 inch video monitors "with instant access to 250 new and classic movies, premium programming from (HBO) and Showtime, video games and more than >4,000 digital music tracks." The 747-400 economy (Y) seats will be collaboratively designed by Weber and Panasonic, (DAL) noted. The seats will "fully incorporate seat and entertainment functionality into one product." (DAL)'s 747s are mostly used for transpacific and intra-Asia flights to/from Tokyo Narita.

October 2010: Delta Air Lines (DAL) kicked off USA majors' third-quarter earnings reporting period by announcing a +$363 million net profit, reversed from a -$161 million net loss in the year-ago quarter, and predicted it will achieve its first profitable fourth quarter since 2000.

(CEO), Richard Anderson said the positive three-month period was driven by "revenue performance, cost discipline and harvesting the synergies from the [Northwest Airlines (NWA)] merger." (DAL) said it would have earned third-quarter net income of +$929 million excluding special charges that included $256 million in interest expenses and a -$360 million loss on the extinguishment of debt. Anderson emphasized that lowering debt is "one of our highest financial priorities" and highlighted $750 million in debt reduction during the September quarter.

(DAL)'s adjusted net debt stood at $15.2 billion on September 30, down -10.6% from $17 billion at the start of the year. Its goal is to have adjusted net debt of "$10 billion by the end of 2012 and we'd really like to be even lower," Anderson said. He commented that a great deal of the company's focus going forward will be on "debt reduction, shrewd deployment of capital and cost discipline." That discipline will extend to capacity growth, which will stay "in check," President, Ed Bastian noted. Added Anderson, "Whatever growth you have in the business has to be below Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and not at the expense of (RASM) and yield improvement."

Fourth-quarter system capacity will be up +5% to +7% year-over-year but is "still down -5% from 2007 levels," Bastian said. Most of the growth will be on the international side, where fourth-quarter capacity will lift +10% to +12% compared to 2009. Domestic capacity during the quarter will be down -10% from combined (DAL)/(NWA) 2007 fourth-quarter domestic capacity (ASM)s, he pointed out.

Bastian said (DAL)'s prospects are bright in the months ahead. "We're continuing to see demand stay strong as we move towards the end of the year," he stated. "We expect that momentum will continue."

(DAL) said 425 furloughed flight attendants (CA) have accepted its recall notice and will begin working again next year, and (CEO), Richard Anderson told employees in a widely cited message that "a few hundred" more are needed and will be hired. Including the recalled workers, (DAL) said it plans to have up to +1,000 more flight attendants in 2011 compared to 2010.

(DAL) will launch thrice-weekly, A330-200 Atlanta - Dakar - Luanda service on January 20.

(DAL) TechOps signed a 3-year "multimillion" contract with Cimber Sterling (STR) to provide time and materials services for 11 (CFM56-7B) engines and (GTCP131-9B) (APU)s, more than one-third of the fleet’s engines.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) reached an agreement with Boeing (TBC) to defer the delivery of 18 787-8 airplanes for about a decade, (DAL) disclosed in a regulatory filing on October 25. The deal keeps the airplanes on (DAL)’s order books, but shows how long the airline is willing to wait to acquire new wide bodies.

November 2010: Delta Air Lines (DAL) is seeking approval to add or resume new China service from Detroit and Tokyo and is restoring its Atlanta - Shanghai route. (DAL) filed an application with the USA Transportation Department on November 16 seeking permission to begin nonstop service July 1 between Detroit and Beijing with five weekly flights on 278-seat 777-200ER airplanes. (DAL) aleady uses Detroit as an eastern USA hub for service to Shanghai and Hong Kong, as well as Seoul, Tokyo, and Nagoya.

(DAL) also wants (DOT) approval for service between its Tokyo Narita hub and Guangzhou, which would start April 6 on 217-seat 767-300ER airplanes and — at least initially — originate from San Francisco. (DAL) previously operated service connecting its Narita hub with SkyTeam (STM) alliance partner China Southern (GUN)’s Guangzhou hub, but suspended it last year during the global financial crisis. In its application with the (DOT), (DAL) noted it would resume the service with a larger airplanes for an “enhanced customer experience” and additional freight carrying capacity. The Atlanta - Shanghai route, which originally began in late March 2008, also was suspended in September 2009 as part of route cuts attributed to the recession and the H1N1 outbreak, both of which reduced demand for international travel. With travel rebounding in Asia, (DAL) says it has decided to reactivate the Atlanta - Shanghai route on a reduced schedule for 2011, with twice-weekly service beginning June 5 on 777-200 airplanes, but says future expansion is possible if the route does well. (DAL) will also on March 26 launch 767-300 service to London Heathrow (LHR) from Boston (twice-daily) and Miami (daily), and during peak season it will add flights to Paris Charles de Gaulle from Boston (third daily, March 26, 757-200), New York (JFK) (sixth-daily, June 1, 767-300) and Pittsburgh (five-times-weekly to daily, June 1, 757-200), as well as a second daily, Seattle - Amsterdam 767-300 flight June 1. The following day, it will launch five-times-weekly New York (JFK) - Reykjavik service using a 757-200.

(DAL) carries 150 passengers/day from Florida to London. (DAL) hopes enough will fly its new Miami - (LHR) route starting next March.

(DAL) cabin staff (CA) rejected representation by the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) by a significant margin. (DAL) said it had been informed by the National Mediation Board (NMB) that more than >53% of flight attendants (CA) voting in the election rejected the union, which represented the approximately 7,200 former Northwest Airlines (NWA) cabin staff (CA). According to the airline, 18,760 votes were cast out of 19,887 eligible voters.

In a statement, Delta (DAL) Senior VP In-Flight Service, Joanne Smith said (DAL) will release a transition plan for integrating the (NWA) and (DAL) (CA) workforces "as soon as we can," pending a decision by the (AFA) whether to file interference claims with the (NMB). The union has until November 12 to file. "If they do not file those claims, you can expect to hear our plans for integration very soon thereafter. If interference claims are filed, we will not be in a position to align pay, benefits and work rules until final resolution is achieved," Smith said.

According to JP Morgan, former (NWA) (CA)s will see around a +10% bump in pay to bring them up to the level of their (DAL) colleagues.

Organizing votes continue for 14,000 ramp workers, around a third of whom are unionized and 16,400 passenger service workers, 29% of whom are unionized.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) appointed Holden Shannon, Senior VP Corporate Strategy & Real Estate and a member of the airline's Corporate
Leadership Team. (DAL) says Nicolas Ferri is leaving the Oneworld (ONW) alliance as VP Sales to assume a newly created VP Latin America & the Caribbean role on January 1. Ferri will report to Delta (DAL)
President, Ed Bastian. Based in Atlanta, Ferri will oversee and direct all of (DAL)'s commercial activities in the Latin America and Caribbean region, including long-term growth opportunities with SkyTeam (STM) alliance partner Aeromexico (AMX), future code share partner GOL (GOT) from Brazil, and the joint venture (JV) agreement with Air France (AFA)/(KLM) in Mexico. He joins (DAL) from the Oneworld (ONW) alliance, where he served as a VP responsible for all alliance sales and marketing activities for commercial operations. He started his career as a customer service agent for Pan Am in 1990 and joined United Airlines (UAL) in 1992.

(DAL) said it will equip all of its 16 747-400s with "new fully horizontal flat-bed seats in the Business Elite cabin and new economy class (Y) seats featuring personal, on-demand entertainment," part of a $1 billion upgrade of its existing fleet.

December 2010: Delta Air Lines (DAL) told investors at the Hudson Securities airline conference in New York that it is focusing on top-line revenue growth, cost discipline, delivering its balance sheet, improving profitability, and using free cash flow to pay down debt. During the third quarter ended September 30, (DAL) invested $750 million in de-levering its balance sheet, which it said will further enhance its profitability in 2011. "Delta's return to profitability it based on strong top-line revenue growth; our September quarter revenues were up +18%, unit revenues were up over >+16%," (CFO), Hank Halter said. (DAL) plans to invest $1 billion in the next three years on airplanes, technology and infrastructure renewal.

(DAL) announced it will expand the first-class (F) cabin on approximately 350 airplanes, adding 1,200 Weber Aircraft first-class (F) seats to domestic MD-88, MD-90, 757-200 and 767-300 airplanes by the summer of 2013, in response to business (C) customers' requests for more premium cabin seating. "(DAL) already offers more first-class (F) seats than any other USA airline," Executive VP Network Planning, Revenue Management & Marketing, Glen Hauenstein said. "This investment in our fleet bolsters our position as the industry leader in first-class (F) seating. It is part of a much larger investment — more than >$2 billion — that we're making in our fleet, airports and product through 2013 to position (DAL) as a leader in customer service."

By the summer of 2013, (DAL) will have nearly +2,000 more first-class (F) seats on its domestic fleet—including the addition of first-class (F) seats on Delta Connection airplanes earlier this year. This marks a +13% increase in premium seating. The seat upgrade also includes additional economy-class (Y) seats, and will be completed as (DAL) revises galley space to improve the efficiency of the airplanes, it said.

(DAL), which started the year with 1,433 airplanes, said it will retire 90 of its least efficient airplanes — primarily from its 50-seat regional jets and 34-seat turboprops, a move that will enhance its operating income by +$300 million as it focuses on growing mainline capacity. "Network efficiency is driving our significant gains," Halter said. Its Pacific entity was up +54% year-over-year in the September quarter. Latin America and transatlantic activity was also “up significantly” and domestic showed improvement of +12%.

January 2011: SEE ATTACHED "DAL-2011-01-2010 WORLD TOP TRAFFIC."

Delta Air Lines (DAL) flew 15.04 billion system (RPM)s traffic in December, up +2.4% from the year-ago month, on a +3.9% increase in capacity to 18.78 billion (ASM)s capacity. Load factor slipped -0.6 points to 79.6% LF. Full-year traffic grew +2.2% to 193.17 billion (RPM)s on a +1% lift in capacity to 232.68 billion (ASM)s. System load factor rose +1 point to 83% LF.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) posted 2010 net income of +$593 million, a major reversal from a -$1.24 billion net loss in 2009, but warned that a "hyped" fuel cost environment in which per barrel crude oil prices continue to exceed >$90 poses a challenge to profitability going forward. Full-year revenue increased +13% compared to 2009 to $31.76 billion. "We expect another year of profitability in 2011," CEO, Richard Anderson said, expressing "guarded confidence" that (DAL) will be able to "pass on" fuel cost increases via higher fares and ancillary charges. He added that (DAL) won't hesitate to cut capacity if the economic environment calls for it. "We have very low ownership costs on many of our airplanes, which allows us to quickly adjust capacity if necessary and we are prepared to do so," he commented. (DAL) is projecting that first-quarter system capacity will be up +5% to +7% compared to the 2010 March quarter.

Anderson said concern over rising fuel costs in part drove the airline to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) last month to "several major airplane manufacturers" regarding a future order of as many as 200 firm airplanes with deliveries beginning in 2013 to replace aging DC-9s, 757-200s and A320s on mainline domestic flying. ((DAL) is "excited about the work Bombardier and Airbus (EDS) are doing" regarding fuel efficiency improvements on the CSeries and A320neo, respectively, he noted, adding that Boeing (TBC) is "staying with legacy equipment as far as I know." He said (TBC) will "be in the running" to win (DAL)'s narrow body order, "but the [fuel burn] numbers will have to work - - the numbers will speak for themselves."

Full-year 2010 expenses rose +4% to $29.54 billion, well behind the pace of revenue growth, producing an operating profit of +$2.23 billion, turned around from a -$324 million operating loss in 2009. Net profit in 2010 was affected by special items including more than >$1 billion in interest expense. (DAL) said its full-year net income would have been +$1.4 billion absent special charges.

(DAL)'s 2010 consolidated traffic lifted +2% to 193.17 billion (RPM)s on a +1% rise in capacity to 232.68 billion (ASM)s, producing a load factor of 83% LF, up +1 point. Yield heightened +12% to 14.11 cents as (PRASM) increased +13% to 11.71 cents and (CASM) rose +3% to 12.41 cents. (CASM) ex-fuel was flat at 8.27 cents.

CFO, Hank Halter pointed out that in addition to keeping non-fuel costs level, (DAL) lowered its net debt to $15 billion as of December 31, down -$2 billion compared to December 31, 2009. "To mitigate the pressure on our business from higher fuel prices in 2011, we remain committed to maintaining a competitive cost structure and paying down debt," he stated.

(DAL) earned +$19 million in the final quarter of 2010, reversing a year-earlier loss of -$25 million, but still falling short of Wall Street expectations as higher fuel prices and December snowstorms acted as a drag on profits. Excluding special items associated with the 2008 merger with Northwest Airlines (NWA), (DAL) said fourth-quarter earnings would have been +$158 million. Even the reduced figure represented (DAL)'s first fourth-quarter profit in a decade, and full-year earnings of +$593 million were among the company's best results ever.

Neel Shah, VP Cargo for (DAL) says Latin America airline cargo is +15% to +20% up year on year, with exports from the region particularly strong, and that Europe to USA cargo traffic is up +20%, with the reverse direction up +10%. Neel also points out belly capacity growth has been kept in check by caution on the passenger side of the business. "Speaking for the passenger carriers, I can say that we have learned our lesson on capacity. I hope that is also true of all the freighter operators," he says.

(DAL) became the first major USA carrier to specify how December's severe winter weather would affect its bottom line. After heavy snow forced the cancellation of 3,000 holiday flights with some 250,000 passengers, (DAL) said fourth-quarter earnings would be reduced by about -$45 million.

(DAL) announced it will reinstate code share flights with SkyTeam (STM) alliance partner, Aeromexico (AMX) following the USA Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)'s decision to upgrade Mexico's federal civil aviation authority to Category 1. The reinstated code sharing will connect (DAL) customers between 20 Mexican and nine USA airports on more than >125 (AMX) and Aeromexico Connect flights.

(DAL) launched four-times-weekly, 757 Tokyo Narita - Palau service and daily, 767-300ER Nagoya - Honolulu service. (DAL) said it plans to add new routes to Guangzhou and Tokyo-Haneda in 2011, and expand service to Beijing, Manila, and Shanghai. (DAL) confirmed it would indefinitely suspend its New York (JFK) - Cairo (CAI) service, "due to civil unrest" taking place in Egypt. Its last flight departed (CAI) at 10:30 am on January 29. It launched the route June 4, 2008.

February 2011: Delta Air Lines (DAL) flew 14.12 billion system (RPM)s traffic in January, up +2.3% from the year-ago month. Capacity increased +4.2% to 18.77 billion (ASM)s, as load factor fell -1.4 points to 75.2% LF.

For the first time since 2007, employees at (DAL) will take home a share of profit-sharing incentives - - $313 million for 2010. For most employees, the bonus will work out to 6.5% of their 2010 earnings.

(DAL) announced it will begin code sharing with Brazil's GOL (GOT), immediately adding 15 new destinations to its South American network. (DAL) said it is now selling service on 56 (GOT) flights from Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Brasilia to 15 Brazilian destinations: Belem, Belo Horizonte, Cuiaba, Curitiba, Florianopolis, Fortaleza, Goiania, Iguassu Falls, Joao Pessoa, Navegantes, Porto Alegre, Recife, Salvador, Teresina, and Vitoria. "The number of code share markets is expected to increase to more than >30 by summer, pending government approvals," said (DAL) in a statement.

WestJet (WJI) and Delta Air Lines (DAL) said that they have entered into an interline agreement, effective immediately that will allow passengers to connect between each other's flights at 25 USA and Canadian airports. (WJI), which enjoys a 37% share of the Canadian domestic market and around a 9% share of trans-border flying, has made expanding its reach via partnerships with airlines from around the world a key component of its growth strategy.

It looks like airlines are charging more to fly. American Airlines (AAL) added fuel surcharges of as much as $5 each way on most routes. And United Continental Holdings (UCH) has its own $3 each-way surcharge. Rick Seaney, the CEO of, says it's the fifth increase since December. He says US Airways Group (AMW)/(USA) and Delta Air Lines (DAL) have matched the increases on some routes. The big question is whether Southwest Airlines (SWA) will match the increases. Seaney says airlines haven't used fuel surcharges since 2008, when oil prices spiked.

JP Morgan analyst, Jamie Baker says airlines would need to raise prices further, or cut capacity, to make up for the recent increases in jet fuel prices.

(DAL) will introduce an “Economy Comfort (EC)” section on all its long-haul international flights this summer as part of its previously announced plan to invest more than >$2 billion in enhanced global products, services and airport facilities through 2013. The new section will feature (DAL)’s Economy (Y) seats, manufactured by Weber and B/E Aerospace, in a layout which will feature “up to four additional inches of legroom and +50% more recline than its standard international economy class (Y) seats,” (DAL) said, noting the product will be installed in the first few rows of the economy (Y) cabin on more than >160 747, 757, 767, 777, and A330 airplanes.

(DAL) said that customers who have purchased an international economy class (Y) ticket will be able to buy up to Economy Comfort (EC) for an additional fee of $80 to $160 one-way through its website, kiosks and call centers beginning in May for travel this summer. SkyMiles Diamond and Platinum Medallion members will have complimentary access to the section as will "up to eight companions traveling in the same reservation with Diamond and Platinum Medallions;" and customers purchasing full-fare economy class (Y) tickets.

"Just as (DAL) is investing in Business Elite, which is among the industry's most competitive premium products, it makes sense to offer enhancements to our economy class (Y) service that provide additional comfort," said (DAL) Executive VP Network Planning, Revenue Management & Marketing, Glen Hauenstein.

United Airlines (UAL) has offered an "Economy Plus (EP)" section with additional seat pitch in its domestic and international mainline airplanes for many years but the (DAL) offering appears to go further, with customers seated in the section entitled to complimentary alcoholic beverages throughout the flight.

(DAL) also announced plans to install 34 horizontal flat-bed Business Elite seats with direct-aisle access in each of its 32 A330 airplanes by 2013. (DAL) said it plans to offer full flat-bed seating in Business Elite on all international wide body flights on more than >150 airplanes by 2013.

The new A330 seat “will be 81.7 inches long and 20.5 inches wide and will feature a 120-volt universal power outlet, (USB) port, personal (LED) reading lamp, and a 15.4-inch personal video monitor with instant access to 250 new and classic movies, premium programming from (HBO) and Showtime, other television programming, video games and more than >4,000 digital music tracks,” (DAL) said.

Frontier Airlines (FRO) parent, Republic Airways plans to remove eight Embraer regional jets from its (FRO) unit and begin flying them under the Delta Connection brand. When the shift is completed in September, Republic will fly 48 airplanes under contract with Delta (DAL).

(DAL) will retire more than >100 regional and mainline airplanes over the next 12 to 18 months as it trims planned capacity growth in the face of rising fuel prices, President, Ed Bastian said. Addressing the Raymond James Growth Airline Conference available via webcast, he said, "I know this will bring a tear to many eyes but we are going to finally retire the DC-9 fleet." (DAL) removed 35 DC-9-30s and DC-9-40s last year, he said. "We are going to be retiring about 35 DC-9-50s over the next 12 to 18 months. By next year, there will be no DC-9s flying in the (DAL) fleet."

Bastian said (DAL) will also ground 26 Saab 340s, which like the DC-9s were acquired in the merger with Northwest Airlines (NWA) and around 60 50-seat regional jets, mostly Bombardier CRJ-100s. He added, "If we need to do more, we will do more. We have a fair number of airplanes that we are ready to ground."

Capacity for the first quarter is now expected to be up +3 to +5% compared to the year-ago period, down from the +5 to +7% growth forecast in its fourth quarter 2010 conference call. (DAL) is also "evaluating our full year plan in that regard and my expectation is that you will see us taking more capacity out on a full year basis," with capacity likely to rise just +1% versus 2010.

In December, (DAL) issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for up to 200 narrow bodies to replace its DC-9s, A320s and possibly its 757s. , Bastian characterized the initiative as a "Very very preliminary dialogue. I don't anticipate making a decision for quite some time; l wouldn't expect before the latter part of this year at the earliest." He said that (DAL) expects its operating margin for the first quarter to be in the 1 to 3% range, equivalent to the year-ago period, despite a $400 million increase in fuel costs. (DAL) also plans to reduce capital expenditure to $1.3 billion from the $1.6 billion figure previously announced "to account for incremental fuel costs."

Commenting on the airline's interest in acquiring MD-90s in the aftermarket he said "We can acquire a used MD-90, fully equipped with all maintenance checks done for roughly $10 million all in with 160 seats," making it a good replacement for the MD-88.

INCDT: A Delta (DAL) 737-800 en route from Ft Lauderdale (FLL) to Minneapolis made an emergency landing following the contained failure of one its (CFM56-7B) engines during initial climb. There were no injuries among the 125 passengers and crew and no damage to the airplane reported, though Broward County (Florida) police said they found "small pieces" from the engine near (FLL). (DAL) said the damaged engine would be examined to determine the cause of the failure.

(DAL) completed its interview schedule until further notice but is accepting pilot (FC) applications through (DAL) hired 155 new flight crew (FC) hires in 2010. These classes include the Compass and Mesaba flow throughs and pilots (FC) off the street. (DAL) plans to attend the job fair in Las Vegas on April 1st.

March 2011: Delta Air Lines (DAL) said it is cutting Japan capacity by -15% to -20% through at least May, including immediately dropping flights from Detroit and Los Angeles to Tokyo Haneda. (DAL)'s second-half 2011 system capacity will be down -2% compared to the year-ago period as it lowers capacity "four [percentage] points from where we are today" through the remainder of 2011, President, Ed Bastian said. Bastian stated that rising fuel costs and the ramifications from Japan's earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis necessitated the capacity cut. "We have seen jet fuel [prices] upwards of $3 per gallon and that is the price we are forecasting for the rest of the year," he said, noting that this will translate into a +35%, or +$3 billion, rise in fuel costs in 2011 compared to 2010.

(DAL) plans to cut transatlantic capacity over the remainder of the year, with fourth-quarter transatlantic capacity down -6% to -8% year-over-year, according to Bastian. It will also lower capacity in Memphis (MEM), a hub inherited through the Northwest (NWA) merger, -25% beginning this fall as it focuses on making (MEM) "a more complimentary flow hub to Atlanta," he said.

As for Japan, (DAL) generates about $2 billion annually (8% of total revenue) from Tokyo-related services. "We're actively reducing our flying into Japan on a short-term basis," Bastian said. "Over the next 2 to 3 months, we'll see some very significant drop-offs in Japan [demand]." Long-term, however, (DAL) believes "this is somewhere between a 6 to 9 month one-time event," he explained. "The financial shock of it we think is quite manageable." (DAL) pegs lost Japan-related revenue at $250 to $450 million over the remainder of 2011. Starting in May, (DAL) will "monitor how demand comes back" in Tokyo and "if demand continues to be soft, we will keep capacity out of the market."

Bastian said severe winter weather in the USA, the rise in fuel costs and the hit from Japan mean (DAL)'s first-quarter revenue will be about -$450 million lower than had been anticipated.

Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International is facing stiff competition from Beijing's Capital International Airport for the title of busiest airport in the world. The Atlanta airport retained the title, according to a preliminary report released by Airports Council International. However, the Beijing airport took second place by surpassing London's Heathrow Airport in passenger traffic. Observers noted that the combination of a strong global carrier and a low-fare airline in the Atlanta market helped the airport retain the title.

(DAL) launched daily, Miami and Boston - London Heathrow service.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) told employees it has reached an agreement to buy nine Japan Airlines (JAL) MD-90s for delivery beginning in January 2012 to replace retiring DC-9s and 50-seat regional jets. (DAL) President, Ed Bastian said last month (DAL) will retire its remaining DC-9s, numbering about 35, over the next 12 - 18 months. In a message to employees, (DAL) said the MD-90s "will be refurbished and upgraded to match (DAL)'s domestic fleet." The airplanes will not be used to add capacity, (DAL) emphasized. Financial terms were not disclosed.

(DAL) said it now has 58 MD-90s under contract with 19 flying, 15 in modification and 24 to be delivered. VP Fleet Strategy & Transactions, Nat Pieper said in the employee communication that the MD-90 "is a cost-effective airplane that helps us more efficiently maintain our flying levels as we retire regional jets and DC-9s. We'll continue to look for opportunities to acquire used MD-90s in the future." McDonnell Douglas (subsequently Boeing) built 116 MD-90s; and production ended in 2000.

Regarding fleet renewal further down the road, (DAL) confirmed in January it had issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a future order of as many as 200 firm airplanes with deliveries beginning in 2013 to be operated on mainline domestic routes. (JAL), meanwhile, has been removing airplanes from its fleet as part of its bankruptcy restructuring. Coral Gables, Florida-based AerSale last year acquired 19 747-400s from (JAL); (JAL) operated its final 747 flight this month.

April 2011: Delta TechOps (DAL) finalized an exclusive five-year engine maintenance contract with CanJet Airlines (CNJ) covering (CFM56-7B)s. The agreement also expands Delta TechOps (DAL)'s existing component and inventory logistics support covering (CNJ)'s fleet of 737-800 airplanes, a contract it won in 2009.

Citing a "measurable decline" in demand, United Continental (UCH) will trim -10% of its capacity on routes between the USA and Japan this month, followed by another -14% in May. (UCH) will make the cuts by removing some midweek flights from Newark, New Jersey, Washington DC, Los Angeles, and Seattle. Delta Air Lines (DAL) and American Airlines (AAL) earlier announced similar moves.

May 2011: Delta Air Lines (DAL) reported a hefty first-quarter loss of -$318 million, significantly widened from a deficit of -$256 million in the year-ago period, as a +29% rise in fuel costs added +$483 million to the operating expense ledger in the current period.

"We faced significant pressures on our business from rising fuel prices, the impact of events in Japan and significant industry overcapacity in the transatlantic marketplace," CEO, Richard Anderson said. He said that $150 million of the $200 million "erosion in year-on-year pre-tax earnings was attributable to transatlantic performance." In response, "in conjunction with Air France (AFA), (KLM) and Alitalia (ALI)," (DAL) will cut its post-Labor Day transatlantic capacity -8% to -10%, versus the prior year.

(DAL) also intends to ground a further 20 airplanes, including some wide body jets, in addition to the 120 it previously said would leave the fleet over the next 18 months. As a result, capacity (ASMs) for the second half will be down 4% points compared to previous plans, with post-Labor Day system capacity down 4% year-on-year. It will maintain capex spending at $1.2 billion over the next five years.

Current period results were net of a special gain of $2 million, including $29 million in mark-to-market hedging gains, mostly offset by $27 million in charges related to fleet retirements and debt extinguishment. Year-ago results included $64 million in special charges.

Total first-quarter operating revenue rose +13% to $7.75 billion; (DAL) estimated that severe winter weather and events in Japan shaved $90 million and $35 million, respectively, off of passenger revenues for the period. Operating expenses climbed +16% to $7.84 billion and (DAL) had an operating loss of -$92 million compared to income of +$68 million a year ago.

Anderson said that, "Domestic price increases and international fuel surcharges offset about 70% of the rise in fuel prices"; however, "in the Atlantic, we had little success, as the industry capacity increase of +11% put significant pressure on yields." (DAL) grew transatlantic capacity +16% in the first quarter.

On a unit basis, consolidated yield, including regional flying, rose +12% to 15.32 cents on a +1% increase in traffic to 42.9 billion (RPM)s. Capacity rose +5% to 56.2 billion (ASM)s, pushing load factor down -3.1 points year-over-year to 76.4% LF and holding the rise in passenger (RASM) to +7% to 11.69 cents. Cost per (ASM) climbed +10% to 13.94 cents. (CASM) ex-fuel and special items climbed +3% to 8.96 cents.

Anderson said (DAL) expects to be profitable in the June quarter; according to an 8-K filing it anticipates a 7% to 9% operating margin. Consolidated and mainline system capacity will be up +2% to +4% year-to-year with domestic capacity flat to down -2% and international (ASM)s up +7% to +9%. (DAL) estimates the full-year net impact of the Japan earthquake and tsunami will be around $250 million, at the low end of earlier estimates, including $75 million in the second quarter.

The Virgin Blue (VOZ) Group will expand its code share agreement with Delta Air Lines (DAL) to include more destinations in the USA and within Australia and New Zealand. This will allow Virgin Australia (VOZ)/(VAZ)/(PBI) passengers to connect from Los Angeles to San Francisco, Las Vegas, Atlanta, and Detroit, as well as the current New York and Orlando. (DAL) will code share on flights from Sydney to Perth, Adelaide, Canberra, Auckland, and Christchurch.

Reversing its previous stance, the USA Department of Transportation (DOT) tentatively approved antitrust immunity (ATI) for Delta Air Lines (DAL) and Virgin Australia (VOZ)/(VAZ)/PBI to coordinate services between the USA and Australia.

The proposed transpacific alliance between (DAL) and (VOZ)/(VAZ)/(PBI), formerly the Virgin Blue Group, received approval from the Australia Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in December 2009 but the (DOT) tentatively rejected (ATI) last September. The (DOT) said that "(DAL) and its partners had made substantial changes from their previous application, addressing concerns that immunity would provide only limited benefit to consumers."

The tentative ruling is open to formal objections for two weeks, after which the (DOT) can finalize (ATI). The Australian government had pushed the (DOT) to reverse its tentative rejection. "Antitrust immunity (ATI) will enable (DAL) and Virgin Australia Airlines (VOZ)/(VAZ)/(PBI) to provide a seamless product to customers and more options for travel between the USA and the South Pacific," (DAL) said in a statement. "The airlines will collaborate through code sharing, coordinating route and product planning and extending frequent flyer program benefits and lounge access to customers of both carriers."

It added, "The alliance will create a comprehensive, fully integrated network able to serve thousands of city-pairs in North America and the South Pacific. (DAL) alone serves a single point in Australia, Sydney, and Virgin Australia's international airline, V Australia (VAZ), flies only to Los Angeles. The antitrust immunized (ATI) alliance will allow the airlines to fully cooperate on network planning and distribution."

(VOZ)/(VAZ)/(PBI) CEO, John Borghetti stated, "The (DAL) alliance is a key plank in (VOZ)/(VAZ)/(PBI)'s strategy to build an international network of airline partners that offers global coverage."

The (DOT) noted that in the revised (ATI) application, (VOZ)/(VAZ)/(PBI) "expanded the scope of the alliance to include service to more passengers. It also said that it had completed an upgrade of its reservation system to ensure compatibility with Delta (DAL)'s system, providing consumers with a more seamless travel network. In addition, the carriers said they would serve more cities and offer more capacity at the start of their alliance than they originally proposed, providing more benefits to consumers at the outset."

SkyTeam (STM) Alliance members: Delta Air Lines (DAL), Air France (AFA)/(KLM) and Alitalia (ALI) announced they will reduce transatlantic capacity between Europe and the USA plus Canada offered through their joint venture by -7% to -9% this fall in response to significantly higher fuel prices "and fluctuating seasonal demand." Separately, (DAL) President, Ed Bastian, said that (DAL) will reduce its own transatlantic capacity by -10% to -12% year-over-year via market cancellations and frequency reductions, which is an increase over the -8% to -10% figure (DAL) mentioned during its first-quarter conference call. Overall, (DAL) will reduce post-Labor Day capacity by -4% compared to the year-ago period. "Our focus is on post-Labor Day. Our spring and summer bookings look quite strong. The demand growth is there," Bastian said. "We are seeing double-digit yield improvements across all sectors of the business." April (RASM) rose +7%, with May (RASM) up +12% to date.

(DAL) will reduce post-Labor Day domestic capacity by -1% to -3% compared to fall 2010 and is "focusing on continuing to right size a couple of our hubs as well as removing approximately 140 airplanes from our domestic system." Pacific capacity will decline -1% to -3%, he said, and Latin and Caribbean capacity will rise +2% to +4%.

Bastian added that (DAL)'s economy comfort premium coach seating product for international services "is already generating roughly $500,000 of new revenue streams a day." On the cost side, "Our goal is to get our non-fuel unit cost flat [with 2010] by the end of this year despite the -4% capacity reduction." (DAL) is aware that its unit costs have "started to creep up" and "it has our attention," he told analysts. (DAL) is expanding a company-wide early retirement program with 55,000 employees eligible, that will "give us the opportunity to reduce the workforce, continue to freshen the workforce and drive lower costs as a result," he said.

(DAL) added a sixth frequency to its Atlanta - Brasilia service on May 31.

June 2011: Delta Air Lines (DAL) and China Eastern Airlines (CEA) launched a code share agreement under which (DAL) will place its code on 49 (CEA)-operated domestic flights in China, as well as nonstop transpacific flights connecting Shanghai with Los Angeles and New York (JFK). (CEA) will place its MU code on 38 (DAL)-operated USA domestic flights as well as on transpacific service connecting Detroit and Atlanta to Shanghai.

July 2011: Delta Air Lines (DAL) reported second-quarter net income of +$198 million, down -58% from a +$467 million net profit in the year-ago period. CEO, Richard Anderson said that "high fuel prices are putting significant pressure on the industry" and touted (DAL)'s "solid profit despite more than >$1 billion in higher fuel expense." (DAL) stated that it is "recalibrating its business to succeed in a permanent, high fuel price environment."

Part of the adjustment is reducing fourth-quarter capacity -4% to -5% year-over-year, an incremental -1 point reduction from previous guidance. The cuts will come "in markets where revenues do not cover higher fuel costs," (DAL) explained. Domestic December quarter capacity will be down -1% to -3% and international capacity will be -4% to -6% lower.

Second-quarter revenue lifted +12% year-over-year to $9.15 billion, while expenses heightened +19% to $8.67 million, including a +36% jump in fuel costs to $2.66 billion. Operating income was down -44% to $481 million. Consolidated traffic increased just +0.9% to 50.37 billion (RPM)s on a +2.5% rise in capacity to 60.14 billion (ASM)s, producing a load factor of 83.7% LF, down -1.3 points. Passenger yield improved +11.5% to 15.67 cents.

(DAL) on July 1 launched five-times-weekly, Detroit - Beijing 777 service. (DAL) will launch five-times-weekly, Los Angeles - Philadelphia 737-800 service on October 2.

INCDT: A (DAL) 767-300 hit an Atlantic Southeast Airlines (ASA) Bombardier CRJ-900 on a Boston Logan taxiway, causing damage in the smaller airplane's tail area, according to the USA (FAA) and multiple news reports from the scene.

The high-profile incursion involved a moving (DAL) 767-300 bound for Amsterdam and an idle (ASA) CRJ-900 preparing for takeoff to Raleigh. The 767-300 with 215 passengers and crew returned to the terminal while the 77 passengers and crew from the CRJ-900, operating as a Delta Connection flight, had to be bussed back to the terminal. The (FAA) said it will investigate the incident.

According to "The Boston Globe," the (ASA) pilots (FC) reported "severe damage to the tail and excessive hydraulic leakage" to controllers after the 767-300's left wing clipped the CRJ-900's tail. (DAL) said both airplanes were removed from service for inspection. It confirmed that the moving 767-300 struck the vertical stabilizer of the CRJ-900. One passenger was reportedly taken to the hospital.

"The CRJ-900 sustained substantial damage, which included damage to the horizontal tail and vertical tail," the (NTSB) stated, adding that "the airplane lost fluid in all three hydraulic systems. Parts of the 767-300 winglet were sheared off and embedded in the tail of the CRJ-900. The passengers on the CRJ-900 were deplaned on the taxiway and the 767-300 taxied back to the terminal."

The (NTSB) said flight data recorders from both airplanes will be transported to its headquarters in Washington. (DAL), (ASA), the (FAA) and the Air Line Pilots Association will be parties to the investigation.

August 2011: Delta Air Lines (DAL) and Aerolineas Argentinas (ARG) announced a code sharing agreement under which (DAL) will place its code on (ARG) flights to Calafate, Cordoba, Iguazu, Mendoza, Rio Grande, Rosario, San Carlos de Bariloche, and Ushuaia; (ARG) will place its code on (DAL) service to Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York City, Orlando, Philadelphia, San Francisco, San Juan, Seattle, Washington, Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver. The agreement will begin in the fourth quarter.

(DAL) will launch weekly, Minneapolis St Paul - Liberia, Costa Rica 737-800 service in January. (DAL) will also increase six-times-weekly, Atlanta - Brasilia service to daily, on December 12 and five-times-weekly, Detroit - Sao Paulo to daily on December 19.

(DAL) and Grupo Aeromexico entered into a commercial alliance under which (DAL) will invest $65 million in Aeromexico (AMX) in exchange for ordinary shares in the Mexican airline. Benefits will include network-wide code sharing for all (DAL) and (AMX) flights between the USA and Mexico, expanded code share flights within the carriers' domestic networks and to international destinations, and co-located airport facilities.

(DAL) CEO, Richard Anderson said, "By forming an exclusive long-term commercial partnership, we will leverage the strengths of our two networks to provide expanded customer benefits and build the foundation for a joint venture (JV) to better serve the USA and Mexico marketplace."

The two carriers will also expand their existing Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) agreement and will open a new facility in the 2013 third quarter. "The (MRO) agreement will represent significant savings for our maintenance group, while continuing the extremely high quality work we receive from Aeromexico (AMX)," (DAL) President, Ed Bastian said. "The (MRO) facility is a natural next step for the two airlines, as we leverage the full benefits of our alliance."

Boeing (TBC) and Delta Air Lines (DAL) confirmed an order for 100 737-900ERs valued at more than >$8.5 billion at list prices. It is part of (DAL)'s fleet renewal effort to replace its aging, less efficient domestic airplanes. (DAL) selected (CFM56-7BE) engines to power the airplanes in an order valued at approximately $2.2 billion at list prices.

(DAL) said it will begin taking deliveries of the airplanes in the second half of 2013, with 12 airplanes in 2013, 19 airplanes per year in 2014 through 2017, and the remaining 12 airplanes in 2018. Each airplane has committed long-term financing. “The size and timing of the order will allow (DAL) to maintain its annual capital expenditure run rate between $1.2 billion and $1.4 billion over the next three years and will not impact the company's $1.2 billion of capital expenditures projected for 2011,” (DAL) said. "The 737-900ER is the perfect airplane to replace the older, less efficient airplanes in our single-aisle fleet," said (DAL) President, Ed Bastian. "Reliability and fuel efficiency are direct contributors to our financial performance. The 737-900ER will provide us a reliable airplane with the lowest fuel burn in our domestic fleet."

The deal—to replace (DAL)’s 175 DC-9-50s/MD80/90s, 172 757-200s, 16 757-300s and some earlier model A320s, was all about pricing and financing. At the end of 2010, the average age of (DAL)’s operational fleet was 15.1 years. Its DC-9-50s average 33 years and its MD-88s 20.6 years. (DAL)’s current generation narrow body fleet is made up of 83 737-700/800s and 120 A319/A320s.

(DAL) has been looking at fleet rationalization options since its merger with Northwest Airlines (NWA) in 2009, and stepped up the pace earlier this year. (DAL) follows American Airlines (AAL) as a launch customer for the 737 re-engine, which will carry the simpler 787 style designation of 737-7, 737-8, 737-9.

September 2011: Delta Air Lines and Virgin Australia (VOZ)/(VAZ) will expand their code share agreement on flights between the USA and Australia. (DAL) will add its code to (VOZ)/(VAZ) flights between Los Angeles and Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane, while (VOZ)/(VAZ) will add its code to (DAL) service between Los Angeles and Sydney.

(DAL) has launched its first Wi-Fi-equipped regional jet, a Bombardier CRJ-700 operated by Delta Connection carrier, Atlantic Southeast Airlines, with Gogo’s in-flight Internet service. Last year, (DAL) announced its plan to equip its fleet of regional jet airplanes operated by Delta Connection carriers with the onboard connectivity service. (DAL) said it is “the first airline in the world to provide in-flight Internet service onboard its regional airplanes.”

The installation of Wi-Fi on all Delta Connection two-class regional airplanes (including Embraer EMB-170, EMB-175, CRJ-700 and CRJ-900 models) is slated for completion by early next year.

"With the addition of Gogo in-flight Internet service on Delta Connection two-class regional airplanes, more than >81,000 additional customers daily will be able to stay connected just like they do onboard Delta (DAL)'s mainline fleet," (DAL) VP eCommerce, Bob Kupbens said.

Delta TechOps received (ISO) certification for its engine maintenance and landing gear shops. It received (ISO) 9001 certification for its component maintenance shop in 2008.

October 2011: Though Delta Air Lines (DAL) third-quarter fuel-related expenses increased +42% year-over-year, (DAL) said it offset 85% of a $1 billion impact of higher fuel prices and saved -$100 million in fuel spend through hedging.

(DAL) posted a net income of +$549 million, up +51% year-over-year, on a +10% increase in revenues to $9.8 billion. Excluding $216 million of special items, net income was +$765 million for the quarter. "We are successfully adapting (DAL) to the challenging economic environment by producing a solidly profitable quarter in the face of $1 billion of fuel price pressure," (DAL) (CEO) Richard Anderson said. (DAL) (CFO) Hank Halter added, "With the initiatives we have in place, we remain on track to bring our non-fuel unit costs modestly above 2010 levels in the 4th quarter despite a significant reduction in capacity."

Consolidated traffic fell -0.3% to 54.5 billion (RPM)s on a 0.6% dip in capacity to 63.3 billion (ASM)s, producing a load factor of 86.1% LF, up +0.2 points. Like many carriers, (DAL) cut capacity to/from Japan following the disaster aftermath. (DAL) told reporters and analysts it is now “in a recovery mode” and expects next year to be “a strong recovery year” in the Japanese market.

3rd-quarter expenses jumped +13% to $8.9 billion. Operating income was +$860 million, down -14% from operating income of +$1 billion in the 2010 3rd quarter.

Looking to the 4th quarter, (DAL) forecasts a continued reduction in system capacity (a -4% to -5% dip). “With continued capacity discipline, coupled with improvements we are making in our product and service, we are well positioned to deal with the impact of today's high fuel prices and an uncertain economy," (DAL) President Ed Bastian said.

Delta (DAL) TechOps signed a 5-year agreement with Air Canada (ACN) to provide repair and overhaul services for (ACN)’s fleet of 18 (PW4060) engines, powering 9 767s.

A (DAL) 767-332ER (N171DZ) seen with "FORCE FOR GLOBAL GOOD" titles on forward fuselage below window line and a "Habitat for Humanity" tail logo.

767-332ER (25985, N180DN), and 3 MD-90-30s (53532, N962DN; 53543, N933DN; 53544, N931DN), ferried from storage in Marana to Atlanta and returned to service.

November 2011: Delta Air Lines (DAL) will add new frequencies between New York (JFK) and Santo Domingo, Santiago, and San Juan, Puerto Rico this March, and will also launch daily, MD-88 New York LaGuardia - Nassau service. In June, it will add new routes and frequencies from New York (JFK) to Austin, Texas; Jacksonville, Florida; Kansas City, Missouri; New Orleans; Milwaukee; San Francisco; and Los Angeles.

(DAL) President Ed Bastian said that "the important impact of consolidation" can be seen in USA airlines' financial results, which remain positive despite a difficult operating environment characterized by high fuel prices and shaky consumer confidence.

"The USA industry is on track to generate $2 billion in net profits this year led by (DAL) and United (UAL) [Continental Holdings]," he said, noting that the (DAL) - Northwest Airlines (NWA) and United Airlines (UAL) - Continental Airlines (CAL) mergers have created a "more stable business platform" for the industry. USA major airlines posted an aggregate net profit of +$1.09 billion in the 3rd quarter.

Speaking at the Latin American & Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA) Airline Leaders Forum in Rio de Janeiro, Bastian said, "If a few years ago I told you that we'd be paying $130 a barrel for refined jet fuel, that our 2 biggest markets (the USA and Europe) are struggling economically, that Japan would be recovering from a devastating earthquake and tsunami, and that war would be going on in the Middle East (all in 1 year) you'd think we'd be on our knees, that we'd be burning cash and struggling for survival." Instead, he noted, "We're posting solid profits. We're generating significant cash flows."

Deutsche Bank senior analyst, Michael Linenberg, also speaking at the (ALTA) conference, said that from 1985 - 2005, a more fragmented USA industry generated just 3 years of positive free cash flow. But, including estimates for 2011 and 2012 earnings, an increasingly consolidated industry is on track to achieve positive free cash flow in 6 of 7 years, he said. He noted that the top 4 USA carriers controlled 60% of the country's passenger airline market in 2007 but are expected to control 82% next year.

December 2011: Delta Air Lines (DAL) celebrated its 5th anniversary of its 1st nonstop service between the USA and Africa, which was in fact the 1st nonstop link offered by any USA airline since the old Pan Am in the 1980s. The 1st (DAL) route was Atlanta - Johannesburg via Dakar, a prelude to what is now 4 African cities flown from Atlanta (Accra, Johannesburg, Lagos, and Monrovia) and 4 from New York (JFK) (Abuja, Accra, Dakar, and Monrovia). United (UAL) has since followed (DAL) with its own African flights, although American Airlines (AAL) has none.

(DAL) signed a binding agreement to invest $100 million in (GOL) (GOT) to gain preferred shares in the Brazilian airline and a seat on the (GOL) board of directors.

As part of the agreement, the carriers expanded their code sharing relationship and pledged to coordinate flight schedules to better facilitate the transfer of passengers and cargo in Brazil. (GOL) (GOT), which has moved to an all-737NG operating fleet, will also transfer its 2 remaining 767s (from its Varig (VAR) operation) to (DAL).

(DAL) (CEO) Richard Anderson said, "By forming a long-term commercial partnership, we will capitalize on the strengths of our 2 networks to provide expanded customer benefits and better serve the USA - Brazil marketplace."

(GOT) (CEO) Constantino de Oliveira Jr added, "The agreement is in line with (GOT)'s strategy of seeking out long-term partnerships and strengthening its capital structure. Our customers will benefit from additional flight options, more flexibility and new products and services." He told analysts and reporters that the agreement with (DAL) does not include any language regarding (GOT) potentially joining the SkyTeam (STM) Alliance. "We are remaining independent … [with] strong bilateral agreements outside of an alliance," he said.

January 2012: Delta Air Lines (DAL) reported 2011 net income of +$854 million, up +44% over a net profit of +$593 million in 2010. (DAL) is the airline who employs the most people in the world with 78,392 employees in 2011.

Annual revenue rose +11% year-over-year to $35.12 billion, while expenses heightened +12% to $33.14 billion, producing an operating profit of +$1.98 billion, down -11%. (DAL) "fully covered our fuel cost increase with higher revenues," President Ed Bastian said. "Our revenue momentum has continued into 2012, and we are currently seeing our January consolidated passenger unit revenues up +15% year-over-year."

(DAL)'s 2011 consolidated traffic was flat year-over-year at 192.77 billion (RPM)s on a +1% rise in capacity to 234.66 billion (ASM)s, producing a load factor of 82.1% LF, down -0.9 point. Consolidated passenger yield heightened +11% to 15.7 cents.

(DAL)'s 4th-quarter net income was +$425 million, significantly widened over a +$19 million net profit in the prior-year period. 4th-quarter revenue was up +8% to $8.34 billion. It said the 3-month period was its most profitable December quarter ever.

US Airways (AMW)/(USA) and American Airlines (AAL) have confirmed they have added a $3 surcharge each way ($6 for a round-trip) onto tickets purchased in the USA for flights to and from Europe, in the wake of the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS), which took effect January 1.

These surcharges follow the announcement by (DAL) of its $3 surcharge. According to "Reuters," United Continental (UAL)/(CAL) has also matched the charge as USA airlines seek to offset the cost of the controversial (ETS).

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International (ATL) is America’s busiest airport, having welcomed 89 million passengers in 2010 (final 2011 figures aren’t yet in). But New York is America’s busiest airline market, with 47 million passengers at New York Kennedy International Airport (JFK), 33 million at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) and 24 million at LaGuardia Airport (LGA), for an annual 2010 total of 104 million. Well (DAL), already dominant in (ATL), wants a bigger bite of the Big Apple, where the competitive landscape is far more fragmented. In a bid to consolidate loyalty among New York’s many corporate travelers, (DAL) unveiled its beefed-up schedule from LaGuardia Airport (LGA), where it acquired a large number of US Airways (AMW)/(USA) slots in exchange for slots at Washington’s Reagan Airport. The expansion involves almost 30 new routes, many to rival hubs, including Dallas (DFW), Charlotte, Denver, Cleveland, Washington (IAD), Houston (IAH), Miami, and Montreal. A large number of medium-sized cities like Kansas City, Albany, and Norfolk are included in the expansion as well. (DAL) will soon operate nearly half of all flights at LaGuardia, pushing American (AAL) to a distant second in terms of market share. More generally and even more significantly, when it comes to securing valuable corporate contracts, (AAL) will now be a distant 3rd in the overall New York market, while (DAL) will vie with United (UAL) for the top spot. (DAL) is also upgrading its LaGuardia terminals and hopes to make the airport a domestic transfer hub for the first time (currently, 96% of its LaGuardia passengers are local). (DAL) says the New York airline market is worth approximately $14 billion ($8 billion domestic and $6 billion international).

(DAL) and WestJet (WJI) said they will expand their cooperation agreement with increased code sharing starting with January 23 flights. (WJI) has been following a strategy of network growth via code sharing. It last year inked accords with both American Airlines (AAL) and (DAL). (DAL) and (WJI) began interlining in 2011, allowing passengers switching between the two carriers to purchase connecting flights on one ticket, receive boarding passes for all segments and check bags through to a final destination.

Under the new code sharing accord, (DAL) will place its code on (WJI) flights to over 15 cities, while (WJI)'s code will be added to (DAL) flights to five USA markets. "Our code share partnership with WestJet (WJI) means an array of expanded travel options in the USA and Canada for our customers, with easy access to the airline's extensive Canadian network and transborder service between Canada and the United States," (DAL) VP Alliances, Charlie Pappas said.

The European Commission (EC) has opened an investigation to assess whether the transatlantic joint venture (JV) between (AFA) - (KLM)), Alitalia (ALI) and Delta Air Lines (DAL) breaches (EU) antitrust rules. “The (EC) will investigate whether the partnership may harm passengers on certain (EU) - USA routes where, in the absence of the joint venture (JV), the parties would be providing competing services.” Under terms of the (JV), concluded in 2009 and 2010, the SkyTeam (STM) Alliance carriers fully coordinate their transatlantic operations with respect to capacity, schedules, pricing and revenue management. They also share profits and losses on their transatlantic flights.

The (EC) noted the investigation is “coherent with the (EC)'s recent enforcement action in relation to the transatlantic (JV)s of the two other airline alliances,” Oneworld (ONW) and Star (SAL) Alliances.

The (EC) formally opened antitrust proceedings into the planned transatlantic (JV) between British Airways (BAB), American Airlines (AAL) and Iberia (IBE) in April 2009. It cleared the (JV) of the three Oneworld (ONW) Alliance airlines in July 2010 after they accepted a series of legally binding commitments to address the (EC)’s competition concerns. The antitrust probe into the transatlantic cooperation between Star (SAL) Alliance members Air Canada (ACN), Lufthansa (DLH), Continental Airlines (CAL) and United Airlines (UAL) was opened in April 2009 and is still ongoing, the (EC) confirmed.

Meanwhile, the (EC) has closed its investigation into cooperation agreements between eight SkyTeam (STM) Alliance members that began in 2006 when the member airlines were Aeromexico (AMX), (AFA), (KLM), (ALI), (CAL), (CSA) Czech Airlines, (DAL), and Korean Air Lines (KAL). (CAL) has since merged with (UAL) and left SkyTeam(STM) Alliance for the Star (SAL) Alliance. “This decision was taken as part of the priority-setting process in light of significant changes in the circumstances on the relevant markets. The closure of proceedings does not, however, relieve the SkyTeam (STM) Alliance members from assessing their behavior and ensuring that they comply with (EU) competition law,” the (EC) said.

February 2012: Aeroflot (ARO) and Skyteam (STM) Alliance partner, Delta Air Lines (DAL) finally started code sharing last December after receiving approval some years ago. The code share, which was in response to growing competition on Russian - USA routes, connects (ARO) flights from Moscow Sheremetyevo (SVO) to New York (JFK), and (SVO) - Washington Dulles (IAD) and (SVO) - Los Angeles (LAX).

(DAL) sells connecting service on (ARO) flights to Russian destinations including Kaliningrad, Krasnodar, Samara, St Petersburg, Novosibirsk and Ekaterinburg. (ARO) sells connecting service on (DAL) flights on USA routes including Atlanta, Orlando, Miami, Las Vegas, (LAX), San Francisco, Denver, Boston, Washington National, and Chicago.

Delta Air Lines (DL) has expanded code share agreements with SkyTeam (STM) Alliance partners China Eastern (CEA) and China Southern (GUN) airlines, allowing both Chinese carriers to place their codes and flight numbers on (DAL)-operated flights between Seattle and Beijing (PEK). In addition, (CEA) will place its code and flight numbers on (DAL)-operated flights between Detroit and (PEK).

Perry Cantarutti, (DAL) Senior VP Europe, Middle East, Africa, & India, said in 2011 (DAL) carried around 90,000 passengers on its Russia - USA routes. Load factor was a little over >80% LF for the year. (DAL) operates daily flights between (SVO) and (JFK).
According to Cantarutti, by the end of January around 3,000 passengers used code share opportunities.

(DAL) in being the official sponsor of the New York Knicks (NBA) basketball team has benefited from the recent exploits of an emerging Chinese-American superstar, Jeremy Lin.

March 2012: Delta Air Lines (DAL) launched two new routes on 2 March; one international and one domestic. From New York LaGuardia, (LGA), the SkyTeam (STM) Alliance airline now flies daily to Nassau (NAS) in the Bahamas with MD-88 airplanes. This means that the Bahaman airport now is served from all the three main New York City airports, as JetBlue (JBL) operates 19 times weekly from (JFK) and United (UAL) 10 times a week from Newark. (DAL) also launched daily flights from Salt Lake City (SLC) to Charlotte, North Carolina (CLT) on the same date. The flights, which are operated with A320s, notably face competition from US Airways (AMW)/(USA)’s also daily A320 flights that launched only two days later.

(DAL)’s aim to create a dual-hub structure in the New York market gets under way in earnest on 25 March 2012, when it launches the first crop of new flights from LaGuardia Airport, which it views as key to capturing business passengers who yearn for direct flights for easier access to Manhattan. (DAL) is betting it can reverse fortunes in some markets being abandoned by US Airways (AMW)/(USA) at LaGuardia to create a revenue premium.

After two years of refining their original slot swap proposal, (DAL) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA) finally received the USA government’s blessing in late 2011 to trade slots at LaGuardia and Washington National airports. (DAL) secured 132 slot pairs from (AMW)/(USA) at LaGuardia and ceded 42 slot pairs to (AMW)/(USA) at Washington National Airport.

Once the second tranche of flights is introduced by (DAL) from LaGuardia in July 2012, (DAL) will operate roughly 100 new daily flights from the airport to 29 destinations, many that were served by (AMW)/(USA) with smaller airplanes.

Gogo said its air-to-ground in-flight connectivity system achieved a program milestone, the installation of its 1,500th commercial airplane. For the year to date, the company has installed Gogo on more than >140 airplanes.

"This is a big milestone for Gogo and it's obviously big for passengers who want to stay connected at 30,000 feet," said Michael Small, Gogo's President & (CEO). "Since 2008, we've worked to get Gogo up and running on nine of our airline partners, which represent approximately 87% of Internet-enabled North American commercial airplanes."

Gogo can now be found on nine major airlines including on all domestic AirTran (CQT), Virgin America (VUS) and nearly all Delta Air Lines (DAL) and Alaska Airlines (ASA_ flights. Gogo is also currently installed on more than >300 American Airlines (AAL) airplanes and on select US Airways (AMW)/(USA), Frontier Airlines (FRO), Air Canada (ACN) and United Airlines (UAL) flights. US Airways (AMW)/(USA) recently announced plans to expand Gogo service across the A320 (A319, A320 and A321) family and Embraer EMB 190 fleet. With this expansion, US Airways (AMW)/(USA) will have 90% of its mainline domestic fleet equipped with Wi-Fi Internet access, Gogo said.

April 2012: Delta Air Lines (DL) reported first-quarter net income of +$124 million, reversed from a 2011 first-quarter net loss of -$318 million. (DAL) stressed a focus on capacity discipline, and in its earnings conference call, announced it will be aligning its headcount with reduced capacity. It is currently offering a “unique one-time,” month-long voluntary retirement package to employees (closing April 30) and expects those employees to exit after the summer flying season.

First-quarter revenue rose +9% to $8.41 billion on a +2% increase in expenses to $8.03 billion, producing operating income of +$382 million, turned around from a -$92 million operating loss in the year-ago period. During the quarter, (DAL)’s fuel expense, which rose by +$250 million on a +14% increase in fuel prices, was offset by $45 million of fuel hedge gains and reduced consumption.

“This is the best March quarter (DAL) has generated since 2000,” (DAL) President, Ed Bastian said. “So clearly our plan is working.” That plan (increasing revenues, maintaining discipline with costs, capacity and capital) contributed to margin improvement in every region and in every hub across its global network during the quarter.

Consolidated traffic rose +1% to 43.35 billion (RPM)s, while capacity dropped -3% to 54.41 billion (ASM)s, producing a load factor of 79.7% LF, up +3.3 points. Yield lifted +9% to 16.67 cents, as (PRASM) jumped +14% to 13.28 cents, and (CASM) rose +6% to 14.76 cents. (CASM) ex-fuel increased +4% to 9.28 cents.

(DAL) (CEO), Richard Anderson expects the June quarter and full year to be “not only solidly profitable but also a significant improvement over last year, despite higher fuel prices.” He added, “We like the trajectory we are on so we will stay the course.”

(DAL) will launch daily, Syracuse, New York - Minneapolis, Minnesota CRJ900 service on September 6.

In the week following the release of the iPad, Gogo Director Airline Operations, Tim Lemaster said the Wi-Fi provider identified over >10,000 separate usages of iPads being used on board airplanes. The tablets continue to outpace cell phones and laptops 10 to one on airplanes, he said.

“The traditional In-Flight Entertainment (IFE)s are going to be squeezed down to a more long-haul market,” Lemaster said. He pointed out that Wi-Fi-enabled short-haul flights that take advantage of passengers’ own personal electronic devices (PEDs) could help the industry avoid buying and installing seatback systems. However, on a 3-hour flight, Gogo has seen the average passenger pushing 61 megabytes by themselves — - a challenging amount of data to support on multiple (PED)s. “It is a big challenge in the industry,” of “how to push more through the pipe, because the pipe is limited,” he said.

American Airlines (AAL) provides passengers with Samsung tablets on select routes, Manager (IFE), Erik Miller said. “Customers love them,” but he cautioned “there are pros and cons” to eliminating the seatback system altogether.

“Airlines used to take a year to 18 months looking at new airplanes, looking at new systems,” Lemaster said. “Is the right decision today to go away from a traditional (IFE)? It probably makes sense on a short-haul flight (people are already bringing on their own personal devices). I would say in the next three to five years, we will see that decision more and more, move away from the traditional (IFE).”

Delta TechOps signed a multi-year agreement with Atlas Air (TLS) to provide maintenance and support services for three 767-300ER airplanes, including 331 (APU) and (CF6) engine time and materials maintenance support, and 767-300ER (PBH) component support.

(CFM) International has signed a set of material support agreements with Delta Air Lines (DAL) to support (DAL)’s fleet of nearly 400 (CFM56-7B) engines in service or on order, as well as its maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) operations for third-party airlines.

May 2012: Delta Air Lines (DAL) said it will cut capacity by -5% on transatlantic routes in the fourth quarter as a “proactive measure” against high fuel costs and a weakening euro. It will also reduce Pacific capacity by -1% to -2%.

“Transatlantic for us continues to do well, however, we believe with the headwinds that we do see, the fact that the euro is now weakened coupled with the risks that fuel prices could spike on us at any time, we’d rather get out in front and manage that proactively,” (DAL) President, Ed Bastian said. “We're not seeing any signs of weakness per se in any one region.”

For the full year, (DAL) estimates its system capacity will be down -3% to -4%, instead of its previous forecast of -2% to -3%.

In the first quarter, (DAL)’s consolidated traffic rose +1% to 43.35 billion (RPM)s while capacity dropped -3% to 54.41 billion (ASM)s, producing a load factor of 79.7% LF, up +3.3 points.

A USA bankruptcy court approved Delta Air Lines (DAL)'s $74.3 million in debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing for Pinnacle Airlines Corporation, a significant provider of regional service for (DAL). The Memphis, Tennessee-based parent of Pinnacle Airlines, Colgan Air and Mesaba Aviation is in the middle of a Chapter 11 restructuring.

President & (CEO), Sean Menke said, “Combined 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.”

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 (DAL) is the only company willing to loan it money at this time.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) anticipates its USA northeast operations will easily take up all the fuel available from the oil refinery that (DAL) is purchasing and that payoffs of the daring strategy will be almost immediate.

(DAL) announced earlier that its Monroe Energy LLC subsidiary is acquiring an idled Pennsylvania refinery in a $180 million deal that includes $30 million state assistance from Pennsylvania. The deal is expected to be completed by the end of June and has been described as a smart strategy by one expert who tracks oil market issues for airlines. “Essentially the supply of incremental gasoline and jet fuel to the Atlantic coast is being monopolized,” Philip Verleger, President and owner of energy and commodity consulting firm, PKVerleger LLC said. “By buying this refinery, (DAL) escapes that and leaves the other airlines at the mercy of very few incremental suppliers.”

The Phillips 66 refinery complex in Trainer, Pennsylvania, including pipelines and transportation assets, has crude oil processing capacity for 185,000 barrels per day and Monroe will invest an additional $100 million to convert existing infrastructure to maximize jet fuel production. (DAL) said that its Northeast operations will “easily take all fuel we’ll produce at this point in time.”

Production at the refinery, along with multi-year agreements to exchange gasoline, diesel, and other refined products from the refinery for jet fuel, will provide 80% of (DAL)’s jet fuel needs in the USA, (DAL) said.

Monroe, a wholly owned unit that (DAL) created in 2011, began talks late last year with Conoco (now Phillips 66).

Jet fuel production is expected to begin during the third quarter, resulting in 2012 fuel savings of more than >-$100 million. (DAL)’s consolidated fuel bill last year was $9.73 billion, a +28% jump up over 2010 fuel costs. Average fuel price per gallon for the full year, including fuel expense incurred under contract carrier arrangements, jumped +31.3% to $3.06. “Savings will be immediate when we get the plant making jet fuel for us, because we capture the ‘crack spread’ — the markup that refineries charge airlines for jet fuel. We won’t pay that for fuel we get from Trainer,” a (DAL) said.

He described Trainer as “a piece in a total fuel management strategy for us that includes careful procurement, smart hedging and now a production asset. We think Trainer will not only save us money on crack spreads, but also give our hedging efforts more effectiveness since we’ll be bringing physical product to the table. Acquiring the Trainer refinery is an innovative approach to managing our largest expense," (DAL) (CEO), Richard Anderson said. "This modest investment, the equivalent of the list price of a new wide body airplane, will allow (DAL) to reduce its fuel expense by -$300 million annually and ensure jet fuel availability in the Northeast.”

Verleger said the move could be enormously profitable for (DAL). “It’s a logical extension to what the airline industry has been doing,” he said. “The airline industry has gradually taken over the management of its own fuel supply, saving itself billions over the years. This is the next logical step.”

It will also allow (DAL) to “build a fortress hub in New York,” he said. “The way the airlines survive is to build really impregnable hubs. What it is going to do is give [DAL] a huge cost advantage over all the other carriers operating in New York.”

Under a three-year agreement, BP will supply crude oil to be refined at the Trainer facility, where (DAL) will employ approximately 400 people. Monroe will report to a board of directors that includes officers from (DAL). The fuel management team currently reports through the Finance department to (DAL) (CFO), Paul Jacobson. We expect the Trainer acquisition to be accretive to (DAL)'s earnings, expand our margins, and to fully recover our investment in the first year of operations," Jacobson said. "We look forward to closing this transaction and moving quickly to begin capturing its benefits."

Monroe said it will now enter strategic sourcing and marketing agreements with BP and Phillips 66.

Venice’s long haul flights comprise three transatlantic connections and two routes to Middle East hubs. Delta (DAL) serves Venice from both Atlanta and New York (JFK), while US Airways (AMW)/(USA) has daily flights from Philadelphia. During the last year, Emirates (EAD) increased frequencies on its Dubai service to double-daily, while Qatar Airways (QTA) serves Doha daily. Air Transat (AIJ) also has weekly flights in the summer to Montreal and Toronto.

(DAL) has received an (FAA) supplemental type certificate (STC) on avionics from (ACSS), of Phoenix, and an electronic flight bag (EFB) from Astronautics Corporation of America, of Milwaukee.

The avionics applications are based on (ACSS)’s Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) products. The avionics include In-Trail Procedures (ITP) and Surface Area Movement Management (SAMM) that are part of (ACSS)’s SafeRoute suite of (ADS-B) In applications. The Class 3 (EFB) from Astronautics hosts a Universal Cockpit Display of Traffic Information (U-CDTI) application, collaboratively developed by (ACSS) and Astronautics, which enables the display of SafeRoute (ADS-B) information in the cockpit.

“Seeing these applications in action is very exciting,” said Captain Mark Bradley, (DAL)’s Chief Technical Pilot. “Delta (DAL) looks forward to working with (ACSS), Astronautics and air navigation service providers to demonstrate the benefits that are possible while using this system.”

With the (STC) in hand, (DAL) is now equipping three of its 767-300ERs as part of Eurocontrol’s (CASCADE) program and will begin flying (ITP) in the North Atlantic later this month. The goal of (CASCADE) is to coordinate the implementation of (ADS-B) avionics in Europe by putting airlines together with suppliers such as (ACSS) and Astronautics.

“This is the first of 12 airplanes and three operators that (ACSS) is working with as part of (CASCADE),” said (ACSS) General Manager, Terry Flaishans. “The (CASCADE) program is validating the benefits of (ADS-B) and (ITP). We look forward to more operators participating.”

Delta Airlines (DAL) will lease all 88 Boeing 717s from Southwest Airline (SWA)’s AirTran (CQT), the airlines said. The leases will help (DAL) accelerate its domestic fleet restructuring as it retires its 50-seat regional jets and aging DC-9s. “These actions pave the way for us to restructure and upgauge our domestic fleet, which will lower our costs, provide more pilot (FC) jobs and improve the onboard experience for our customers,” said (DAL) (CEO), Richard Anderson. “The addition of the Boeing 717s, additional large regional jets and the planned replacement of 50-seat airplanes continue (DAL)'s commitment to operating an efficient, flexible domestic fleet that offers customers even more opportunities to upgrade to our First Class (F) and Economy (Y) Comfort cabins.”

The agreement, which is contingent upon (DAL) pilots (FC) approving a new labor contract, would transfer the 717s from (SWA) to (DAL) beginning in 2013 with completion in 2015. “This is a very complex transaction that requires time and close coordination with multiple parties," said (SWA) Chief Operating Officer (COO), Mike Van de Ven. "While we do have a tentative agreement with (DAL), final details must be completed with all parties before a binding agreement between (DAL) and (SWA) can be completed.”

June 2012: From its rapid build-up at LaGuardia Airport to becoming "the official airline of Madison Square Garden," Delta Air Lines (DAL) is going all out to win the New York market.

(DAL), which already has developed a big international hub at New York's (JFK) airport, hopes that the 100 new nonstop flights and 26 new destinations it has added at LaGuardia will make it an even bigger overall player in the USA's most lucrative air travel market.

"Reuters" takes an in-depth look at (DAL)'s efforts, writing that (DAL)'s "aggressive expansion positions it to woo business travelers from No 1 United Continental Holdings (UCH), the dominant carrier at New Jersey's Newark airport, while also challenging bankrupt American Airlines (AAL) and discounter, JetBlue Airways (JBL), which are investing millions in their Big Apple hubs."

(DAL)'s expansion at LaGuardia (enabled by a unique Washington-New York "slot swap" with US Airways) has made (DAL) the biggest carrier there. And, at (JFK), (DAL) is in the midst of a $1.2 billion terminal upgrade at its second-biggest hub. Atlanta is its busiest.

"New York is a dogfight, and it's really the holy grail for many of the competitors out there," Chuck Imhof, (DAL)'s Managing Director for New York sales, said to "Reuters."

At LaGuardia, (DAL) (which gained most of US Airways (AMW)/(USA)'s flight rights there) thinks it can make money where US Airways (AMW)/(USA) could not.

"Reuters" writes "Helane Becker, a New York-based airline analyst with Dahlman Rose & Company, says LaGuardia will prove more profitable for (DAL) than it was for US Airways (AMW)/(USA) because of the use of larger planes. (DAL) is using two-class regional jets that carry 70 passengers on many of its new flights, while US Airways (AMW)/(USA) had flown lots of smaller turboprops that seated 50 or fewer."

(DAL) claims it already is seeing an increase in high-fare business passengers on its LaGuardia flights.

Delta (DAL) is stopping its Detroit - Hong Kong flights in September. It’s the kind of market that might have been too “thin” for the 777s that fly the route but better suited for a smaller 787. Unfortunately, (DAL) has pushed out delivery of those until at least 2020.

(DAL) is reducing more short haul flying at its Memphis hub. It will cut another -25 daily flights this fall, leaving just 125. Most of the cuts will be frequency reductions (ie, from three to two daily or from two to one) although it will eliminate all service to Fort Smith, Arkansas.

Aeromexico (AMX) said that Delta Air Lines (DAL)'s $65 million investment in (AMX), first revealed last year, has been authorized by relevant government officials, enabling (DAL) to take a 4.17% stake in (AMX).

(DAL) announced its intention to invest in (AMX) last year as part of its overall push into the Latin American market. It also plans to similarly invest in Brazil’s GOL (GOT).

“This is the first time a global carrier buys equity in a national Mexican airline,” (AMX) said. (CEO), Andres Conesa added, “This undoubtedly reflects (DAL)’s trust in our company and will allow us to serve a larger number of passengers through our global network.”

The carriers, both members of the SkyTeam (STM) alliance, already collectively offer flight tickets to 93 code share destinations. The two companies also plan to jointly open new Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) facilities in Mexico next year.

(DAL) will offer Wi-Fi on international flights starting early next year. Internet service will be available on (DAL)'s long-haul international fleet of more than >150 airplanhes, which include its 777, 767, 747, A330 and the transoceanic 757, starting in early 2013. (DAL) already offers WiFi on its entire domestic fleet of 550 mainline airplanes.

By the time installation of the international Wi-Fi service is completed in 2015, (DAL) will be operating about 1,000 Wi-Fi-equipped airplanes worldwide.

July 2012: Delta Air Lines (DAL) posted a second-quarter loss of -$168 million, reversed from a +$198 million profit in the year-ago period. (DAL) attributed the loss to market-to-market adjustments on open fuel hedges and other special items.

“While we are experiencing cost pressures in the near term, we are implementing the structural initiatives, including the 717 transaction and Trainer refinery acquisition, needed to achieve better cost outcomes,” (DAL) (CFO), Paul Jacobson said. “We expect to begin realizing some of these benefits in the December quarter and into 2013.”

Operating revenue rose +6% to $9.73 billion, while expenses increased +11% to $9.6 billion, producing an operating income of +$134 million, down -72% from +$481 million year-over-year.

Excluding special items, net income was +$586 million.

(DAL)’s consolidated traffic rose +8.5% to 14.23 billion (RPM)s on a -1.3% fall in capacity to 59.4 billion (ASM)s, producing a load factor of 85.1% LF, up +1.4 points.

Yield rose +6.8% to 16.73 cents and (CASM)-ex fuel was up +3.6% to 8.77 cents.

“Moving forward, we expect to have strong profitability in the September quarter with a 10% to 12% operating margin as we continue to reap the benefits of investments we’ve made in our operation and customer experience,” (DAL) (CEO), Richard Anderson said. “We have also taken important steps towards structure change on the cost side with initiatives like the domestic fleet restructuring and the refinery.”

July 2012: Delta Air Lines (DAL) said it will shut down regional subsidiary Comair (COI) after September 29.

(COI), which is (DAL)’s only wholly owned regional subsidiary following the sales of Mesaba and Compass Airlines in 2010, had already undergone a major downsizing. According to Comair (COI)’s website, (COI) still serves about 60 Canadian and USA cities with around 290 daily flights operated under the "Delta Connection" brand. Formed in 1977, (COI) carried 5.6 million passengers in 2011.

(DAL) Senior VP Delta Connection, Don Bornhorst said, “While regional flying has and will remain a key component of Delta (DAL)’s network, customer expectations and the unit costs of regional flying have evolved. In response, (DAL) recently announced its plans to reduce the total number of regional jets in its network, while adding more mainline flying. This includes reducing the number of 50-seat regional jets from nearly 350 airplanes to 125 or fewer in the upcoming years. As a result of this reduction and changes to its customer-focused business strategy, (DAL) has made the difficult decision to cease Comair (COI)’s operations.”

(DAL) added that shutting down (COI) “will not result in any significant changes to (DAL)’s network, which has enough flexibility to accommodate these changes. Currently, (COI) accounts for approximately 1% of (DAL)’s network capacity. There will be no disruption to customers and no significant adjustments to (DAL)’s flight schedule or locations served.”

(DAL) said it still plans to serve 49 destinations directly from Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky (CVG). (COI) President, Ryan Gumm told (COI)’s 1,700 employees in a memo that its unit costs were simply deemed too high to continue.

On the heels of several Gogo announcements regarding its deployment of a Ku-band satellite solution for international connectivity services, Delta Air Lines (DAL) has announced it will begin offering the service on its long-haul international fleet of over 150 airplanes beginning in early 2013. The air-to-ground Gogo in-flight Internet service is already equipped on its entire fleet of 550 domestic mainline airplanes.

Gogo last month announced a strategic (MOU) with global satellite operator (SES) for Ku-band satellite internet access, following an agreement with AeroSat for the satellite antenna, radome, antenna control and modem unit and high power transceiver.

Once completely outfitted in 2015, (DAL) expects to operate approximately 1,000 Wi-Fi equipped airplanes worldwide. More than >800 (DAL) airplanes (including all (DA)L Connection two-class regional jets) are equipped with the service, accounting for more than >3,000 flights daily.

The (FAA) is proposing two civil penalties totaling $987,500 against Delta Air Lines (DAL) for allegedly operating an A320 and a 737-800 on flights when they were not in compliance with federal aviation regulations.

The (FAA) is proposing a civil penalty of $300,000 against (DAL) for allegedly operating an A320 on 884 flights between May 25, 2010 and January 3, 2011, after deferring repair of a broken cockpit floodlight socket at the first officer (FC)’s position.

“Maintenance procedures allow the airline to defer repairs on a dome light for no more than 10 days before repairing or replacing it,” the (FAA) said, pointing out it discovered the alleged violation during a routine inspection.

The (FAA) also said it is proposing a civil penalty of $687,500 against (DAL) for failing to repair a chip in the nose radome, or nose cone, on a 737-800 after an (FAA) inspector had observed chip damage during a preflight inspection.

“(DAL)’s structural repair manual (SRM) requires (DAL) to seal radome chip damage before further flight. The en-route inspection took place on February 25, 2010, and (DAL) operated the plane on 20 additional flights between that date and March 1 while the airplane was not in compliance.” It further alleges (DAL) again failed to repair the radome during layover inspections of the airplanes on February 25 and 28.

A (DAL) spokesperson said “The safety and security of our customers and crew is (DAL)’s highest core value. At no time was either of these airplanes operating in an unsafe manner. Once (DAL) verified the concerns of the (FAA), (DAL) initiated immediate and necessary actions to ensure that the airplanes were in full compliance with the regulatory requirements.”

(DAL) has 30 days to respond to the agency.

August 2012: Hawaiian Airlines (HWI) and United Airlines (UAL) have both declared their opposition to an application by Delta Air Lines (DAL) to move its daily service from Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County (DTW) to Tokyo Haneda (HND) to Seattle Tacoma International (SEA) from September 30. Japanese and USA carriers only have been allowed slots for four daily services to and from Tokyo Haneda (HND) with the USA slots currently allocated to (DAL) for a daily Detroit and Los Angeles International (LAX) service, to Hawaiian for a daily Honolulu International (HNL) flight and to American Airlines (AAL) for a daily service to New York John F Kennedy International (JFK). (HWI) is making a case that it should be assigned (DAL)'s Detroit slot to be able to offer a second daily flight from Honolulu International (HNL), while United (UAL) would like to launch a daily Haneda flight from San Francisco International (SFO).

(DAL) has requested permission to move its daily A330-200 service between Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County (DTW) and Tokyo Haneda (HND) airports to Seattle Tacoma International (SEA) airport arguing that demand for flights to Haneda airport would have been much higher from the USA West Coast, than from the Eastern USA. The number of international flights allowed to operate to Haneda is still heavily restricted and (DAL) was one of the carriers receiving traffic rights for two daily flights from the USA to Haneda. It currently serves the airport daily from Detroit and Los Angeles. It also serves its Tokyo Narita New Tokyo International (NRT) hub daily from Detroit, Los Angeles and Seattle as well as many other USA cities.

(DAL) has named Tony Charaf as Chief Cargo Officer, replacing Neel Shah, who recently stepped down. Charaf, a 16-year veteran of (DAL) including four years as Head of Delta Cargo, will maintain his current role as President TechOps (MRO).

September 2012: Delta Air Lines (DAL) will launch new seasonal flights between New York's John F Kennedy (JFK) airport and Vancouver on 6 June 2013 and will operate the once daily service on a 737-800. The flight will operate through 3 September 2013. (DAL) says that the new service is part of its continued growth in the New York market.

Cathay Pacific Airways (CAT) flies once daily between (JFK) and Vancouver, and Air Canada (ACN) aswell as United Airlines (UAL) each operate once daily between Newark and Vancouver.

Grupo Aeromexico (AMX) and Delta Air Lines (DAL) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to build an airplane Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) facility in Queretaro, Mexico.

The companies said the new facility, to be jointly operated, will take over work now being done in Guadalajara and “expand (MRO) capabilities.” According to (AMX)/(DAL), the new facility’s heavy maintenance capacity will be seven airplanes simultaneously.

(DAL) owns 4.17% of (AMX). Financial details regarding the Queretaro (MRO) facility were not disclosed, but (AMX)/(DAL) said each will invest equally.

(DAL) President, Ed Bastian said that “efforts now move to begin constructing this facility that will usher in lower maintenance costs.” (AMX) (CEO), Andres Conesa said the facility “will consolidate and complement the heavy maintenance and overhaul services both carriers have offered at the Grupo Aeromexico maintenance base in Guadalajara over the last six years.”

Gogo will expand its air-to-ground (ATG) Wi-Fi services into Canada for seamless onboard connectivity service between the USA and Canada by the end of next year. The in-flight connectivity provider received a subordinate license from Industry Canada for Canada’s (ATG) radio frequency spectrum, it announced. The Canadian network will operate on the same frequency as its existing (ATG) in the USA, Gogo said.

Construction of a cell site is expected to begin in the fourth quarter. It will initially focus on Canadian routes served by existing USA and Canadian commercial airline customers. Gogo earlier this year announced it would deploy a Ku-band satellite solution for international connectivity services, which Delta Air Lines (DAL) will begin offering on its long-haul international fleet beginning in early 2013.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) unit Monroe Energy LLC is restarting the 185,000 barrel-per-day Trainer, Pennsylvania refinery it bought last spring, and will be producing jet fuel at full capacity by the end of this month, the one-year anniversary of the refinery's closure by ConocoPhillips. "Monroe Energy is in the process of restart right now, and is on track to begin producing jet fuel at full capacity by the end of the month," said Trebor Banstetter, a spokesman for the airline.

Deliveries of crude into storage tanks began in late August, ahead of the planned post-Labor Day restart. (DAL) is the first USA airline to buy an oil refinery, aiming to manage growing fuel costs. (DAL) expects the refinery to save -$300 million off its annual fuel bill, which reached $12 billion last year.

(DAL)'s President, Ed Bastian said that (DAL) could save even more as (DAL) was looking to bring in Bakken crude from North Dakota to supply the refinery at prices that could be equivalent to West Texas Intermediate or lower. The refinery currently processes more expensive crude from the North Sea and Africa.

(DAL) expected to spend about $100 million to increase jet fuel production to 52,000 bpd, or about 32% of output, while reducing production of gasoline. Supply and offtake deals with BP and Phillips 66, the refinery's previous owner, will help add more jet fuel to stocks.

Under a three-year agreement, BP will supply the crude oil to be refined at the facility. Monroe Energy will exchange gasoline and other refined products from Trainer for jet fuel from Phillips 66 and BP elsewhere in the country through multi-year agreements.

The refinery had been shut down at the end of September 2011 by then-owner ConocoPhillips, looking to limit exposure to the less lucrative East Coast refining space. At that time, the refinery was at least a year overdue for its five-year major turnaround of all the units.

After the deal closed, (DAL)'s Monroe Energy subsidiary began a complete turnaround on the plant, with the restart of some units targeted for sometime in early September.

(DAL) has opened a new airport lounge in New York LaGuardia; now has 54 airport lounges worldwide.

(DAL)'s fleet restructuring plan will leave it with -15% fewer airplanes but capacity will be maintained at current levels. (DAL) Senior VP Financial Planning, Analysis & Investor Relations, Gary Chase said (DAL)’s regional jet fleet will be reduced by -200 airplanes or more by 2015.

“A portion of our fleet that sticks out like a sore thumb is the 50-seat airplanes,” Chase said. By phasing out smaller airplanes and replacing them with larger, more efficient airplanes, Chase said (DAL) will increase revenues, lower costs, maintain capacity discipline and improve the customer experience.

(DAL) will close down its Comair (COI) regional subsidiary from the end of September.

In May, Southwest Airlines (SWA) and (DAL) announced an agreement in which (DAL) will sublease the 88 717s that (SWA) inherited in its acquisition of AirTran Airways (CQT). The 717s will replace DC-9s and 50-seat Bombardier (BMB) CRJs.

October 2012: Delta Air Lines (DAL) posted third-quarter net income of +$1.05 billion, nearly doubling the +$549 million in net income earned in the year-ago quarter.

(DAL) said non-fuel costs have grown “faster than we’d prefer” in the last two quarters, but it expects production at Trainer Refinery to generate a contribution of “breakeven to $25 million” in the fourth quarter. The refinery began jet fuel production in the September quarter and is expected to be fully operational before the end of the year. “We are working to change the cost dynamic in this industry across fuel,” (DAL) (CEO), Richard Anderson said, adding that “so far” the results have “validated” its strategy.

Third-quarter operating revenue rose +1% to $9.92 billion on a -4% decrease in operating expenses to $8.62 billion, producing an operating income of +$1.31 billion, up +52% year-over-year. “Our solid revenue performance reflects the benefits of capacity discipline, strong operational performance and the investments we have made in our products and service,” (DAL) President, Ed Bastian said. “We expect our revenue performance to benefit from our continued capacity discipline and further corporate travel gains and we are forecasting our October unit revenues to increase +4% to +5% year-over-year.”

Excluding special items, net income was +$768 million. Among the special items were +$39 million in gains associated with the exchange of slots at New York-LaGuardia and Washington-Reagan National and a $122 million charge for facilities, fleet and other, including charges resulting from the closure of Comair (COI).

During the quarter, (DAL)’s consolidated traffic fell -1% year-over-year to 53.8 billion (RPM)s on a -2% dip in capacity to 62.3 billion (ASM)s, producing a load factor of 86.4% LF, up +0.3 points. Yield lifted +3% to 16.15 cents and (CASM), -ex fuel was up +6% to 8.55 cents.

(DAL) expects to begin seeing benefits of its previously announced fleet restructuring in the back half of 2013. Its recent agreement with pilots (FC) was “critical to this initiative,” Anderson said. Under the accord with pilots (FC), (DAL) has the ability to take up to +70 additional 76-seat airplanes as it retires the 50-seat airplanes in its fleet.

It was announced this month that (DAL) is ramping up its presence in Seattle in the USA Pacific Northwest. Although (DAL)’s presence at the airport is not that of a hub operation, (DAL) does already operate five intercontinental routes out of Seattle; Amsterdam, Paris (CDG), Osaka Kansai, Beijing, and Tokyo Narita – three of which have been launched in the last 2.5 years. Supporting this network is a domestic network of only seven routes, mostly from (DAL)’s hub airports; however, (DAL) has also announced a deepened partnership with Seattle’s dominant airline, Alaska Airlines (AAL), which currently provides a feeder network of 66 routes.

Next year, (DAL) is looking to expand its Seattle operations with two new routes across the Pacific Ocean. In addition to boosting capacity by +26% on the Tokyo Narita route as a result of switching airplane type from a 298-seat A330-300 to a 376-seat 747-400, (DAL) is applying to the USA (DOT) for rights to also serve Tokyo Haneda from 30 March. The daily operation would replace the route to the Japanese capital’s downtown airport from Detroit that (DAL) just dropped, currently leaving (DAL) with a service from Los Angeles to Haneda only. (DAL) would also be the only carrier on a Haneda route from Seattle, whereas it already faces direct competition from both United (UAL) and (ANA) on the busy Narita route.

CLARIFYING NOTE BY READER ERIK FUGLVOG: "Fact Check re- above article: - Actually, Delta (DAL) (through its merger with Northwest Airlines (NWA)) has been operating (SEA) - (NRT) since 1947 (over 65 years!) and has operated (SEA) - (AMS) since the late 90's ((DAL) technically is the longest time operator of long haul international service from (SEA).)

From 17 June next year (also subject to regulatory approval) (DAL) intends to launch its second route to China out of Seattle, operating daily to its SkyTeam (STM) Alliance partner, China Eastern (CEA)’s Shanghai Pudong hub with 208-seat 767-300ERs. Currently, (DAL) only serves Shanghai from Detroit and Tokyo Narita.

(DAL)’s spokesman, Trebor Banstetter said: “Seattle is a large local market with considerable business demand to China and Shanghai. With this service, we want to tap that demand as well as leverage our partnership with Alaska Airlines (ASA) that provides feed in the same way as we do at our own hubs.”

Port of Seattle Commissioner, John Creighton added: “Shanghai is one of the top under-served routes our community has been asking for. This continues to boost the profile of Seattle as a Gateway to Asia and this will benefit the entire region.”

If both new routes are approved, this means that (DAL) next summer will offer more than >10% more seat capacity overall out of Seattle than it did this past summer.


(DAL) will launch service to Paris Charles de Gaulle from Newark (daily, June 1) and Boston (seasonal, daily, June 1) and will increase service to Atlanta (3X- to 4X-weekly) and Detroit (seasonal 767-300 extends year-round on A330-300).

Delta (DAL) TechOps signed a three-year time and materials contract with (NEOS) (NEO) to provide maintenance and repair on the Italian carrier’s (CFM56-7B) engines.

November 2012: According to the UK's "Sunday Times", Delta Air Lines (DAL) wants to partner with AirFrance (AFA)/(KLM) to buy Virgin Atlantic (VAA) by purchasing the 49% stake in (VAA) held by Singapore Airlines (SIA), (whom has long indicated it has wished to be rid of it). Another factor is that 49% is the limit under foreign ownership rules, and (AFA)/(KLM) could buy Sir Richard Branson's 51%, so that the three SkyTeam (STM) Alliance partners could together assume full control.

(DAL) has aggressively elevated its USA transcontinental service by promising to offer long haul style, fully flat BusinessElite seats plus gourmet meals and wine on all flights between New York (JFK) and Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle.

Delta Air Lines (DL) said its canceled flights due to Hurricane "Sandy," which hit the USA northeast, will negatively impact their October revenues by -$45 million and decrease October profit by -$20 million. The more than >3,500 canceled (DAL) flights in October caused a -2% system capacity reduction year-over-year for (DAL). But (DAL) said it expects a lesser impact to its November operational results.

JetBlue Airlines (JBL) canceled a total of 1,700 flights because of the storm, while Southwest Airlines (SWA) canceled 1,365; AirTran (CQT) canceled 403; United Airlines (UAL) canceled 5,600; and US Airways (AMW)/(USA) canceled nearly 4,200. The carriers said it was too early to know the financial impact.

Flight tracker service reported the hurricane caused a total 20,055 flight cancelations for North America. Most of these were made well in advance as Sandy’s path became clear and airlines began stopping flights into the region from Sunday, October 26.

The majority of cancellations were on Monday (7,977) followed by Tuesday (6,563).

(DAL) reported that its New York Kennedy, New York LaGuardia and New York Newark operations were back to full status.

(DAL) is relocating its commercial headquarters for Latin America & the Caribbean from Atlanta to São Paulo from January 1, 2013. (DAL) VP for the region, Nicolas Ferri will be based in São Paulo, the first time a USA carrier has placed a top executive in the region. This decision underscores (DAL)’s strategic focus on Latin America and the Caribbean as a major pillar of its global business strategy. It invested $3 billion in products and services, aimed at filling the needs of Latin customers. (DAL) recently made several enhancements in the market, including upgrades in business elite and coach cabins services, the introduction of a Spanish language section in (DAL)'s in-flight magazine, a Facebook channel in Portuguese, and real-time customer assistance services in both Spanish and Portuguese.

"Under Nicolas’ leadership, over the past two years, (DAL)’s revenue in Latin America and the Caribbean has grown +20%,” (DAL) Senior VP Global Sales, Steve Sear said.

Ferri said the move “gives (DAL) as a USA carrier, a unique perspective and allows us to participate in the day-to-day affairs of aviation industry in the region, and being part of its evolution.”

(DAL)’s investments in the region comprise a $65 million long-term exclusive commercial alliance with Aeromexico (AMX), a code sharing agreement with Aerolíneas Argentinas (ARG), and a $100 million long-term commercial alliance with (GOL) (GOT).

(DAL) operates 1,000 weekly flights between the region and the USA, and serves 43 destinations in 32 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Delta TechOps named Peter Turner VP Business Development & (MRO). Turner joins the company from Rolls-Royce (RRC) North America where he served as VP Customer Business.

December 2012: The balance of power in the London Heathrow (LHR) long-haul market may once again shift, as the Virgin Group and Singapore Airlines (SIA) appear to be moving closer to selling a stake in Virgin Atlantic (VAA), possibly to Delta Air Lines (DAL) and AirFrance (AFA)-(KLM).

(SIA) in a short statement to the Singapore stock exchange says it is “in discussions with interested parties concerning the possible divestment of its 49% shareholding in Virgin Atlantic (VAA).” But it adds, “These discussions may or may not result in a transaction.”

The disclosure came after UK newspaper "The Sunday Times," without citing sources, reported that (DAL) is in talks with (SIA) to buy its 49% stake in (VAA). The report also says (DAL)’s SkyTeam (STM) Alliance partners AirFrance (AFA)-(KLM) is planning to buy part of the Virgin Group’s 51% stake in (VAA).

(DAL), meanwhile, is not commenting on the story, calling it rumor and speculation. If (DAL) proceeds with the acquisition, the move would provide a major boost to the (STM) Alliance’s access at (LHR), and at the same time curtail Star (SAL) Alliance’s reach at the airport, which has been limited by Lufthansa (DLH)’s sale of its BMI (BMA) division to the International Airlines Group (IAG) unit British Airways (BAB). (BAB) currently is the dominant player on transatlantic services from (LHR), a position that is strengthened by its joint venture with Oneworld (ONW) Alliance partner American Airlines (AAL).

In contrast, (VAA)’s strategic position has become weaker as its competitors grow. This prompted (VAA) in 2010 to appoint an adviser to investigate potential growth options, including alliance membership and buying a stake in another airline. Sir Richard Branson, (VAA)’s controlling shareholder through his Virgin Group, has said that he wants to remain involved in (VAA) even if part of (VAA) is sold.

(VAA)’s biggest asset is its transatlantic network from (LHR), the main gateway into the UK and one of the world’s most important business destinations. But (VAA) has been losing money. In the 12 months ending February 29, (VAA) posted a loss of -£80 million/-$128.3 million, compared to a profit of +£18.5 million in the previous year. (VAA)’s (CEO), Steve Ridgway, at the time said the loss was due to “sky-high fuel prices,” global economic uncertainty and a +25% increase in passenger duty fees. Ridgway is due to retire from his position in early 2013.

(VAA) is particularly vulnerable to high fuel prices. Its fleet of 42 airplanes includes four A340-300s, 17 A340-600s and 13 747-400s. These four-engine airplane types burn more fuel and are more expensive to maintain than newer models. (VAA) has taken steps to update its fleet by ordering 16 787-9s and six A380s. First delivery of the 787-9s and A380s is in 2014 and 2015, respectively, says (VAA).

Despite the cost exposure, (VAA) has valuable airport slots and may be of strategic importance to a USA carrier. It will still be difficult for (SIA) to secure a price comparable to what it paid for its stake in early 2000. (SIA) paid £600.25 million for the 49% share, which included a capital injection of £49 million. The deal valued (VAA) at £1.2 billion, but (SIA) has since written down the value of the shareholding.

Later on December 11th, Delta Air Lines (DAL) said it will buy almost half of Virgin Atlantic (VAA) for $360 million as it tries to catch up to rivals in the lucrative New York-to-London travel market.

(DAL) plans to form a joint venture (JV) with (VAA) so they can sell seats on each other's flights, share the costs and profits, and set the flight schedules in ways that help both airlines. American Airlines (AAL) has a similar deal with British Airways (BAB).

Because (DAL) would be setting fares and schedules in coordination with an airline it used to compete with, it said it will need antitrust (ATI) approval from USA and European regulators in order to form a (JV). (DAL) said the share purchase will happen with or without antitrust (ATI) approval.

(DAL) is aiming to have the joint operation running by the end of 2013. The deal won't add flights between the USA and Britain. But travel will be more seamless. Travelers would be able to buy one plane ticket from, say, Lansing, Michigan on Delta (DAL) and connect in New York to a (VAA) flight to London. Travelers from Europe will also have a smoother transition onto (DAL) flights to locations inside the USA. (DAL) said their frequent flier programs would be linked, too.

Combined, (DAL) and (VAA) have 31 flights a day in each direction between North America and the UK, including nine each way between (LHR) and New York (JFK) and Newark (EWR) in New Jersey.

By itself, (DAL) has only three flights a day straight from (JFK) to (LHR). (AAL) and (BAB) have 14 between them. And that's the problem. New York-to-London and back is one of the world's prime business travel routes. (DAL) has loads of travelers coming into its New York hubs at (JFK) and LaGuardia. But without more flights to bring those travelers on to London, (DAL) is at a serious disadvantage.

Landing rights at (LHR) are limited, so (DAL) can't just add more flights there.

Buckingham Research analyst, Daniel McKenzie wrote that (DAL) needed to fix its shortfall of London flights in order to win more business travelers. He estimated that the deal would bring (DAL) hundreds of millions of dollars in added revenue starting in 2014. Some of that business will probably come at (AAL)'s expense, since it also has a hub at (JFK), McKenzie wrote.

Sir Richard Branson will still own more than half of (VAA), which will continue to fly as a separate airline under its own name. In 2000, Branson sold a stake to Singapore Airlines (SIA) for 600.3 million pounds, or about $960 million at the time. That's the share that (DAL) is buying.

(VAA) has been struggling. It reported a pretax operating loss of -80.2 million British pounds in its most recent fiscal year, even as the number of passengers it carried rose +2%. It indicated in 2010 that it might be interested in some kind of tie-up with another airline. British media reports at that time said that (DAL) was interested.

Branson's involvement gives (VAA) strong name recognition, but it is much smaller than (DAL). (VAA) has 38 airplanes, compared to 725 for (DAL). (DAL) carries some 160 million passengers per year, almost 30 times more than (VAA).

Shares of (DAL) rose 73 cents, or +7.1% to $10.87 in morning trading.

(DAL)'s purchase of (SIA)’s 49% share in (VAA) for USD360 million continues the massive USA airline’s international expansion and opens up a major front in the battle for (LHR)’s valuable traffic flows. For (VAA), it once again means (VAA) has been saved from decline and even oblivion. The previous savior, (SIA), paid almost three times as much, but had no prospect of leveraging the deal in the way (DAL) potentially may.

Almost since the day it acquired the stake for GBP600 million, (SIA) has been trying to sell out of its barren partnership with Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group. It has been a long and painful (not to mention embarrassing) saga. (SIA) has long since stopped trying to leverage its relationship.

(DAL) meanwhile is in global expansion mode, growing organically at home and investing in Gol (GOT) and Aeromexico (AMX) over the past year, as it sees a window of opportunity in the evolution of world aviation. (DAL), the mega-airline is also expanding through metal neutral agreements on the Atlantic and the Pacific. This is a time when seemingly anything is now possible, where AirFrance (AFA) can combine with one of the despised Gulf airlines, Qatar Airways (QTA) can join the Oneworld (ONW) Alliance, and Emirates (EAD) can team up with arch rival, Qantas (QAN).

(DAL) will extend its weekly seasonal New York (JFK) - Aruba service to daily, year-round service on December 15 with a 737. (DAL) inaugurated services on winter sun routes from New York (JFK) and LaGuardia (LGA) on 15 December. Notably, the twice-daily service to Sarasota, Florida (SRQ) was previously offered via either Atlanta or Detroit.

The State of California has filed a lawsuit against Delta Air Lines (DAL), alleging (DAL) is in noncompliance with state laws regarding online privacy. Under California law, companies collecting “personally identifiable information” online, including through mobile devices, must post a privacy policy informing consumers of what information is collected and how it is used. California Attorney General, Kamala Harris said the “Fly Delta” smartphone app, which allows passengers to check-in for flights and make other transactions, has no posted privacy policy.

By filing the suit in a San Francisco court, Harris said the state is seeking “to enjoin (DAL) from distributing its app without a privacy policy” and to impose “penalties of up to $2,500 for each violation.” Harris said, “California law is clear that mobile apps collecting personal information need privacy policies and that the users of those apps deserve to know what is being done with their personal information.” Unfortunately, (DAL) generally does not make public statements about pending litigation.

(DAL) placed a firm $1.85 billion order for 40 Bombardier (BMB) CRJ900 NextGen jetliners. The order includes options for an additional 30 CRJ900s, which would increase the order to $3.29 billion. The jets will operated by Delta Connection, the regional subsidiary of (DAL). “We selected Bombardier (BMB)’s CRJ900 NextGen airplane specifically because it is proven to be the most cost-efficient jet airplane in its class for our operations and this regional jet satisfies perfectly the agreement that we have made with our pilots (FC) to add +70 more 76-seat jetliners to our fleet,” said Ed Bastian, President of (DAL).

The two companies did not announce a projected delivery date for the airplanes. The order from (DAL) follows a recent large order for Bombardier (BMB) business jets from VistaJet.


January 2013: Delta Air Lines (DAL) reported a 2012 net income of +$1.01 billion, up +18% from a +$854 million net profit in 2011.

Full-year revenue rose +4% to $36.67 billion on a +4% increase in expenses to $34.49 billion. Operating income rose +10% to $2.18 billion.

(DAL) (CEO), Richard Anderson said that “2013 will be the really strong year for the company.”

(DAL)’s fourth quarter was drastically impacted by Hurricane Sandy in November and December, which resulted in a -$100 million negative impact on its airline and refinery operations. Fourth-quarter net income was +$7 million, a -$418 million drop from +$425 million in the year-ago period.

The storm slowed production and lowered efficiency levels at the plant, (DAL) said, resulting in a -$63 million net loss for the quarter, although it is expected to produce a “modest” profit in the March quarter. It has entered into discussions to bring Bakken crude to Trainer, which will lower the overall total input costs at the refinery. Trainer will receive a shipment of the Bakken crude this quarter as a test run. The company also took a $122 million hit in the fourth quarter on charges for facilities, fleet and other charges associated with its domestic fleet restructuring.

Other than the impact of the storm, Anderson told investors and analysts everything else “has gone as planned,” he said, reaffirming (DAL)’s purchase of the refinery. “Since we’ve closed on the refinery and spent a lot of time on the turnaround process, we’ve become more certain on how prudent that investment is for our company.”

(DAL)’s fourth-quarter revenues rose +2% to $8.6 billion. Operating income fell -52% year-over-year to $352 million.

(DAL) anticipates it will begin to realize the benefits of the $1 billion cost improvement initiative in the second half of this year, with continued program ramp-up through 2014. Overall, it expects to achieve $600 million in benefits from these initiatives in the second half of 2013, and reach the $1 billion level in 2014.

Consolidated traffic for the full year was flat at 192.9 billion (RPM)s on a -2% drop in capacity to 230.4 billion (ASM)s, resulting in a load factor of 83.8% LF, up +1.7 points.

(DAL) will be in the spotlight in 2013 due to its acquisition of the Pennsylvania oil refinery as a hedge against the widening spread between crude oil prices and jet fuel costs. Airlines will be watching to see if the move really does produce at least $300 million in savings, as (DAL) estimates. (DAL) is also at the forefront of the shake-up in the USA regional airline industry, with plans to remove at least 200 of the 325 50-seat airplanes in its network by 2015. Its plans for achieving these cuts should become clear by early next year. (DAL) drew even more attention last month, when it agreed to purchase a 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic (VAA), boosting its access to London's Heathrow Airport.

Delta (DAL) became the second carrier, after Allegiant Air (WJE), to inaugurate new routes to Montrose, Colorado (MTJ) in the last month of 2012, as it connected the popular ski resort and its Atlanta (ATL) hub on 22 December. While daily flights are initially offered on the route, the frequencies will be reduced to weekly from 10 January to 30 March, when it terminates. All flights will be operated using MD-88s.

(DAL) released its new "Fly Delta" iPad app, which allows customers on commercial flights to see exactly where the airplane is and how fast it is traveling. The “glass bottom jet” feature offers a view of the plane flying over an interactive map, with social network integration that calls out landmarks and notifications from a customer’s social network. For example, passengers are able to see places where their friends have checked into via Four Square when the plane is currently flying over that location.

(DAL) said the new app is part of a $140 million technology investment aimed at improving its customers' digital experience. (DAL) currently has more than >800 airplanes equipped with Wi-Fi.
"The incredible functionality and innovation found in the new iPad app embodies all that we're doing to further improve the digital experience customers have with (DAL). All of this represents the largest investment to and digital technology in more than a decade,” said Glen Hauenstein, Executive VP Network Planning, Revenue Management & Marketing at (DAL).

It has also upgraded its website and kiosks as well as adding new apps.

February 2013: The USA Department of Transportation (DOT) approved Delta Air Lines (DAL)'S request to operate daily nonstop flights between Seattle and Tokyo Haneda. (DAL) will operate the flight on 225-seat 767-300ER airplanes from 1 June.

The remaining three USA carrier flights to Haneda are American Airlines (AAL) from New York John F Kennedy (JFK), (DAL) from Los Angeles, and Hawaiian (HWI) from Honolulu.

(DAL) is in the midst of an expansion of Seattle as a focus city, that includes new service to Los Angeles from 8 April, to Shanghai Pudong from 17 June, and increased service to (JFK) from 1 June.

Delta TechOps inaugurated a line maintenance operations center at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, with service set to begin this summer.

March 2013: Delta Air Lines (DAL) will increase Atlanta service to Bozeman (2X-weekly to 3X-weekly) and Kalispell (weekly to 2X-weekly) on June 22. (DAL) has filed an application with the USA Deptartment of Transportation to add additional nonstop flights between Sao Paulo and New York and Atlanta, as it continues its Latin American expansion. If approved, (DAL) will begin second daily, Sao Paulo flights to Atlanta and New York in 2013.

So Delta Air Lines (DAL) is expanding at Los Angeles. What else is new? (DAL) will launch Los Angeles service to Nashville (daily, April 8), Seattle, (3X-daily, April 8), San Jose, Costa Rica (4X-daily, July 1) 757-200 service, Spokane (daily, June 10), San Jose, California (July 1) and seasonal service to Boston (daily, June 10), Anchorage (18X-weekly, June 21) and Bozeman (weekly, June 22).

(DAL) will boost frequency to Guadalajara, New Orleans, Oakland, Phoenix, Puerto Vallarta, Sacramento and San Francisco as well. Stephen Hedden, Team Leader for Network Planning at (DAL), who focuses on the USA west coast, said that (DAL) is taking advantage of "opportune flying" on airplanes that have down time at either Los Angeles or outstations with its new flights. (DAL) is testing markets to see where best to allocate its airplanes out west beyond its third quarter schedule, he added.

Even with the expansion, (DAL) will still be third fiddle to United Airlines (UAL) and American Airlines (AAL) in terms of available seat kms (ASKs) out of Los Angeles in July. (UAL) will have a 14.1% market share with 1.9 million (ASK)s, (AAL) a 12.7% share with 1.7 million (ASK)s, and (DAL) a 10.3% share with nearly 1.4 million (ASK)s.

While it may be third, (DAL) benefits from a large network of partner airlines at the airport. Its strategic partners: Alaska Airlines (ASA), AirFrance (AFA)-(KLM) and Virgin Australia (VOZ), and code share partners: Aeromexico (AMX), China Airlines (CHI), China Eastern (CEA), China Southern (GUN), Hawaiian Airlines (HWI), Korean Air (KAL) and WestJet (WJI), all serve Los Angeles.

It will be interesting to watch what routes (DAL) sticks with and what it does not, as it tests out markets Los Angeles, especially as the competitive landscape changes with the American (AAL)-US Airways (AMW)/(USA) merger.

(DAL), which already operates to 14 destinations from Raleigh Durham, North Carolina (RDU), added Tampa, Florida (TPA) to its offering from the airport on 2 March. Daily services on the 950-km route are now operated using ExpressJet’s CRJ200s in competition with Southwest Airlines (SWA)’s 20 weekly departures.

(DAL) and (JFK) (IAT) said they will spend $175 million to further expand New York (JFK) Airport’s Terminal 4. (JFK) (IAT) is wholly owned by Schiphol USA, a subsidiary of Amsterdam Airport owner and operator the Schiphol Group, and privately operates Terminal 4 under a development/management lease from the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey (PANYNJ). In 2011, (DAL), (JFK) (IAT) and (PANYNJ) reached a deal under which (DAL) would move its international operations at (JFK) to Terminal 4 (the airport’s old International Arrivals Building, first opened in 1957) and $1.2 billion would be spent to upgrade and expand the facility. The revamped terminal, to be around 2 million square feet, is set to open in May.

(DAL) and (JFK) (IAT) said last month an additional $175 million project has been agreed to that will add another +11 gates and +75,000 square feet to Terminal 4’s Concourse B. (DAL) will spend $5 million of that total “for Information Technology (IT) enhancements.”

(DAL) (CEO), Richard Anderson said, “This additional expansion project at Terminal 4 is another in a long line of substantial investments we are making in New York.” When the additional expansion is completed, Terminal 4 will have 27 gates dedicated to (DAL). These will handle not just (DAL)’s international operations but also its regional jet operations at (JFK).

(KLM) Royal Dutch Airlines will launch a series of biofuel-powered intercontinental flights from New York (JFK) Airport to Schiphol Amsterdam Airport on a 777. The initiative is in partnership with Schiphol Group, Delta Air Lines (DAL), and the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. The flight series will depart weekly from (JFK) for 25 weeks running partially on sustainable biofuel.

April 2013: Delta Air Lines (DAL) reported first-quarter net income of +$7 million, down -94% from a net profit of +$124 million in the year-ago period, on a +1% year-over-year rise in revenue to $8.5 billion.

(DAL) said its quarterly net profit was affected by $102 million in special charges for facilities, fleet and other items. It also recorded $24 million in mark-to-market gains for fuel hedges. Absent special items, (DAL) recorded a first-quarter net profit of +$85 million, which (CEO), Richard Anderson said marked “(DAL)'s strongest March quarter financial performance in over a decade.” He added that (DAL) is “well positioned to generate significant improvements in (DAL)’s profitability going forward.”

(DAL)’s first-quarter operating expenses increased +3% year-over-year to $8.28 billion and operating profit was +$222 million, down -42% from +$382 million in operating income in the 2012 first quarter.

(DAL)’s first-quarter consolidated traffic lowered -1% year-over-year to 43.08 billion (RPM)s on a -3% cut in capacity to 53.02 billion (ASM)s, producing a load factor of 81.2% LF, up +1.5 points. Passenger yield increased +2% to 17.02 cents.

(DAL) and Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA) formally filed an antitrust immunity (ATI) application with the USA Department of Transportation (DOT) for their joint venture (JV).

(DAL) has requested 14 unrestricted frequencies for second daily flights to Sao Paulo from both Atlanta and New York's John F. Kennedy (JFK) airports this year, and seven frequencies to maintain ts service between Detroit and Sao Paulo in 2014.

(DAL) last year, announced it would spend $360 million to acquire Singapore Airlines (SIA)’s 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA). As part of the deal, (DAL) and (VAA) will launch a transatlantic (JV) operating on a metal neutral basis in which the airlines will share costs and revenue from all (JV) flights. The (JV) plans to operate 31 peak-day round-trip flights between the UK and North America, 23 of which will operate at London Heathrow (LHR). (DAL) estimates the (JV) will operate about 24% of the passenger seats between (LHR) and the USA.

In the application to the (DOT), (DAL) and (VAA) noted that “nearly 60% of the slots at (LHR) Airport are controlled by the American Airlines (AAL)/British Airways (BAB) joint venture (JV) which, as a result, dominates air travel between the USA and the UK, including the New York - London market, which is the most important business market in the world.” The (DAL)/(VAA) (JV) “will offer significant competition in the market,” the carriers said.

(VAA) (CEO), Craig Kreeger said, “We are confident that the (DOT) will recognize this consumer benefit.”

(DAL) said that if the (JV) gains antitrust immunity (ATI), it plans to begin new service between Seattle and London Heathrow. The airlines have said they expect both the share purchase and the (JV) to be in place by the end of this year.

(DAL) is upgrading its A330 fleet to include full flat-bed seats in the BusinessElite cabin and new “slim line” seats, which offer more personal space throughout the economy (Y) cabin. There are 32 A330s in the (DAL) fleet.

See video on US Fallen Soldier Returns Home - -

What a tribute and thank you Delta Airlines (DAL)! Please take a moment to view this. It will warm your heart

This is done at (DFW) International Airport. As you watch the video, notice the number of people watching from inside the terminal. Many
people have no idea (DAL) does this.

May 2013: Delta Air Lines (DAL) opens seasonal daily, New York (JFK) - Shannon 757-200 service on May 11, in cooperation with AirFrance (AFA)-(KLM). It also begins 6X-weekly, New York (JFK) - Keflavik 757-200 service on June 2, in cooperation with (AFA)-KLM. Also seasonal 6X-weekly, Atlanta - Venice 767-300 service opens June 2, in cooperation with Alitalia (ALI).

(DAL) commenced daily operations on the route from Salt Lake City, Utah (SLC) to Madison, Wisconsin (MSN) on May 18th, and now operates to this capital of Wisconsin from six points across the USA. (DAL) offers daily CRJ700-operated flights on the 1,900 km route. “We’re pleased to expand existing Madison service with a new, convenient non-stop flight to Delta’s hub in Salt Lake City,” said Joe Esposito, Managing Director, Network Planning for (DAL). “The introduction of two-class service, will offer customers significant access to the western United States.” Dane County Regional Airport, as it is known locally, now offers non-stop service to 13 destinations across the USA. Last year, passenger numbers, passing through the airport’s Frank Lloyd Wright influenced airport terminal, rose by almost +7% to over >1.6 million.

Slots at Chinese airports cannot be openly swapped the way they can at other airports – such as at London Heathrow where slot trading over the past year has occurred between Jet Airways (JPL) and Etihad (EHD), Cathay Pacific (CAT) and Air New Zealand (ANZ), Qantas (QAN) and British Airways (BAB), Delta (DAL) and unnamed partners and perhaps soon Aer Lingus (ARL) and (BAB). This has become problematic for carriers like (DAL), which are given late arrival times and early departures that stymie critical connecting traffic.

But (DAL) in recent months has been able to leverage its partnerships with fellow SkyTeam (STM) Alliance carriers China Eastern (CEA) and China Southern (GUN) to adjust their slot portfolio to maximize connections, which benefit both parties. (DAL) has been able to move its Detroit - Beijing/Shanghai Pudong services to arrive in the afternoon and depart in the evening, key times for foreign long-haul carriers. While this improves (DAL)'s position in China (the smallest of the three USA carriers present) its ability to tap into new cities appears limited owing to fleet limitations.

(GOL) (GOT) has expanded its code share on Delta Air Line (DAL) flights between Brasília and Atlanta, Georgia, which is considered a key milestone in the partnership. The move should be completed by August.

The next steps will include all of (DAL)’s flights between Brazil and the USA, and “key connecting markets” operated by the carrier. These comprise all flights to Atlanta, New York (JFK) and Detroit, Michigan. On (GOT)’s side, connecting flights to Atlanta from Goiânia, Belo Horizonte, Curitiba, and Porto Alegre to Brasília will be included in the second stage of implementation. Passengers will be able to mutually accumulate and redeem mileage at the respective Smiles and SkyMiles frequent flyer programs.

The expanded partnership is part of (DAL)’s strategy, which includes a long-term exclusive $100 million alliance with (GOT) (a 2011 investment), a $65 million long-term exclusive alliance with Aeroméxico (AMX), and a code share agreement with Aerolíneas Argentinas (ARL).

Delta Air Lines (DAL) has promoted Richard Hirst to Executive VP & Chief Legal Officer, effective immediately. Hirst is formerly Senior VP & General Counsel.

Delta (DAL) TechOps has signed a new time-and-materials agreement with Italian carrier NEOS (NEO) to expand engine maintenance services. The three-year contract expands the scope of a previous agreement to include (GE) Aviation (GEC) (CF6-80C) engines on 767-300ERs, in addition to (CFM) International (CFM56-7B)s on 737-800s.


1 ATL Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport 2,183,726
2 PEK Beijing Capital International Airport 2,068,130
3 HND Tokyo Haneda Airport 1,887,497
4 LHR London Heathrow Airport 1,774,606
5 DXB Dubai International Airport 1,639,176
6 ORD Chicago O'Hare International Airport 1,534,449
7 LAX Los Angeles International Airport 1,491,895
8 DFW Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport 1,445,441
9 HKG Hong Kong International Airport 1,440,997
10 CDG Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport 1,421,231
11 CGK Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta International Airport 1,400,299
12 FRA Frankfurt Airport 1,394,143
13 SIN Singapore Changi Airport 1,371,158
14 BKK Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International 1,237,778
15 CAN Guangzhou Baiyun Airport 1,225,526
16 DEN Denver International Airport 1,176,220
17 JFK New York John F Kennedy International Airport 1,172,450
18 PVG Shanghai Pudong Airport 1,154,933
19 KUL Kuala Lumpur International Airport 1,134,217
20 IST Istanbul Ataturk Airport 1,125,132


1 DL Delta Air Lines 3,802,004
2 UA United Airlines 3,416,483
3 WN Southwest Airlines 3,170,990
4 AA American Airlines 2,789,021
5 US US Airways 2,199,479
6 CZ China Southern Airlines 1,773,387
7 LH Lufthansa 1,745,538
8 MU China Eastern Airlines 1,639,682
9 FR Ryanair 1,610,091
10 NH All Nippon Airways 1,498,216
11 AF Air France 1,344,527
12 CA Air China 1,307,969
13 U2 easyJet 1,200,528
14 BA British Airways 1,104,228
15 EK Emirates 1,093,811
16 G3 Gol 1,089,278
17 TK Turkish Airlines 983,611
18 JJ TAM Airlines 965,854
19 JL Japan Airlines 962,136
20 AC Air Canada 916,517
21 JT Lion Air 856,932
22 QF Qantas Airways 775,580
23 B6 JetBlue Airways 725,700
24 SK SAS 703,817
25 LA LAN Airlines 680,384
26 AS Alaska Airlines 670,537
27 AB airberlin 613,250
28 KE Korean Air 591,357
29 KL KLM Royal Dutch Airlines 589,216
30 SV Saudia 588,548

June 2013: Delta Air Lines (DAL) added Seattle-Tacoma to Shanghai Pudong. Seattle’s growing importance in (DAL)’s network is further confirmed by the recent announcements of trans-oceanic services to Hong Kong, London Heathrow and Seoul Incheon, all starting next summer.

(DAL) launched daily, Newark - Paris Charles de Gaulle 767-300ER service.

After years of scaling back its Memphis hub, Delta Air Lines (DAL) has officially declared Memphis is losing that status in late 2013. The airport’s fate has been sealed as (DAL) has been steadily cutting service from Memphis, from a peak of 300 daily departures during 2000, to roughly 93 daily flights. Once the de-hubbing is complete, (DAL)’s departures from Memphis will decrease a further -35% to 60 daily departures.

(DAL)’s reasoning in closing Memphis, rests on the significant reduction in 50-seat jets it is undertaking to reduce its small jet fleet to roughly 125 shells from a peak of more than >500 five years ago. (DAL) determined it is unprofitable to operate those airplanes in Memphis where the amount of local originating traffic is somewhat sparse.

Even though the official de-hubbing of Memphis comes as no shock to the airport, which has been courting other airlines, political backlash has ensued against (DAL). Tennessee politicians are accusing (DAL) of making false promises when it merged with Northwest (NWA) in 2008 when the company assured service from Memphis would not diminish.

The airport’s fate has been sealed as (DAL) has been steadily cutting service from Memphis – from a peak of 300 daily departures during 2000, to roughly 93 daily flights. Once the de-hubbing is complete (DAL)’s departures from Memphis will decrease a further -35% to 60 daily departures.

(DAL)'s reasoning in closing Memphis rests on the significant reduction in 50-seat jets it is undertaking to reduce its small jet fleet to roughly 125 shells from a peak of more than >500 five years ago. (DAL) determined it is unprofitable to operate those airplanes in Memphis where the amount of local originating traffic is somewhat sparse.

As American (AAL) and US Airways (AMW)/(USAA) work through the requisite approval processes for their merger, the decision by (DAL) to de-hub Memphis will only create additional pressure on those carriers to pledge no hubs within their respective combined networks will lose their respective status.

(DAL)'s Maintenance division can begin performing maintenance and repair on airplane engines in Japan, after receiving an Approved Organization Exposition (AOE) certificate from the Japanese Civil Aviation Bureau. The Delta (DAL) TechOps team has been cleared to work on turbine engines, initially the (CFM56) family, as well as components on the Boeing 737 NG.

In addition to Japan, (DAL) has maintenance approval from aviation authorities in Canada, China, Indonesia, Korea, and Brazil among other nations.

Delta TechOps recently completed its first fuel tank inerting systems modification on a Hawaiian Airlines (HWI) A330-200 and is offering the modification to other A330-200 operators.

2 MD-90-30 (53354, N946DN; 42560, N952DN), deliveries.

July 2013: Delta Air Lines (DAL) reported second-quarter net income of +$685 million, reversed from a net loss of -$168 million in the year-ago quarter.

(DAL) commenced operations on its second route to San Jose (SJO) in Cost Rica on July 1 and, in addition to twice-daily services from Atlanta, it now also offers daily flights from Los Angeles (LAX). Flights on the 4,400 km route are carried out using 757s.

One of the most valuable routes in the airline industry is the one that joins New York to London. It is the world's busiest route, one particularly frequented by business travelers, and currently, it is dominated by United Airlines (UAL). All that is set to change, thanks to a pivotal partnership between Delta Airlines (DAL) and Virgin Atlantic (VAA).

Last month, the two airlines unveiled a code share agreement across 108 routes, with Delta (DAL) acquiring a 49% share of (VAA). For (DAL), the deal provides access to a market that, though lucrative, has been difficult for them to crack. "Heathrow is the most important destination for the USA business traveler, and we've not been able to provide the global frequency that our customers need," admits Edward Bastian, (DAL)'s President. "Virgin (VAA) was the best way to get to them."

Unlike Virgin Atlantic (VAA), which has experienced two years of steady financial losses, (DAL) has been in an upward expansion. It is the fastest-growing carrier in New York - - abetted by a massive expansion of two of the city's major hubs, including a $1.4 billion renovation of Terminal 4 at (JFK), and $100 million upgrade of its facilities at LaGuardia Airport.

While (DAL) is gaining momentum in North America, procuring slots at Heathrow has proved arduous for the airline, according to George Ferguson, Senior Airline & Aerospace analyst at Bloomberg Industries.

"The largest number of slots at Heathrow are dedicated to Virgin (VAA) and British Airways (BAB) flights. (DAL) has had a hard time getting in there," he admits. "This deal really gives them a lot of access to Heathrow, which is an important market in New York."

Currently, (DAL) has nine flights operating between Heathrow and the USA. When the partnership takes effect, that number will jump to 23.

Compared to (DAL), (VAA) is a much more niche airline. It serves a smaller, predominately British clientele, providing them with a more upmarket experience. Despite Virgin (VAA)'s strong brand, its image doesn't resonate as well outside the United Kingdom. Ideally, the deal with Delta (DAL) will introduce (VAA) to a wider audience. "I think the spirit of our company will be very attractive to the USA-based customers that Delta (DAL) currently serves," says Craig Kreeger, (CEO) of Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA). "I think that by becoming more successful and being able to generate more fans in the United State, it's going to spur even more innovation (at Virgin)."

As the two companies join houses, so to speak, experts are pondering which brand will be more prominent. "From a (VAA) perspective, I expect not much will change, at least not for a while" says Ferguson. "Virgin (VAA) has a pretty strong brand across the Atlantic (the better brand right now) and (DAL)'s going to want to leave that in place."

Asked if there's a chance (VAA) might lose its identity in the process, Kreeger says he's not worried. "The Virgin (VAA) brand and Virgin (VAA) style is one of the things that attracted Delta (DAL) to us in the first place," he says. "I think they're looking forward to being able to offer their customers more choice."

For the deluge of passengers that fly Delta (DAL) and Virgin (VAA) across the pond, the partnership could ideally result in cheaper fares. "I see them being able to give corporate customers much more options, and I see them really being able to kick off some extensive routes with above-average yields," says Ferguson, who adds that in the airline industry, fuller planes usually results in cheaper tickets.

"London and New York are sort of dominated by the financial services business, which has taken it on the chin lately," notes Ferguson. "As a result, you have a consumer that is more price conscious and you need to find a way to get them a cheaper ticket while still making money. That's why you need to get planes full. For Virgin (VAA), this is the start of that process."

The Asia Pacific region was once the laggard for (DAL). Despite the region's size, it seldom accounted for more than >3% of (DAL)'s revenue or capacity. Asia Pacific yields were some of (DAL)'s lowest. That changed after (DAL)'s merger with Northwest (NWA). The region, notably Japan, was an important market for (NWA), accounting for as much as a quarter of its revenue and capacity. While (DAL) inherited size in the Asia-Pacific, it did not receive quality: (NWA)'s yields were not outstanding. That has started to change and North Pacific yields in recent years are some of (DAL)'s highest.

That is giving (DAL) a platform to grow. (DAL) recently introduced additional services to Shanghai and Tokyo, and in the future is specifically looking to introduce a non-stop service to Taipei and re-introduce a non-stop flight to Hong Kong. The result should be to help it diversify beyond Japan, which still sees the majority of (DAL)'s trans-Pacific capacity (despite being the only one of the big three USA carriers not to have an immunized partnership with a Japanese airline).

(DAL)'s China growth in the medium term will not follow United Airlines (UAL) in serving secondary Chinese cities from the USA, instead preferring connecting options with its strong SkyTeam (STM) Alliance partners: China Eastern (CEA) and China Southern (GUN). (DAL) may not rival (UAL) as the largest USA carrier in Asia, but it is still far ahead of American Airlines (AAL).

(DAL) has named energy industry veteran, Graeme Burnett as Senior VP Fuel Optimization, effective August 1. Burnett will oversee all aspects of (DAL)’s fuel program, including maximizing the benefits of its Monroe Energy subsidiary, which owns the refinery in Trainer, Pennsylvania.

August 2013: Delta Air Lines (DAL) will launch nonstop shuttle service between Los Angeles International and San Francisco International airports from September 3. (DAL) will offer 14 daily flights on the hour from 07:00 to 20:00 on the route. It will operate similar to (DAL)'s existing New York LaGuardia shuttles, allowing passengers to check-in up to 30 minutes before departure and with complementary in-flight snacks and drinks. "Our new Delta Shuttle on the west coast is designed to make doing business between Los Angeles and San Francisco easier," says Tim Mapes, Senior VP Marketing. Delta Connection partner Compass Airlines will operate the route using 76-seat Embraer EMB-175 airplanes. With the beefed up service ((DAL) already serves the market with about 10 weekday flights) (DAL) is challenging west coast leaders Southwest Airlines (SWA) and United Airlines (UAL) in one of the region's most competitive markets.

(SWA) offers at least 11 weekday flights and (UAL) at least 14 weekday flights on the route as well as a significant number of frequencies on (AAL) and (VUS).

(DAL) will offer seasonal once weekly, Indianapolis - Montego Bay service from December 21 - March 29.

(DAL) has named Mike Medeiros as VP Seattle, effective September 1. Medeiros will manage (DAL)’s overall Seattle strategy, which encompasses expanding airport operations, alliance partnerships, corporate customers plus government and community involvement.

Medeiros most recently served as VP Global Human Resources & Talent Development. He led a team of professionals deployed across the globe who provide leadership, coaching and support to both (DAL) leadership and front line employees. “Mike’s extensive industry knowledge and experience will compliment the efforts of (DAL)’s 1,800 employees and our alliance partners as we strive to build the premier global network in the Pacific Northwest,” (DAL) (CEO), Richard Anderson said.

Delta (DAL) is continuing its investment in in-flight technology systems, as (DAL) plans to launch a new in-flight connectivity service for its flight attendants (CA). The service, provided by Gogo and accessed through Windows Phone 8 handheld devices, will allow flight attendants (CA) to process credit card purchases and provide updates about weather and connecting gate information for passengers. "(DAL)'s use of Gogo's network in this capacity is truly historical. It makes sense that, with often times more than >$100 million invested in a single airplane, airlines will leverage connectivity to assure that their operations are connected to the ground," said Michael Small, President & (CEO) of Gogo.

(DAL) wants to continue developing the service as well, with plans to add more applications to provide flight attendants (CA) with information about passengers. (DAL) collaborated with Microsoft, (AT&T) and business technology developer Avanade to launch the service.

According to, Delta Air Lines (DAL) is accepting flight crew (FC) applications. (DAL) will resume (FC) hiring in the late fall and anticipates about 300 new pilots (FC), most of whom will come from furlough returnees and the Compass and Mesaba flow-ups. Non-seniority simulator instructor pilots are currently being hired.

September 2013: Based on passengers carried, Delta Air Lines (DAL) was the world’s number one airline in 2012, helping 164.6 million people get from one place to another on one of its airplanes, an increase of +0.4% over the previous year. This includes flights operated under contract with other carriers. Capacity, as measured by Available Seat Kilometers (ASK)s fell by -1.8%, but load factor improved by +1.6% points to 83.7% LF. So far, in the first eight months of 2013, passenger numbers have fallen by -0.4%, though (ASK)s and load factor are both up +0.3%. This apparent anomaly can be explained by an increase in average sector length.

Analysis of weekly seat capacity at Delta (DAL)’s leading airports in August shows that the top 10 airports all offered more weekly seats than in August 2012, with Seattle the biggest gainer. Memphis has taken the biggest hit in capacity, down -30% in a year. SEE ATTACHED - - "DAL-2013-09 - TOP 15 DELTA AIRPORTS."

In the last 12 months, (DAL) has launched new services from Seattle to Los Angeles (in April), and Anchorage, Las Vegas, Shanghai Pudong and Tokyo Haneda (all in June of this year). In addition, it has increased the number of daily flights from Seattle to Detroit and New York (JFK). (DAL) added Seoul and Hong Kong to its Seattle network.

The above Delta Air Lines (DAL)'s outlining of planned expansion from Seattle to Seoul and Hong Kong reflects its continuing strategy of building Seattle airport into an international gateway partially in partnership with the Alaska Air (ASA) Group, Seattle’s largest carrier. (DAL) has been steadily expanding its operations in Seattle during the last couple of years, a market it may deem more suitable for growing further into Asia than some of its existing hubs: – evidenced by the transition of service to Hong Kong from Detroit to Seattle.

Largely absent from (DAL)’s discussion in the latest Asian expansion from Seattle is any cooperation with SkyTeam (STM) Alliance partner, Korean Air, who has ample service from Seattle to Seoul.

(DAL)’s silence could be illustrative of a logic that alliances are not a cure all for network optimization that became especially pronounced during 2012 with the landmark deal between Emirates (EAD) and Qantas (QAN), AirFrance (AFA)’s forging of a partnership with Etihad (EHD), and (DAL) tabling plans to take a 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic (VAA). Those two carriers recently won the USA Department of Transportation’s (DoT) approval to forge a trans-Atlantic joint venture whose launch will coincide with (DAL)’s introduction of Seattle - London Heathrow in March 2014.

(DAL) has commenced two new domestic services in as many days in the USA. The first of two inaugural flights was a service relaunch. The revisited, 1,342 km, sector from Los Angeles (LAX) to Portland, Oregon (PDX) is being offered four times daily by (DAL) and faces competition from Alaska Airlines (ASA) (five times daily) and United Airlines (UAL) (thrice-daily on weekdays and twice-daily weekends). The service is scheduled to be operated by SkyWest Airlines from September 3rd and will be flown using CRJ900s. The second inaugural service is a 541 km sector from Philadelphia (PHL) to Raleigh Durham (RDU). The new route is being operated by Endeavour Air, a subsidiary of Delta (DAL). The operation which was launched on September 4 is offered using CRJ200s, four times daily on weekdays, thrice-daily on Sundays and does not operate on Saturdays. The new service competes with US Airways (AMW)/(USA) which offers 47 flights weekly.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) and Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA) plan to operate a “harmonized schedule between New York (JFK) and London Heathrow” starting March 30, 2014, after receiving final antitrust clearance from the USA government to launch a transatlantic joint venture (JV).

The USA Department of Transportation (DOT), which had final say on granting antitrust immunity for the (JV), gave its formal approval on September 23; the (DOT) had granted tentative approval earlier this month after the USA (DoJ) and the European Commission (EC) did not object to the (JV).

(DAL) last year acquired a 49% stake in (VAA) and the two carriers agreed to form the transatlantic (JV), which they believe will make them more competitive against the antitrust immunized transatlantic (JV) operated by American Airlines (AAL), British Airways (BAB), and Iberia (IBE).

From March 30, 2014, (DAL) and (VAA) will operate a combined seven daily flights between (JFK) and Heathrow, as well as twice-daily service between Newark and Heathrow. All told, the (JV) will operate 32 peak daily nonstop flights on a “metal neutral” basis between the UK and North America, including flights to Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Atlanta. Of the 32 flights, 24 will be to/from Heathrow. (DAL) and (VAA) will share costs and revenue from all (JV) flights.

(DAL) President, Ed Bastian said, “The freedom to cooperate fully with Virgin Atlantic (VAA) will initiate a new era of greater competition in the New York to London market, ­where it is much needed.”

(VAA) (CEO), Craig Kreeger said, “Our partnership with Delta means we will be able to offer convenient aligned schedules and a much broader network, giving the best possible travel choices and on-board experience to transatlantic passengers.”

The airlines are already code sharing on 104 routes offering connections to 63 destinations across North America and the UK.

On September 4th, (DAL) announced a firm order for 40 Airbus (EDS) passenger airplanes, a $5.6 billion order at current list prices. The order includes 30 current engine option (ceo) A321s and 10 A330-300s. (EDS) called the order a "strong return to Airbus" since Delta (DAL)'s last order with (EDS) was placed nearly 20 years ago. (DAL) currently has 158 Airbus airplanes in its commercial fleet.

Delta (DAL) will be the first carrier operating the 242-metric ton A330-300 variant, which has an additional 500 nautical miles of extra range and the ability to carry five metric tons more payload than the standard A330-300. Deliveries of the airplanes are scheduled for between 2015 and 2017.

AirTran Airways (CQT) has transferred approximately 3 717s per month to Delta (DAL), and now totals 88.

(DAL) has taken delivery of its first 737-900ER - - SEE PHOTO - "DAL-737-900ER - 2013-09." The delivery is part of (DAL)’s 100-airplane order placed in 2011 to renew its single-aisle fleet with more fuel-efficient airplanes.

October 2013: Delta Air Lines (DAL) reported net income of +$1.37 billion for the third quarter, up +31% over a net profit of +$1.05 billion in the 2012 September period.

Aeromexico (AMX) and Delta Air Lines (DAL) have applied for five new USA - Mexico route authorities from the USA Department of Transportation (DOT), adding to their rapidly growing cross border network. The carriers are seeking authorisation to begin flights between Leon/Guanajuato and both Sacramento and San Francisco, between Monterrey and Los Angeles, and between Morelia and both Chicago and Fresno, according to a regulatory filing on September 27. (AMX) would operate the flights with the (DAL) code on an up to daily basis with 737 airplanes. (AMX) operates 28 737-700s and 19 737-800s.

No airlines fly the Leon/Guanajuato to Sacramento or San Francisco, Monterrey to Los Angeles or Morelia to Fresno routes. Volaris (VLS) flies between Morelia and Chicago Midway airport.

The (DOT) did approve Aeromexico (AMX) and (DAL)’s request for authority to fly between Chicago and Cancun on September 25.

(DAL) will begin daily, Hong Kong - Seattle A330-200 service, pending government approval, June 18, 2014. (DAL) will also begin daily Seoul (ICN) - Seattle 767-300ER service on June 2.

(DAL) plans to restructure its Pacific network as it expands its international operations at Seattle Tacoma International airport in 2014. The restructuring includes diversifying its Asia network with less of a concentration in Japan, and additional nonstop service between the USA and both China and South Korea.

Much of that additional flying will be from Seattle, where growth is providing Atlanta-based (DAL) with “additional frequencies and opportunities in China.” About 50% of (DAL)’s Pacific capacity touches Japan where it has a hub at Tokyo Narita International airport. Narita was the carrier’s highest yielding hub during the third quarter despite the continued weakness of the Japanese yen.

Executives said that they intend to reduce inter-port flying (routes from Tokyo on to other cities in Asia) while expanding non-stops into the region from Seattle over time. (DAL) flies to Bangkok, Beijing, Hong Kong, Manila, Shanghai, Singapore and Taipei from Tokyo Narita.

It added new non-stops from Seattle to Shanghai Pudong and Tokyo Haneda earlier this year and plans to launch flights to Hong Kong and Seoul Incheon in June 2014. “We expect the Pacific restructuring will improve our Pacific performance next year,” said President, Ed Bastian.

(DAL) saw passenger revenue for its Pacific operations fall -5% to $1.04 billion compared to a year earlier. Unit revenue was down -4.2% and capacity fell -0.8%. Bastian said that the continued weak Japanese yen and lower demand negatively impacted the region’s revenues by $80 million.

An immunized joint venture with an Asian carrier may be in (DAL)’s cards for the future. “In a decade, it would be nice to replicate the joint venture structures we have in Europe and move them to China,” said Richard Anderson, Chairman & (CEO), (DAL). He said that this is needed in order to “sustain the free cash flows and growth of the enterprise over the long term”.

China Eastern Airlines (CEA) and China Southern Airlines (GUN) are both partners of (DAL) and fellow members of the SkyTeam (STM) alliance. Anderson said that (DAL) transfers about 20 to 40 passengers per day to the carriers over Beijing and Shanghai.

Regarding a potential joint venture with Korean Air (KAL), Bastian said that he could not predict where such a project would go.

(DAL) will equip 11,000 pilots (FC) with electronic flight bags (EFB)s using the Microsoft Surface 2 tablet. Rollout to pilots (FC) flying 757s and 767s will start later this year and all (DAL) cockpits are expected to be paperless by the end of 2014.

(DAL) will debut three updated 757 airplanes on the transcontinental route between New York (JFK) and Los Angeles beginning July 1, 2014. These will be the first 757 airplanes in service to feature full flat-bed seats in Business Elite on transcontinental flights between New York (JFK) and Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle. All transcontinental flights on these routes will feature flat-bed seats by summer 2015.


November 2013: “We are pacing well ahead of our goals for 2013,” Delta (CEO), Richard Anderson said. “We expect to set an all-time profit record in 2013 and in turn improve on that in 2014.” (DAL)’s net profit through the first nine months of 2013 was +$2.06 billion, more than doubling net income of +$1 billion in the first three quarters of 2012, putting (DAL) on pace to improve on 2012 full-year net income of +$1.01 billion and 2011 full-year net income of +$854 million.

(DAL) appears to be proving that a full-service international airline based in the USA can achieve consistently strong financial results. According to Anderson, (DAL) had a 14% return on invested capital in the last 12 months. Yes, the usual caveat about (DAL) getting big help from USA Chapter 11 bankruptcy laws must be mentioned. But (DAL) is far from the only airline to take advantage of such restructuring laws—in the USA and elsewhere. And it has now been six-and-a-half years since (DAL) emerged from Chapter 11, so it is impossible to dismiss all of the current, day-to-day success (DAL) is achieving as merely the result of Chapter 11.

(DAL) inaugurated services on its fourth route to Bahamas on November 2nd, when it launched operations from Atlanta (ATL) to Freeport (FPO). Weekly flights are operated using CRJ900s by ExpressJet and the frequency will be lifted to daily from December 19. In Bahamas, (DAL) already serves Nassau with thrice-daily flights from Atlanta and daily from New York LaGuardia, as well as George Town with twice-weekly flights from Atlanta.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) and Virgin Atlantic (VAA) have announced plans to align their schedules from next summer and co-locate some services at Heathrow’s Terminal 3. From April 2, (DAL) will move its Boston, New York (JFK) and new Seattle services to join Virgin (VAA)’s services from Terminal 3. In turn, (VAA) is retiming some of its flights to coordinate with its new partner. “We already co-locate together at New York’s (JFK) airport, and moving some of (DAL)’s key business flights to join Virgin Atlantic (VAA) at London Heathrow’s Terminal 3 will enhance convenience and reduce connection times,” (VAA) (CEO), Craig Kreeger said.

In addition to the new London Heathrow - Seattle route, due to launch March 30, (DAL) will add a second daily, London Heathrow - Detroit service from June 2. In a joint statement, the partners said they were “combining their slots at London Heathrow to offer maximum customer convenience.” “With our Seattle service, (Dal) will add its sixth nonstop destination between London and the United States. Combined, the Delta (DAL) - Virgin (VAA) partnership now offers our customers 33 daily nonstop flights across the Atlantic,” (DAL) President, Ed Bastian said.

December 2013: Delta Air Lines (DAL) is poised to report a +$2.6 billion pre-tax profit for 2013, a +70% increase year-over-year, (CEO) Richard Anderson said at the company’s investor day conference in New York. “In 2013, we expect to hit nearly a 15% return on invested capital [ROIC],” Anderson told investors. “Whether it’s minority investments [in airlines that lead to] exclusive relationships in Latin America, buying the Singapore (SIA) stake in Virgin (VAA), making an investment in [the oil refinery in] Trainer, all of these have added up to a very strong return on invested capital, and we aim to deliver that double-digit (EPS) that you expect.”

The company announced profit-sharing of nearly $500 million will be paid out to its employees in February 2014.

In the third-quarter, (DAL) posted $2.37 billion in pre-tax income, more than double its nearest competitor Southwest Airlines (SWA).
“We expect an incredibly strong finish to the year and 2014 is setting up to be a much stronger year than 2013,” Anderson said. “It’ll be our second year of profitability in excess of $2 billion … We expect that we can continually produce double-digit pre-tax (EPS) growth.”

He continued, “High quality industrials produce an average (ROIC) of about 14% and our goal is to consistently deliver 15% (ROIC), [as well as a] 10% to 12% annual operating margin, (EPS) growth of +10% to +15%, [and] cash flow of $5 billion plus, about half to be invested back into the business wisely. Our net debt will get down to $7 billion in 2015. We have earned the right to be measured as a high quality (S&P) industrial transportation company.”

Delta Air Lines (DAL), the oldest airline still operating in the USA, launched its 19th route to Mexico on December 3rd. The 2,198 km sector from Los Angeles (LAX) to Leon/Guanajuato (BJX) is being offered on a daily basis by the SkyTeam (STM) Alliance member and faces direct competition from Aeromexico (AMX)’s twice-weekly services and United Airlines (UAL)’s daily flights. The service is scheduled to be operated by SkyWest Airlines’ 76-seat CRJ 900s.

(DAL) begins daily winter, New York (JFK) - St Thomas service from December 15 - March 30th. The service will return July 1 - September 2. (DAL) will also serve Atlanta - St Croix 2x-daily for the winter. (DAL) will begin 3x-weekly 737-800 Boston - Las Vegas service on March 6, as well as increasing to 2x-daily – Los Angeles 737-800 service on April 7.

Delta Air Lines (DAL), in cooperation with Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA), will add a second daily, London (LHR) - Detroit service beginning June 1, 2014.

Pressure by (DAL) on Alaska Airlines (ASA) in Seattle, continues through service additions on routes where Alaska is the dominant or lone carrier (Vancouver and Fairbanks, Alaska). The latest moves underscore (DAL)’s build-out of Seattle during the last year to solidify connecting traffic for its gateway to the Pacific, and the now familiar increasing competition with its long-term partner Alaska Airlines (ASA).

(ASA) is all too aware of (DAL)’s encroachment, evidenced by the recent acknowledgement by (ASA)’s management that the two carriers have no plans to code share on (DAL)’s recently announced spate of new USA domestic north - south markets from Seattle to feed (DAL)’s expanding international network from Seattle Tacoma International Airport. SEE ATTACHED - - "DAL-737-900ER - "Spirit of Seattle" - 2013-12." Currently, (DAL) has 36 daily departures from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to 15 destinations and in 2014, plans to add nonstop services to London Heathrow, Hong Kong, Seoul, and Fairbanks, as well as to San Diego, Portland and Vancouver (operated by Skywest). In addition, seasonal flight frequency to Anchorage will be increased.

As it works to add service to six of (ASA)’s top 10 domestic markets from Seattle by September 2014, (DAL) during the next year also plans to compete with (ASA) by launching service from Vancouver to feed its international operations in Seattle. The new service not only continues to heighten tension with (ASA), but also adds a new layer of competitive dynamics to carriers offering service to Asia from Vancouver, B C, Canada which is just 204 km north of Seattle.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) has taken the bull by the horns and said it will not allow cellular calls or internet-based voice communications on board its flights.

In a memo issued to all (DAL) employees, (CEO) Richard Anderson said (DAL)’s customer research and direct feedback tells them that their frequent flyers believe voice calls in the cabin would be a disruption. “A clear majority of customers who responded to a 2012 survey said they felt the ability to make voice calls on board would detract from (not enhance) their experience. (DAL) employees, particularly our in-flight crews (FC)/(CA), have told us definitively that they are not in favor of voice calls on board,” Anderson said.

The move comes after the USA Federal Communications Commission voted to seek public comment on a proposal to lift its ban on in-flight cell phone use.

(DAL) was the first USA carrier to file a plan to allow customers to use portable electronic devices (PED)s below <10,000 feet after the (FAA) relaxed rules for their use. The UK’s (CAA) followed suit.

“If the (FCC) lifts its ban on cellular use in flight, (DAL) will move quickly to enable customers to use text, email and other silent data transmission services, gate to gate,” Anderson said.

(DAL) will retire its fleet of twelve ex-Northwest Airlines (NWA) DC-9-50s on January 6, 2014 following the conclusion of the type's last scheduled flight, Minneapolis/St Paul to Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson. The DC-9 retirement comes just months after (DAL) began taking delivery of 88 ex-Southwest Airlines (SWA) 717-200 airplanes which began entering service in October. (DAL) was the launch customer for the original 65-seat version of the DC-9 in 1965 as the airline replaced propeller airplanes on high-frequency, short-haul domestic routes. To acknowledge the DC-9’s retirement, the last flight has been tagged DL2014 noting the final year of service, while the preceding flight operating from Detroit Metropolitan to Minneapolis/St Paul will be flight DL1965, the aircraft’s initial year of service.

January 2014: SEE ATTACHED - - "DAL-2014-01-2013 TOP WORLD AIRLINES A/B."

The Air Transport World (ATW) Magazine (50th Anniversary) announced that Delta Air Lines (DAL) is the recipient of its "2014 Airline of the Year" Award (the first time the honor has gone to a USA carrier in a decade) - - SEE ATTACHED - - "DAL-2014-01-AIRLINE OF YEAR-A/B/C/D/E" & "DAL-FLIGHT-CABIN CREW-2014-01."

“It’s an honor to have the hard work of Delta (DAL) people recognized with the Airline of the Year award from Air Transport World,” (DAL) (CEO), Richard Anderson said at an announcement ceremony at the airline’s Atlanta home base. “Our values and culture are the foundation for our success. The professionalism and commitment of Delta (DAL) people to our company, to one another and to our customers is unmatched.”

In selecting (DAL) as Airline of the Year, the (ATW) editors cited several categories, including innovation and leadership by executive management; strong financial discipline; a consistent and excellent safety record; proven leadership in community, environmental and technological endeavors; consistent high standards of customer service; and excellent employee relations.

“The global airline industry has never been as competitive, so when (ATW) editors make their Airline of the Year selections they focus on those airlines whose leadership truly stand out from the crowd through strong financial discipline, innovative thinking, superb operational and customer service standards, and excellent labor relations. That’s a tough, across-the-board goal, but Delta (DAL) clearly met all those standards and has demonstrable, measurable statistics to prove it. (DAL) and its employees thoroughly deserve this award and I congratulate them on their achievements,” (ATW) Editor-in-Chief Karen Walker said.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) posted a +$2.7 billion net profit in 2013 excluding special items and boasted a 15% return on invested capital for the full year.

Even though (DAL)’s 2013 earnings were extremely strong and the best full-year profit reported by a USA airline in years, (CEO), Richard Anderson told analysts and reporters that (DAL) expects to “significantly improve financial results in 2014.”

Including an $8 billion non-cash gain in the 2013 fourth quarter associated with tax valuation, (DAL) technically earned a 2013 net profit of +$10.54 billion. (DAL)’s net profit in 2012 was $1.01 billion.

(DAL)’s full-year 2013 revenue rose +3% year-over-year to $37.77 billion. (DAL)’s 2013 expenses were essentially flat year-over-year at $34.37 billion and operating profit was +$3.4 billion, up +56% compared to an operating profit of +$2.18 billion in 2012.

(DAL)’s consolidated traffic increased +1% year-over-year in 2013 to 194.99 billion (RPM)s on a +1% rise in capacity to 232.74 billion (ASM)s, producing a load factor of 83.8% LF, flat year-over-year. Full-year passenger yield rose +3% to 14.15 cents.

(DAL) (CFO), Paul Jacobson said (DAL)’s Trainer, Pennsylvania, oil refinery did incur a -$46 million loss in the 2013 fourth quarter. He said (DAL) expects “only a modest loss” from the Trainer refinery in the 2014 first quarter and a “modest profit for the full year” from the facility.

Despite the strong overall results, (DAL) plans to remain cautious going forward. Anderson said (DAL) will “make prudent investments” where it makes sense. “The key to our investment strategy is prudence,” he emphasized.

(DAL) will offer seasonal weekly, Raleigh/Durham - Cancun MD-88 service through August 16.

(DAL) plans through 2016 to invest more than >$770 million to upgrade interiors on 57 Airbus A319s, 69 A320s, 56 Boeing 757s and 43 737-800s.

February 2014: Delta Air Lines (DAL) has taken the bull by the horns and said it will not allow cellular calls or internet-based voice communications on board its flights.

In a memo issued to all (DAL) employees, (CEO), Richard Anderson said (DAL)’s Customer Research and direct feedback tells them that their frequent flyers believe voice calls in the cabin would be a disruption. “A clear majority of customers who responded to a 2012 survey said they felt the ability to make voice calls on board would detract from (not enhance) their experience. (DAL) employees, particularly our in-flight crews, have told us definitively that they are not in favor of voice calls on board,” Anderson said.

The move comes after the USA Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to seek public comment on a proposal to lift its ban on in-flight cell phone use. (DAL) was the first USA carrier to file a plan to allow customers to use portable electronic devices below <10,000 feet after the (FAA) relaxed rules for their use. The UK’s (CAA) followed suit. “If the (FCC) lifts its ban on cellular use in flight, (DAL) will move quickly to enable customers to use text, email and other silent data transmission services gate to gate,” Anderson said.

“Even as technology advances and as regulations are changed, we will not only consider what we can do, but as importantly, we will also consider what is right for our customers and our employees.”

It’s my bet that Anderson has made the right call and that he will win huge support (not to say a sigh of relief) from his customers.

Everyone I’ve talked to in this business regarding on board cell phone use has had the same reaction – “please, no!”

At the (IATA) forecast briefing in Geneva, (IATA) said its findings have overwhelmingly shown that passengers do not want access to on board phone calls. Interestingly, this is a particularly strong feeling among business travelers, who cite things such as the ability to get some sleep and rest among their priorities. (IATA) also gave some figures showing an increase in disruptive passenger events. Many people fear not just the awful prospect of having to sit next to someone who is talking on their phone throughout the flight, but also the potential this has for further increasing unruly passenger problems.

So good for Anderson and (DAL). Let’s hope other airlines follow their lead.

Route Network Update for Delta Air Lines (DAL):
Delta Air Lines ((IATA) Code: DL, based at Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson) network changes:
New route: Bermuda - New York (JFK) starting May 3, 2014.
New route: Bozeman - New York La Guardia starting June 21, 2014.
New route: Nassau International - New York (JFK) starting May 2, 2014.
New route: New York (JFK) - Bermuda starting May 2, 2014.
New route: New York (JFK) - Nassau International starting May 2, 2014.
New route: New York La Guardia - Bozeman starting June 21, 2014.
Bermuda - New York La Guardia route will be terminated on May 1, 2014.
Nassau International - New York La Guardia route will be terminated on May 1, 2014.
New York La Guardia - Bermuda route will be terminated on May 1, 2014.
New York La Guardia - Nassau International route will be terminated on May 1, 2014.

(DAL) approved the appointment of Wayne Gilbert “Gil” West to Executive VP & Chief Operating Officer (COO), effective March 1. West will succeed Stephen Gorman who will retire after leading (DAL)'s Operations divisions since 2007.

Software goliath, Microsoft is eying the commercial aviation software business as a “really important market,” according to Matt Muta, the Global Managing Director of the company’s Hospitality & Travel unit.

Aviation software “will become a tremendous focus for us,” Muta said at the Singapore Airshow. Microsoft, which has never exhibited at an air show prior to this week in Singapore, is pushing its “in-flight engagement” product line for the first time to airplane manufacturers and airlines.

Keen to underline the difference between in-flight entertainment (IFE) and its new offering, Microsoft cites Delta Air Lines (DAL) flight attendants (CA) using its product on mobile phones and tablets. The flight attendants (CA) “can take orders, report faults, engage using passenger details and even take credit card payments using a standard device—iOS, Android, Windows, a Bluetooth device in their pocket,” Muta said.

Microsoft has used the Singapore Airshow as a way of testing the water for its offerings, along with developers such as Avenade, which developed the (DAL) system. But the competition for in-flight software systems will be intense as firms such as Honeywell (SGC) and Panasonic vie for business. Muta argued that Microsoft’s expertise in building consumer software gives it an advantage. “We are looking at a radical change in what airlines will be able to offer,” he said.

Currently, Delta Air Lines (DAL) operates a total 737 airplanes, and serves 69 countries, 342 destinations, 1,076 routes and 5,143 daily flights.

March 2014: Delta Air Lines (DAL) adds new Seattle services: 5x-daily - Phoenix; daily - Palm Springs seasonal; Saturday seasonal -Tucson; Saturday seasonal -Jackson Hole; and adds a daily to -Honolulu for 2x-daily service.

(DAL), the oldest airline still operating in the USA, increased its domestic offering with the launch of four new services. The longest route was the 3,281 km sector from Orlando (MCO) to Las Vegas (LAS) operated with thrice-weekly flights, and the shortest was inaugurated from Salt Lake City (SLC) to Moab, Utah (CNY) at 295 km served 12 times weekly. (DAL) faces direct competition on three out of the four new links, from Southwest Airlines (SWA), JetBlue Airways (JBL) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA) (now merged into American (UAL)).

(DAL) which in the previous week added four domestic routes, expanded its international network with a new service from Boston, MA (BOS) to Providenciales (PLS) in the Turks and Caicos Islands on March 8th. The 2,287 km sector is served weekly (Saturdays), utilizing (DAL)’s 126-seat A319s. This is (DAL)’s third route to Providenciales, as it already flies from Atlanta and New York (JFK), and will face competition from JetBlue Airways (JBL)’s twice-weekly flights and US Airways (AMW)/(USA)’s weekly services.

(DAL), which in the previous week added its third route to Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos Islands, continued to expand its international network with a new service from Boston (BOS) to Nassau (NAS) on March 15th. The 2,012 km sector to the capital of the Bahamas will be served weekly (Saturdays), utilizing Shuttle America’s 76Y-seat EMB-175s. (DAL)’s fifth route to Nassau will face direct competition from JetBlue Airways (JBL)’s eight weekly flights.

The (FAA) has issued a Supplemental Type Certification (STC) to Gogo for the installation of its Ku-band satellite equipment on the Airbus A330. Gogo obtained the (STC) for installation of its service across (DAL)'s commercial airplane fleet. This is Gogo's second (STC) for Delta airplanes, as it previously obtained certification for Boeing 747-400s.

"This is another major milestone for Gogo and clears another hurdle in the process of outfitting Delta's international fleet with Wi-Fi," said Michael Small, President & (CEO) of Gogo. (DAL)'s entire international fleet is scheduled to receive installations by the end of 2015.

(DAL) and Linkedin have a new partnership aimed at providing in-flight connections between business leaders at 35,000 feet.
The program allows leaders from different fields to connect with each other on designated flights. Called the "Innovation Class" program, (DAL) is inviting passengers to submit an application for the program on its website. Those who are selected will be paired with other industry leaders in-flight. "Every day, (DAL) carries almost a half-million customers around the globe, many of whom are leaders in their respective fields of work," said Mauricio Parise, (DAL)'s Director Worldwide Marketing Communications. "Innovation Class is our small contribution to enable collaboration by bringing together brilliant minds."

For the second consecutive month, after 15 months of reported declines, full-time equivalent (FTE) employment at USA scheduled passenger airlines has registered a monthly increase year-over-year.

In February, USA scheduled passenger airlines employed 381,985 full-time workers, up +0.4% year-over-year, according to figures from the USA Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS).

It was the third consecutive month in which full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs at USA scheduled passenger airlines increased year-over-year. The February total registers +1,571 more (FTE) jobs among USA scheduled passenger carriers than in February 2013.

Among the USA major/network carriers, year-over-year increases in February (FTE) jobs were seen at US Airways (AMW)/(USA) (up +3.6%), Alaska Airlines (ASA) (up +2.7%), American Airlines (AAL) (up +0.4%) and Delta Air Lines (DAL) (up +0.2%). United Airlines (UAL) reported losing -1.8% of its (FTE) positions year-over-year. Overall, the USA major/network carriers saw a +0.1% year-over-year increase in February (FTE) employees.

Hawaiian Airlines (HWI), a major carrier classified by (BTS) as an “other carrier” (airlines that operate within specific niche markets) reported a year-over-year February increase of +332 (FTE) positions, up +7.5%.

Overall, (FTE) positions at the major USA low-cost-carriers (LCCs) grew +0.7% year-over-year in February. Spirit Airlines (SPR) had the largest concentration of year-over-year growth, expanding its February (FTE) job count by +16.8%, to 3,534 (FTE) employees; Allegiant Air (WJE)’s monthly (FTE) job count grew as well, up +14.3% from February 2013, to 2.134 (FTE) employees. Increases also occurred at Virgin America (VUS) (up +6.7%) and JetBlue Airways (JBL) (up +4.9%). February (FTE) job declines were seen at Frontier Airlines (FRO) (down -7.4%) and Southwest Airlines (SWA) (down -1.7%).

Sun Country Airlines (SCA), a national carrier/(LCC) classified by (BTS) as an “other carrier,” registered a year-over-year February increase of +169 (FTE) positions, up +17.4%.

Ranked by (FTE) workforce, the top 10 passenger airlines for February were: United Airlines (UAL) (80,694 (FTE) employees), Delta Air Lines (DAL) (73,602), American Airlines (AAL) (59,699) (less US Airways (AMW)/(USA) - see later, Southwest (SWA) (45,091), US Airways (AMW)/(USA) (31,604), JetBlue Airways (JBL) (13,301), and Alaska Airlines (ASA) (10.192).

April 2014: Delta Air Lines reported first-quarter net income of +$213 million, up +$206 million from a net profit of +$7 million in the year-ago period. Revenue increased +5% year-over-year to $8.9 billion.

(DAL)’s quarterly net profit was affected by $68 million in special charges for domestic fleet restructuring ($31 million), losses on extinguishing of debt ($16 million) and $21 million in mark-to-market adjustments on fuel hedges. Absent special items, (DAL) recorded a first-quarter net profit of +$281 million.

“But for the weather, we would’ve had a +$500 million pre-tax profit,” (CEO), Richard Anderson said. “The March quarter’s record results in the face of unprecedented weather, show the strength and resilience of (DAL). Our work is not finished. We expect the June quarter to produce 14% - 16% operating margins. We are transforming (DAL) into a high-quality (S&P) 500 company that consistently delivers strong earnings growth and shareholder returns.”

(DAL) reportedly canceled more than >17,000 flights due to severe weather in January and February, twice the number canceled for weather in 2013. Due to the cancellations, (DAL) reported $90 million in lost revenue for the quarter and -$55 million lower pre-tax income.

(DAL)’s first-quarter operating expenses increased +5% year-over-year to $8.3 billion, and operating profit was +$620 million, nearly tripling the +$222 million in operating income generated in the 2013 first quarter.

(DAL)’s first-quarter consolidated traffic increased +3.5% year-over-year to 44.6 billion (RPM)s on a +2% capacity increase to 53.9 billion (ASM)s, producing a passenger load factor of 82.7% LF, up +1.5 points. Passenger yield increased +1.2% to 17.21 cents.

INCDT: A Delta Air Lines (DAL) McDonnell Douglas MD-88 made an emergency landing at New York (JFK) International Airport and wound up in a grassy area after an indication of a problem with the airplane’s hydraulic system.

There were no injuries to the 123 passengers and crew aboard and no damage to the airplane, (DAL) spokesperson Leslie Scott said. The MD-88 was en route from Atlanta to New York LaGuardia Airport (LGA) on April 2nd night when, during descent, there was an indication in the cockpit of a possible hydraulic system malfunction, according to (DAL). The MD-88 was diverted to (JFK) because that airport has longer runways better able to handle an airplane landing with a potential braking problem.

Scott said the airplane landed without issue at (JFK). But television news images showed the MD-88 at rest in a grassy area at (JFK). Scott said the MD-88 started taxiing to the gate after it had come to stop at the end of the runway and then rolled onto the grassy area. It is “unclear at this point” why the MD-88 rolled into the grass, Scott said, adding, “Maintenance will take a look and determine a probable cause.” She said the passengers “deplaned through the aft stairs” onto the grassy area and were safely taken by bus to a (JFK) terminal.

The passengers were eventually transported by bus to (LGA). The (FAA) said it is investigating the incident.

May 2014: Delta Air Lines (DAL) will add its first nonstop Los Angeles (LAX) - London Heathrow (LHR) service, while Virgin Atlantic (VAA) will add a new link with (DAL)’s Atlanta (ATL) home hub, following a swap between the joint venture (JV) partners. The two airlines are switching a single daily frequency on the two key routes following (DAL)’s decision to take an equity stake in (VAA). This gave rise to a (JV) partnership that formally launched on January 1.

Following the change, which takes effect October 27, (DAL) will operate one of two daily (LHR) - (LAX) flights currently operated by Virgin Atlantic (VAA). “This new (DAL) service will mark (DAL)’s first nonstop flight between Los Angeles and London Heathrow and is (DAL)’s seventh nonstop destination between London and the USA.”

Virgin Atlantic (VAA), meanwhile, will take on one of (DAL)’s three daily flights between (LHR) and (ATL). This is (VAA)’s first (LHR) - (ATL) service and will be used to connect into (DAL)’s onward network. The two airlines will code share on each other’s services. “This brings the total number of connections available through the partnership to more than >200.”

(DAL) has co-located its New York, Boston, and Seattle routes with (VAA) at (LHR)’s Terminal 3, although its Atlanta, Detroit and Minneapolis services still operate from Terminal 4. (VAA) will serve Atlanta from Terminal 3, where it is based at (LHR). “In less than a year, we will have co-located key business routes, delivered schedule changes to benefit our customers and provided enhanced experiences to our frequent fliers, who gain from reciprocal lounge access and the ability to earn and burn across both carriers. This is just the beginning of demonstrating how a true joint venture (JV) between airlines should be operated to benefit customers,” (VAA) (CEO), Craig Kreeger said. “Expanding access to London’s (LHR) Airport has long been at the top of (DAL)’s list of priorities, while (VAA) has long wanted greater access to North America,” (DAL) President, Ed Bastian added.

Combined, the two airlines operate 32 daily nonstop transatlantic flights to the UK. The two airlines now code share across 108 routes, covering 66 destinations.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) will add its first nonstop Los Angeles (LAX) - London Heathrow (LHR) service, while Virgin Atlantic (VAA) will add a new link with (DAL)’s Atlanta (ATL) home hub, following a swap between the joint venture (JV) partners. The two airlines are switching a single daily frequency on the two key routes following (DAL)’s decision to take an equity stake in (VAA). This gave rise to a (JV) partnership that formally launched January 1.

Following the change, which takes effect October 27, (DAL) will operate one of two daily, (LHR) - (LAX) flights currently operated by (VAA). “This new (DAL) service will mark (DAL)’s first nonstop flight between (LAX) and (LHR) and is (DAL)’s 7th nonstop destination between London and the USA,” (DAL) said.

(VAA), meanwhile, will take on one of (DAL)’s three daily flights between (LHR) and (ATL). This is (VAA)’s first (LHR) - (ATL) service and will be used to connect into (DAL)’s onward network.

The two airlines will code share on each other’s services. “This brings the total number of connections available through the partnership to more than >200.”

(DAL) has co-located its New York, Boston and Seattle routes with (VAA) at (LHR)’s Terminal 3, although its Atlanta, Detroit and Minneapolis services still operate from Terminal 4. (VAA) will serve Atlanta from Terminal 3, where it is based at (LHR).

“In less than a year we will have co-located key business routes, delivered schedule changes to benefit our customers and provided enhanced experiences to our frequent fliers, who gain from reciprocal lounge access and the ability to earn and burn across both carriers. This is just the beginning of demonstrating how a true (JV) between airlines should be operated to benefit customers,” (VAA) (CEO), Craig Kreeger said.

“Expanding access to London’s (LHR) Airport has long been at the top of (DAL)’s list of priorities, while (VAA) has long wanted greater access to North America,” (DAL) President, Ed Bastian added.

Combined, the two airlines operate 32 daily non-stop transatlantic flights to the UK. The two airlines now code share across 108 routes, covering 66 destinations.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) is set to boost its shareholding in AeroMéxico ((IATA) Code: AM, based at México City) (AMX) parent firm, Grupo AeroMéxico, with the acquisition of an additional 4.9% stake. Acquired following the divestiture of a group of Mexican investors, (DAL) also is also reported to have its eye on Citigroup's 16% shareholding in (AMX). Should that acquisition come to pass, it would take (DAL) to the maximum permissible shareholding a foreign investor can hold in a Mexican airline.

AeroMéxico (AMX) and (DAL) have been collaborated extensively in recent months opening a new heavy Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul (MRO) facility at Querétaro (the largest of its type in Latin America). As part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and continuation of their commercial alliance signed in 2012, the carriers have also invested equal amounts in the project to move work at Guadalajara and expand (MRO) capabilities for their own airplanes and other carriers.

(DAL) has also advised the Mexicans in the development of their México City hub operations, which aims to become a core hub for travel between the Americas as well as Asia.

(DAL) named Kevin Shinkle as Senior VP & Chief Communications Officer (CCO).

Delta Air Lines (DAL) has released a request for proposals (RFP) for up to 50 wide body airplanes to Airbus (EDS) and Boeing (TBC). (DAL) will evaluate the Airbus A330-200 and A330-300, Airbus A350-900 and A350-1000, Boeing 777-300ER and Boeing 787-8, 787-9 and 787-10 to replace some or all of its Boeing 747-400s and Boeing 767-300ERs, according to an employee newsletter on April 1st.

(DAL) currently operates 16 747-400s and 74 767-300s. With an average age of 21 years and 20 years, respectively, the types are among the oldest in its wide body fleet. “This wide body airplane initiative continues (DAL)'s disciplined approach to fleet renewal, as we evaluate new airplanes to replace a portion of our wide body fleet," said Nat Pieper, VP Fleet Strategy & Transactions at (DAL), in the newsletter. “The airplanes under consideration will enable (DAL) to optimize capacity with market demand by matching the right airplanes with the right market.”

(DAL) is also understood to be considering a potential re-engined A330-300 if Airbus (EDS) decides to go forward with the program, various analysts have said. (DAL) anticipates making a decision and placing an order in the second half of 2014.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) completed the installation of full flat-bed seats with direct-aisle access in "BusinessElite" across its entire international wide body fleet, making it the only USA carrier to offer full flat-bed seats and direct-aisle access on all wide body overseas flights. The completed interior fleet modifications include all (DAL) Airbus A330-200/300s, Boeing 767-300ER/400ERs, 747-400s and 777-200ER/LR airplanes, which represents (DAL)’s largest interior fleet modification investment in more than a decade.

June 2014: Delta Air Lines (DAL) has painted a retired 757-232 (64-22815) in a "Classic Widget" retro livery SEE PHOTO - - "DAL-2014-06-RETIRED 757." This 29 year old 757 will be put on permanent display at the Delta Heritage Museum in Atlanta. This particular airplane was delivered in 1985 and flew for Delta (DAL) and its low cost subsidiary "Song."

Jeppesen announced the introduction of its FliteDeck Pro Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) solution for Microsoft Windows 8 tablets, Surface 2. Delta Airlines (DAL) will be the first carrier to equip all 11,000 of its pilots (FC) and implement that tablet across its commercial fleet, although (DAL) has not announced when it will begin deploying tablets. FliteDeck Pro provides interactive chart rendering for Jeppesen enroute chart data. The solution is already available for the iPad and other tablets, and Jeppesen is looking to expand its tablet compatibility.

“Pilots (FC) will now be able to open two applications side-by-side on screen to access critical flight information such as text and enroute charts in a split view, with Windows 8,” said Tracy Issel, General Manager for retail, consumer goods, hospitality and travel at Microsoft. “The full HD 1080p Surface tablet provides seamless delivery of real-time flight data from Jeppesen in all lighting conditions, and pilots (FC) can configure their tablet to provide the right information at the right time.”

The Airbus A380, the world’s largest jetliner, does not figure in the current plans of Delta Air Lines (DAL), an executive at (DAL) said, citing the reliability and efficiency of smaller airplanes. “We don’t see an application for the A380 in our network,” Captain Steve Dickson, Senior VP Flight Operations, said. The A380, which entered service in 2007, can carry more than >500 passengers. Airbus (EDS) has been trying to boost sales of the plane. (DAL) also has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for the purchase of as many as 50 wide body jets.

Captain Dickson said planes with four engines, such as the A380, were likely “not viable” for most of Delta (DAL)’s markets. “The reliability of the two-engine airplanes and the efficiency of them is just too compelling,” he added. Captain Dickson, who is qualified as a Boeing 757/767 captain and has also flown the 727 and 737 at (DAL), also said (DAL) was not seeing a shortage of pilots (FC). While some regional carriers have cited problems finding qualified pilots (FC), he said (DAL) had not seen a big impact yet at its feeder carriers.

(DAL) has placed a firm order for 15 Airbus A321ceo airplanes for delivery from 2018 to replace older narrow bodies due for retirement. (DAL) has also selected (CFM) International (CFM56) engines for the new A321s, all of which will have fuel-saving Sharklet wingtips and many of which will be delivered from Airbus’ brand-new A320 family assembly line (FAL) under construction in Mobile, Alabama.

(DAL) operates a fleet of 126 A320 family airplanes and 32 A330 wide bodies. The order brings (DAL)’s backlog to 45 Airbus A321s and 10 A330s. (DAL)'s first A321 will begin service in early 2016, with 20F first class seats, 23PY extra-legroom seats and 149Y seats in economy. Each A321 will feature Wi-Fi, in-flight entertainment (IFE) with live satellite TV and on-demand options, and 110v power at every seat.

See attached "Delta Nose First Landing" - -

July 2014: Delta Air Lines (DAL) has reported second-quarter net income of +$801 million, up +17% from net profit of +$685 recorded in the year-ago-quarter.

Operating revenue was up +9.4% year-over-year to $10.6 billion, while expenses grew +2.8% to $9 billion. The resulting operating profit for the second quarter came to +$1.6 billion, up +72.8% year-over-year—an increase of +$665 million over 2013’s June quarter.

(DAL) (CEO), Richard Anderson said the second-quarter performance “with +9% top line growth, more than >4 points of margin expansion and $1.5 billion of free cash flow, shows the financial strength and resilience of our company.”

(DAL)’s expenses include $340 million in profit-sharing distributed to company employees in recognition of their contributions toward achieving the company’s financial goals (nearly tripling the $118 million in profit-sharing (DAL) distributed in the 2013 second-quarter.

(DAL) has accrued $439 million in employee profit-sharing so far this year (more than tripling the company’s accrual during the same period in 2013); the company has paid out $37 million in Shared Rewards (down -17.8% from the same period last year). (DAL)’s Shared Rewards is a monthly bonus program available to employees who meet corporate operational goals throughout the year.

Consolidated traffic increased +5% year-over-year to 53.3 billion (RPM)s. Capacity grew +3.2% year-over-year to 61.8 billion (ASM)s, producing a passenger load factor of 86.3% LF, up +1.5 points from the 2013 second quarter. Passenger yield grew +3.8% year-over-year to 17.37 cents. (CASM) remained flat at 14.63 cents.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) missed Wall Street’s marks with its June traffic report, in which (DAL) said traffic, measured in (RPM)s, rose +3% on capacity, measured in (ASM)s, that was +3.1% higher than last year.

(DAL) reported unit revenue, or (PRASM), grew +4.5% compared to last year. This number disappointed analysts, who expected a +6% (PRASM) growth for the month and resulted in an overall decline in airline share prices on June 2. (DAL) said part of the lower (PRASM) guidance could be attributed to the relatively poor performance of Latin America routes during the 2014 (FIFA) World Football (soccer) Cup in Brazil, which ended July 13. In its report, (DAL) said, “Corporate and domestic strength offset lower-than-expected international yields driven by industry-wide capacity increases and lower business demand to Latin America due to the World Cup.”

(IATA) expected revenue within Brazil and on routes to Brazil and elsewhere in Latin America to fall during the tournament, as business travel declines precipitously and traffic to each individual game tends to flow in one direction, resulting in lower yields on the return flights.

However, Delta (DAL) added +23.5% more capacity on routes to Latin America in June, compared to the year-ago month. Traffic to the region rose +20.4%, and load factors were down -2.1 points.

Analysts believe the Latin American market will recover after the World Cup. “We think there is likely to be pent-up business demand for August and September to Brazil and are not inclined to overreact to one data point,” Cowen & Company analyst, Helane Becker said. “We believe if demand for the seats is not there, (DAL) will reduce capacity.”

And although Wall Street initially reacted negatively to (DAL)’s June traffic report, most analysts believe the longer-term forecast for the company is very positive. J P Morgan analyst, Jamie Baker said the company will perform to expectations in the second quarter and forecasts operating margins to be at 14.9%. (DAL) is expected to update investors on operating margins soon, when it reports its second-quarter financial performance.

Yet, Delta (DAL)’s performance continues to lead the industry, (UBS) analyst, Darryl Genovesi said. (PRASM) growth, despite being lower than forecast, was in line with Genovesi’s earlier forecast, and he forecasts costs per available seat-mile to be flat to +1% higher than the same period last year.

Delta’s domestic traffic rose almost +4% on +2.2% more capacity, compared with last year. Atlantic and Pacific traffic fell -1.3% and -2.5%, respectively, on capacity that was +1% higher in the Atlantic system and -0.5% lower in the Pacific.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) will resume weekly, Atlanta - St Croix service December 20 - May 10.

(DAL) announced it is cutting its flights to Venezuela to one a week amid a dispute over Caracas’s unpaid $4.2 billion debt to international airlines. (DAL) was the latest in a string of airlines to cut back or halt service altogether to Venezuela, which is in a deepening economic crisis despite its vast oil wealth.

(DAL) said its daily flight will be replaced with weekly service between Atlanta and Caracas starting August 1. “(DAL) has provided uninterrupted service to Venezuela for 15 years. We value our longstanding commercial relationship with the Venezuelan government and we are committed to serving the Venezuelan market,” (DAL) said.

(DAL) did not disclose how much it is owed by Venezuela.

American Airlines (AAL), which has $750 million in unpaid bills, slashed its flights to Venezuela on July 2 from 48 to 10 a week.

Caracas has promised to repay the airlines in phases but at a discount rate.

Air Europa (ARE) and Aerolineas Argentinas (ARG) have agreed to the settlement, but not the airlines with the largest unpaid debts, like (AAL), Copa (COP) ($500 million), Avianca (AVI) ($300 million), AirFrance (AFA) ($270 million) and Iberia (IBE) ($200 million).

Venezuela, which has strict exchange controls, requires that airlines sell tickets in bolivars and then go through a long bureaucratic process to convert the proceeds into dollars.

But payments have been paralyzed for the past year as the government has faced a foreign currency crunch.

About 30% of Delta Air Lines (DAL)’s traffic in Seattle is connecting, mainly to Asia, a trend (DAL) expects to grow as it builds out of its Pacific gateway, an executive said.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) and Virgin Atlantic (VAA) are eyeing technology-sharing opportunities as part of their joint venture (JV), while (VAA)’s SkyTeam (STM) Alliance plans continue to take a back seat.

(DAL) announced that Executive VP Human Resources & Labor Relations, Mike Campbell will retire October 1 after 40 years in the industry. He will be succeeded by Executive VP Chief Human Resources (HR) Officer, Joanne Smith. Jack Arehart becomes President of Delta TechOps Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO).

(CIT) Aerospace (TCI) has entered into an agreement with Delta Air Lines (DAL) for the purchase and lease-back of 24 new airplanes (10 Boeing 737-900ERs and 14 Bombardier (BMB) CRJ900s). The 737-900ERs will be operated by (DAL), while the CRJ900s will be flown by Delta Connection carrier, Endeavor Air. 6 of each have entered service, with the remaining orders due to arrive during 2014.

August 2014: Delta Air Lines (DAL) will add a third daily, Austin - Los Angeles service starting November 2.

2 737-932ERs (31936, N825DN; 31937, N826DN), (CIT) Aerospace (TCI) leased. 747-412F (26554, N314SQ), ex-(9V-SCB) ex-Singapore Cargo (SQC) to be used for spares.

September 2014: Delta Air Lines (DAL), which during the course of the previous week decided to go year-round on the New York (JFK) - Zurich airport pair, expanded its domestic network with three new routes, all of which were launched on September 2nd with daily flights. First of all, the oldest airline still operating in the USA inaugurated services from Atlanta (ATL) to Lincoln, New England (LNK) and Rochester (RST), utilizing ExpressJet Airlines’ 76-seat CRJ 900s and 65-seat CRJ 700s respectively. Noteworthy, is the fact that the service to Lincoln is the SkyTeam (STM) Alliance member’s second route to the airport, as it already flies there with 20 weekly flights from Minneapolis-St Paul. Secondly, (DAL) increased its presence at Rochester (RST) with another service from Detroit (DTW), served using Endeavor Air’s 50-seat CRJ 200s. There is no competition on either of (DAL)’s new airport pairs.

Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA) will reconfigure its route network by cutting services to Asian and African destinations in favor of a greater concentration on North Atlantic services. The changes are the latest harmonization of services between Virgin Atlantic (VAA) and Delta Air Lines (DAL), which holds a 49% shareholding in (VAA).

Under plans announced recently, Virgin Atlantic (VAA) will offer an additional daily frequency on services between London Heathrow (LHR) and New York (JFK) (5x-daily), Los Angeles (2x-daily), Atlanta (2x-daily in summer season), Miami (2x-daily in winter season). (VAA) will also increase (LHR) - San Francisco services to 5x-weekly.

(VAA) previously announced it will start a new (LHR) - Detroit service in 2015. It will also take over transatlantic joint venture (JV) partner (DAL)’s current daily service between Atlanta and Manchester.

To create the required capacity for these increases, (VAA) is ending services from (LHR) to Tokyo Narita and Mumbai (January 31, 2015), its summer seasonal service to Vancouver (October 11) and winter seasonal service to Cape Town (April 27, 2015).

(VAA) said it would be eager to restore services to those destinations “if (LHR) gains its long overdue expansion. The intended changes will enable (VAA) to better utilize its fleet by flying routes which deliver maximum profit or strategic importance,” (VAA) said. It has been loss making in recent years, but hopes to return to profitability by the end of 2014.

“Transatlantic flying has always been at the heart of our network and our most financially successful region,” (CEO) Craig Kreeger said. “Today’s announcement allows us to play to our strengths and focus our network on routes between the UK and USA, as well as other critical global destinations that are most important to our customers.”

As part of improving its customer service, it plans to invest £300 million/$495 million between now and 2018 in a series of enhancements including a new Clubhouse lounge at Los Angeles, fleet-wide Wi-Fi roll-out and refurbishments to its Airbus A340s until they are replaced by new types.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) begins 5x-weekly, Salt Lake City - Amsterdam service on May 1, 2015, increasing to daily on May 14.

(DAL) announced it will launch daily, Manchester - New York (JFK) service from June 2, 2015, as it increases its network between the UK and North America. (DAL) will also begin flying its first nonstop service between (LHR) and Newark from March 29, 2015.

(DAL)’s new Newark operation is part of a network update by (VAA), where it will operate one of (VAA)’s two Newark services, while Virgin Atlantic (VAA) will start its first daily nonstop Manchester to Atlanta service.

“The UK is a key market for us and building our connections to the USA is a top priority,” said Perry Cantarutti, Delta Senior VP Europe, Middle East & Africa.

USA Customs & Border Protection (CBP) has launched a limited trial at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL) of a program that allows passengers arriving on international flights to use a smartphone app in place of a paper customs form.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) is offering pilots (FC) early retirement packages as it retires some of its Boeing 747 jumbo jets. The move comes after (DAL) offered early retirements across the company earlier this year. More than >1,000 employees took the early retirement offers, according to (DAL).

A maximum of 50 pilots (FC) can retire early through the deal offered to Boeing 747 captains and other pilots. Boeing 747 captains are often among the most senior, well-paid pilots. They would be displaced by (DAL)'s decision to retire four of its 16 Boeing 747 jumbo jets this fall.

(DAL) has already announced plans to pull the iconic Boeing 747 from its Atlanta - Tokyo route as it retires the four 747s. (DAL) inherited the 747s through its 2009 merger with Northwest Airlines (NWA).

The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) union at (DAL) approved the early retirement offer, and pilots (FC) have until the end of October to apply.

October 2014: News Item A-1: Delta Air Lines (DAL) posted net income of $357 million for the third quarter, down -74% from a net profit of +$1.37 billion in the 2013 September quarter. (DAL) noted its third-quarter pre-tax income excluding special items was $1.6 billion, a $431 million improvement year-over-year.

Third-quarter revenue rose +7% year-over-year to $11.2 billion. (DAL) (CEO), Richard Anderson said, “(DAL)’s results are consistent with high-quality (S&P) 500 industrials. While we have more work ahead of us to achieve our long-term financial goals, we expect a record fourth quarter of 2014 with an operating margin of 10% - 12%. For the full year, we expect a pre-tax profit in excess of >$4 billion. We have the right foundation in place for an even stronger 2015.”

(DAL)'s third-quarter expenses increased +16% year-over-year to $10.34 billion and operating income was $835 million, down -47% from an operating profit of $1.56 billion in the prior-year period.

(DAL)’s third-quarter consolidated traffic rose +4% year-over-year to 56.96 billion (RPM)s on a +3% increase in capacity to 65.93 billion (ASM)s, producing a load factor of 86.4% LF. Passenger yield improved +2% to 17.16 cents.

(DAL) ended the third quarter with 764 airplanes in its mainline fleet, +40 more than at the end of the 2013 September quarter.

News Item A-2: Alaska Airlines (ASA) has ordered +10 737-900ERs at an estimated total market price of more than half a billion dollars. This makes their current order status to grow to 37 737-900ERs with the rest coming over the next 3 years. (ASA) also has 37 of the new 737MAX family on order for delivery from 2018. (ASA) which has an existing fleet of 136 737s, plans to replace aging 737 Classics and to expand services out of its Seattle hub. "We're doubling down on our strength in Seattle," said Alaska Air Group (CEO), Brad Tilden. "We have a very strong franchise here. It's important that we protect what we've got." (This is a reference to (ASA)'s battle to maintain its dominance at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport against a rapid expansion by Atlanta-based airline giant, Delta Airlines (DAL).

Note: The latest passenger traffic data from the Port of Seattle, which runs the airport, suggests that so far, (ASA) is holding its own.

In August, (ASA)'s passenger traffic through Sea-Tac was up +9.4% compared with a year earlier, roughly in line with over-all traffic growth at the airport, thanks to a strong local economy. For the year through August, the hometown airline carried 51% of all the passengers passing through the airport. (DAL)'s share of Sea-Tac passenger traffic climbed to just shy of 15%, almost +2 points higher than 4 months earlier.

Delta (DAL)'s growth is affecting the market share of international carriers out of Sea-Tac more than (ASA)'s.

Year-to-date through August, United (UAL)'s passenger traffic share at the airport was down -7% compared with the previous year.

Meanwhile, (ASA) continues to grow. In 2010, (ASA) flew 114 Boeing 737s. By 2017, with some older jets being retired and the new orders deliveries coming in, the fleet should grow to 147 of the jets.

To underscore its hometown roots against the interloper from Atlanta (DAL), (ASA) organized a Seattle-area scavenger hunt for October 10th, with prizes including pairs of free flight tickets and the opportunity to fly a Boeing 737 in a simulator.

Details were on the (ASA) blog at

News Item A-3: American Airlines (AAL) has stated that Delta (DAL) is ‘squandering’ Tokyo Haneda slots from Seattle. Consequently, (AAL) is asking the USA Department of Transportation (DOT) to seize one of Delta Air Lines (DAL)’s Tokyo Haneda frequencies and reallocate it to (AAL) for service from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

(AAL) is laying out a case for how it thinks the USA Department of Transportation (DOT) should seize Delta Air Lines (DAL)’s Seattle - Haneda flights and reallocate it to (AAL) for flights from Los Angeles without re-starting the full reallocation process.

News Item A-4: The European Commission (EC) is seeking input into whether SkyTeam (STM) Alliance members Delta Air Lines (DAL), Air France (AFA) - (KLM) and Alitalia (ALI) have unfair dominance on their transatlantic New York services.

This marks the latest step in a probe that was formally opened by the (EC) in January 2012. The investigation originally looked at whether all SkyTeam (STM) Alliance carriers had transatlantic market dominance, but later dismissed eight other alliance members to focus on just (AFA) - (KLM), Alitalia (ALI), and Delta (DAL). “The three airlines have offered to make landing and takeoff slots available at both ends of the Amsterdam - New York and Rome - New York routes to facilitate the market entry of competitors,” the (EC) said, inviting comments from third parties within a month of publication in the "Official Journal."

(AFA) - (KLM), (ALI) and (DAL) are also willing to allow rivals to sell tickets on their flights, facilitate connections and give access to their frequent flyer program on all three routes. “If the market test confirms that the proposed commitments remedy the competition concerns, the (EC) may make them legally binding on the companies,” the (EC) said.

The (EU) body is concerned that the “extensive cooperation” between (AFA) - (KLM), (ALI), and (DAL), which includes profit-sharing, as well as schedules, pricing and capacity coordination, could be pushing up premium fares between Paris and New York, in addition to premium and non-premium fares on the other two routes.

News Item A-5: USA Transportation Secretary, Anthony Foxx recently awarded $10.2 million (FAA) grants to six airports to reduce emissions and improve air quality through the (FAA)’s Voluntary Airport Low Emission (VALE) program.

(VALE) is designed to reduce all sources of airport ground emissions in areas of marginal air quality. The (FAA) established the program in 2005 to help airport sponsors meet air quality responsibilities under the Clean Air Act. Through (VALE), airport sponsors can use Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funds and passenger facility charges to help acquire low-emission vehicles, refueling and recharging stations, gate electrification, and other airport-related air quality improvements.

The airports include: Albuquerque International Sunport ($431,479: — to help the airport upgrade the infrastructure to low-emission technology by replacing four boilers in the airport’s central utility plant); Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International ($102,456: — to enable the airport to purchase two alternative-fuel garbage trucks and convert two passenger vans to cleaner burning fuel instead of diesel); Chicago O’Hare International Airport ($2 million: — to allow the airport to install an underground fuel-hydrant system, eliminating the need for diesel-powered fuel trucks); Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport ($2 million: — to help the airport install 12 electric gates at Terminal B and install and connect seven pre-conditioned air units for parked aircraft); Seattle-Tacoma International Airport ($2 million: — to allow the airport to install 43 charging units in Terminals A and B to support electric ground support equipment (GSE) such as luggage loaders and aircraft tugs); Yeager Airport in West Virginia ($3,678,168: — to fund both gate power units and pre-conditioned air units at seven of the airport’s gates).

“These grants will allow the airports to take advantage of the remainder of the construction season by beginning or completing the construction process,” (FAA) Administrator, Michael Huerta said. “The airports can continue to be good neighbors to residents in the surrounding communities.”

News Item A-6: Delta Air Lines (DAL) pilot (FC) Captain Tim Canoll has been elected as the new President of the Air Lines Pilots Association (ALPA), the union representing more than >51,000 pilots (FC) at 30 airlines in the USA and Canada.

Captain Canoll succeeds outgoing (ALPA) President Captain Lee Moak, who did not seek reelection. Captain Moak was also a (DAL) pilot (FC). Captain Canoll, an MD-88 captain who will be (ALPA)’s tenth President, was elected to a four-year term starting January 1st. He has been (ALPA)’s Executive Administrator since 2011.

“Airline pilots (FC) in North America face many critical challenges today, while at the same time other challenges and opportunities are coming on the horizon,” Captain Canoll said. “Our union is strong and prepared to face them all."

(ALPA) this year has fought against the USA Export-Import Bank financing wide body airplane purchases and against Norwegian Air International (NAI)’s application to the USA Department of Transportation (DOT) for a foreign air carrier permit to operate flights between the European Union (EU) and the USA.

Airlines for America (A4A) President & (CEO), Nicholas Calio said, “(A4A) deeply appreciates the strong working relationship we have with (ALPA), which was forged under Captain Lee Moak’s leadership, and we look forward to working with Captain Canoll and his team on issues affecting the airline industry and our customers, including ensuring that next year’s (FAA) re-authorization legislation addresses the tax, regulatory and infrastructure challenges that impede USA airlines' ability to grow, create jobs and compete globally.”

News Item A-7: Delta TechOps continues to invest in landing-gear overhaul and is exploring the expansion of its landing-gear portfolio to include additional airplane types in 2015. TechOps now offers exchange gears for 737NGs, 757s and 767s. It recently extended contracts for 737NGs at Sun Country Airlines (SCA) and Brazil’s (GOL) (GOT).


November 2014: SEE ATTACHED - - "DAL-2014-11 ATL-LHR 777-200LR-A/B/C/D/E/F" Businesslite experience from "Airways."

News Item A-1: During the third quarter, Gogo continued to expand its technology portfolio beyond its core (IFC) service offering. Delta Air Lines (DAL) launched "Delta Studio," a custom wireless In-flight Entertainment (IFE) product that uses the Gogo Vision platform to deliver movies and other content directly to passengers' wireless devices. Gogo Vision is an alternative to traditional seat-back (IFE) systems, providing a Wi-Fi enabled airplane server that streams television shows and movies directly to passengers' smart phones, tablets and laptops.

Gogo also extended its free in-flight texting service to T-Mobile customers on commercial flights in the USA. When the in-flight texting partnership was originally launched in 2013 with T-Mobile, it was reserved for business jet airplanes.

Following (AT&T)’s recent November 10th decision to drop out of the In-Flight Connectivity (IFC) market, Gogo (CEO), Michael Small addressed a crowd at the Wells Fargo Technology, Media & Telecom Conference regarding Gogo’s future as well as the many barriers to entering the commercial jet airplane connectivity scene.

Gogo stands to gain both revenue and respect, as denoted by soaring stock prices for the (IFC) provider directly following the November 10 announcement. Small spoke little of soaring stocks, however, and took the opportunity to address the difficulties of entering the IFC sector. “The barriers to entry in this business are extraordinary,” he said at the conference. “You need extensive telecommunications knowledge because nothing off the shelf works. You have to design and invent and write software and build pieces of equipment that no terrestrial operator ever does. So that’s a real challenge.”

Gogo has spent $1 billion setting up and establishing its networks, spectrum, technology and services, but the company believes it is now seeing the fruits of its labor. “Given there are those huge upfront investments to get into this business you need a lot of airplanes and today we have 4,700 broadband airplanes. That sounds like a little number but it’s against the universe of 40,000 airplanes in the world and it’s almost eight times the size of our closest competitor,” said Small.

News Item A-2: SEE ATTACHED "SEATTLE TIMES" AEROSPACE REPORT BY DOMINIC GATES - - "DAL-2014-11 - AIRBUS ORDER-A/B/C." DELTA AIR LINES (DAL) ordered 25 Airbus A330-900neos and 25 A350-900s at a list price of $14.3 billion. However, the real value of this order after normally expected discounts, should amount to approximately $6.2 billion. Boeing (TBC) was trying to sell Delta (DAL) a mix of 777-300ERs and the 787-9 (the larger version of the Dreamliner), to replace (DAL)'s aging 747s and 767s.

The decisive factor in (DAL)'s choice, nevertheless, was that Airbus (EDS) was able to offer early delivery slots, but Boeing (TBC) could not.

Boeing (TBC) has unfilled orders FOR 850 787 Dreamliners and plans to ramp up production from the current 10 jets per month to 14 by the end of the decade, in order to meet demand for earlier deliveries.

Delta (CEO), Richard Anderson had said back in June that (DAL) really needed deliveries around 2017, and 2018.

(DAL) is presently the most profitable airline in the world and, measured by passengers carried, is the second largest following the "new" ("old" (AAL) merged with US Airlines (AMW)/(USA)) American Airlines (AAL). (DAL)'s current wide body fleet consists of 126 Boeing jets and just 32 Airbus jets. The Airbus jets (all A330s) were inherited from Northwest Airlines (NWA) when the two carriers ((AAL)/(NWA)) merged in 2008. Last year, (DAL) ordered +10 more A330s.

The decision now that (DAL) will update its wide body fleet with the new version of the A330 and the A350 is a major disappointment for Boeing (TBC). On the other hand, Airbus grabbing such a prominent major USA airline in a head-to-head competition between the 787 and its rival A350 is a timely boost for Airbus (EDS).

Aviation analyst, Scott Hamilton of stated this order "It's huge, since up to now, Airbus' wide body penetration into the USA jet airplane market has been minuscule."

American Airlines (AAL) and United (UAL) presently have all-Boeing (TBC) fleets, although the "new" (AAL) inherited an Airbus A350 order when it merged with US Air (AMW/USA), and (UAL) also now has A350s on order.

This new (DAL) order confirms the market potential of the A330neo, featuring the new fuel-efficient Rolls Royce (RRC) engines, which were part of last July's Farnborough Air Show, including commitments for 121 of these airplanes. The A330neo will likely be flown on trans-Atlantic routes initially, including some from Seattle to Europe.

Airbus has 549 firm orders for the A350-900, which is set to be delivered for the first time next month. The A350-900 is a long-range jet airplane seating more than >300 passengers, and like the 787 Dreamliner, has a mostly carbon fiber composite airframe. It will probably be used out of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on trans-Pacific routes.

News Item A-3: (DAL) is growing at a phenomenal rate at Sea-Tac. On November 19th, (DAL) announced new flights to Boise, Idaho; Denver, Colorado; Sacramento, California; and to Ketchikan and Sitka in Alaska. As (DAL) increases its Sea-Tac presence, more and more Airbus airplanes will be flying out of here.

December 2014: News Item A-1: "The Future of Airport Service at New York (JFK) T4 - and It Works!" by Air Transport World (ATW) Editor Karen Walker in her (ATW) Editor's Blog:

I’m at New York (JFK) Terminal 4 between flights from (DCA) and (GVA) and there is something very interesting happening here that I think marks the future for great airport customer service.

At the dedicated Delta Air Lines (DAL) part of T4, you are shown to a table in the "Due Amici" restaurant, from where everything is automated via on-the-table iPads. A server shows you how to do it, if you are a first-timer, but it’s pretty simple. Just pick what you want from the tablet menu, complete with detailed descriptions, see your bill total, swipe your credit card in the on-table slide, select a gratuity percentage, and your order is confirmed and a receipt immediately sent to your email if you wish.

But it gets better. You can order food and beverages to eat at the table or in a bag to go. It will be delivered within 15 minutes (my order came much quicker). There are power sockets at each table, so you can also charge up your own portable devices while waiting. And the iPad is free to use while you are there to surf the net, check your flight status, take a look at the weather forecast for where you are going or whatever. It has multiple language options and everything is at your fingertips.

This part of T4 is equipped with many of these auto-iPad service stations throughout the facility. A waiter told me that the Due Amici iPads were installed about three months ago and he admitted they were still adapting to the concept. He said customer reaction has been mixed: frequent travelers and younger passengers love it; older people who don’t fly often are taken aback and say they want a “real person” taking their order. That’s still an option (you can ask for conventional service or press the icon on the tablet for assistance).

As far as I’m concerned, based on my experience today, I can’t wait to see more airports adopt this (and more airlines for in-cabin service). There’s no trying to flag up a waiter for your order or your check, you can continuously monitor your flight, news and anything else, and you are charged up and ready to go when you need to leave.

(DAL), the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, and (JFK) (IAT) opened the revamped T4 in May 2013. (JFK) (IAT) is wholly owned by Schiphol USA, a subsidiary of Amsterdam Airport owner and operator, the Schiphol Group, and privately operates the terminal under a development/management lease from (PANYNJ).

From what I’ve seen, they’ve got the future of airport service worked out.

News Item A-2: Republic Airways Holdings has reached an amendment to its capacity purchase agreement with Delta Air Lines (DAL) to operate nine additional 69-seat Embraer EMB-170 airplanes. The airplanes are scheduled to be placed into service between the third quarter of 2015 and the second quarter of 2016 and will operate for a term of six years per airplane.

In addition, the two carriers have agreed to extend the term of the agreement for the existing 14 EMB-170 airplanes by four years, or through October 2021, and the existing 16 Emb-175 airplanes by approximately five years, or through February 2024.

The nine additional EMB-170 airplanes will either be sourced internally by Republic or with used airplanes available in the open market.

Republic Chairman & (CEO), Bryan Bedford said, “By growing our (DAL) EMB-Jet fleet and extending all of our airplanes into the next decade, we have cemented our long-term commitment to provide a safe, clean and reliable EMB-Jet operation as a Delta Connection partner.”

News Item A-3: Delta Air Lines (DAL)’s Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) division, Delta TechOps, opened a new line maintenance facility at Tokyo Narita Airport to provide support for (DAL)’s Airbus A330 and Boeing 747-400, 777, 767 and 757 airplanes. “The new hangar allows us to enhance our capabilities and further support our stellar workforce at Narita,” (DAL) VP Line Maintenance, Lee Gossett said. “We continue to look for more efficient and effective opportunities to handle our routine and non-routine maintenance requirements. This facility will give us much needed flexibility to support (DAL)’s operation and our customers in the Asia-Pacific region.”

According to Delta TechOps, the (MRO) provider has achieved more than >120 days without a maintenance cancellation.

News Item A-4: Delta Air Lines (DAL) has named Ranjan Goswami as new VP Sales for the West, based in Los Angeles, as (DAL) continues to strengthen its West Coast network. Goswami is former Managing Director West region. (DAL) also named Sergio Rial to its board of directors. Rial serves as (CEO) of Marfrig Global Foods, a multinational company based in Brazil with operations in the food and food service sectors in Brazil and 15 other countries.

January 2015: News Item A-1: News Item A-4: American Airlines (AAL) was supposed to take dellivery of its first 787-9 Dreamliner in November, only to have the date pushed back to this month and then into the first quarter of 2015. Reasons for the delay include problems with installing lie-flat seats in the premium cabin. (AAL) is working with Boeing (TBC) and the (FAA) to get some issues "squared away."

News Item A-5: (AAL) is evaluating two types of business (C)-class seats for its long-range Boeing 757s, one similar to what (AAL) has installed on its Airbus A321 transcontinental airplanes and the other akin to what JetBlue Airways (JBL) has put on its "Min"t subfleet.

January 2015: News Item A-1: Delta Air Lines (DAL) reported 2014 net income of +$659 million, down -94% from a +$10.54 billion net profit in 2013, although the 2014 result reflects a significant special charge related to fuel hedging, while the 2013 result included a huge tax valuation gain.

(DAL)’s 2014 net income, excluding special items was +$2.8 billion, a slight increase over a +$2.7 billion net profit excluding special items in 2013. With fuel prices dropping significantly, (DAL) decided to make hedging adjustments and took a $1.2 billion fourth-quarter charge for mark-to-market adjustments on fuel hedges settling in future periods. As a result, (DAL) incurred a -$712 million net loss in the December quarter. Hedging meant (DAL) was unable to realize the benefits of a -14% year-over-year drop in the December quarter’s average price per fuel gallon to $2.62.

(DAL)’s fourth-quarter operating loss was -$828 million, reversed from an operating profit of +$701 million in the 2013 December quarter.

(DAL)’s full-year 2014 operating revenue was up +7% compared to 2013 to $40.36 billion, but expenses increased +11% to 38.15 billion, as (DAL)’s fuel costs jumped +24% owing to $2 billion in charges related to hedging. (DAL)’s 2014 operating profit was +$2.2 billion, down -35% from operating income of $3.4 billion in 2013.

With the fuel hedging adjustments made and (DAL)’s Trainer, Pennsylvania oil refinery earning a +$105 million fourth-quarter net profit (reversing a -$46 million net loss in the 2013 December quarter), (DAL) (CFO), Paul Jacobson said, “We expect a net year-over-year fuel price benefit of $500 million in the [2015] March quarter and will work throughout 2015 to maximize the benefit of fuel savings to our bottom line.”

(DAL)’s 2014 consolidated traffic increased +4% year-over-year to 202.93 billion (RPM)s on +3% growth in capacity to 239.7 billion (ASM)s, producing a load factor 84.7% LF, up +0.9 point. Passenger yield rose +2% to 17.22 cents. (DAL) ended 2014 with 772 mainline airplanes in its fleet, +29 more than it had at the end of 2013.

News Item A-2: American Airlines (AAL) has ramped up the battle for Delta Air Lines (DAL)’s Seattle - Tokyo Haneda route authority, submitting a formal application to the USA Department of Transportation (DOT) requesting that the route be reallocated to (AAL) for daily Boeing 777-200 flights from Los Angeles (LAX).

The (DOT) is conducting a proceeding to determine whether (DAL)’s Seattle - Haneda authority should be reallocated. Hawaiian Airlines (HWI) has also signaled an interest in (DAL)’s Seattle - Haneda slot. The Japanese government makes four Haneda slots available to USA carriers. Currently, (DAL) operates to Haneda from (LAX) and Seattle, United (UAL) operates to Haneda from San Francisco, and Hawaiian (HWL) conducts flights to Haneda from Honolulu.

(AAL) argues that (DAL) is underutilizing “a scarce resource” by operating Seattle - Haneda flights too infrequently. The (DOT) requires coveted slots to be operated at least once during a 90-day period and (DAL) has said it is in compliance with that rule. (DAL) said it has made a “temporary seasonal adjustment” owing to lower demand in the winter and plans to increase Seattle - Haneda operations to daily service in March.

But (AAL) has claimed (DAL) is not following the “letter and spirit” of (DOT)’s dormancy rule on the Seattle - Haneda route. (AAL) President, Scott Kirby said that “it is imperative that (AAL) be allowed to compete” at Haneda, noting (AAL) is “the only USA global network carrier without the authority to operate its own airplanes at Haneda.” He added, “(AAL)’s proposed Los Angeles - Haneda service will increase competition in the Haneda market and make the most of underutilized operating rights by giving millions of consumers and shippers a new, viable travel option to Haneda that they don’t have today.”

(AAL) said that “Los Angeles is the largest continental USA gateway to Tokyo and demand in the Los Angeles - Tokyo market is almost five times larger than Seattle - Tokyo.”

Later, The USA Department of Transportation (DOT) said it will start a route case proceeding for slots at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, handing a victory to American Airlines (AAL) and Hawaiian Airlines (HWI).

The two carriers last year petitioned the (DOT) to reallocate a slot pair held by Delta Air Lines (DAL) for Seattle flights. (AAL) and (HWI) said (DAL) is “squandering” the slot, operating it a bare minimum to avoid triggering (DOT)’s 90-day dormancy rule, while (DAL) said it has reduced frequencies due to seasonality. The (DOT) last month invited comments on whether it should start a route case proceeding.

Washington State Governor, Jay Inslee is the latest public official to weigh in on which city should get (or in Seattle’s case, retain) coveted slots at Tokyo’s close-in Haneda Airport.

News Item A-3: Delta Air Lines (DAL), working to keep peace with pilots (FC) ahead of union contract talks, agreed to retain its own international flights and not outsource trips to partner, Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA). One of the deal's terms is the first of its kind in the industry, an assurance that (DAL)'s overseas operations always will stay larger than (VAA)'s, said Rick Dominguez, Executive Administrator of (DAL)'s chapter of the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA). The accord also ensures that (DAL) will use its own pilots (FC) and airplanes on trips to London, rather than letting (VAA) pilots (FC) handle them.

(DAL) paid US$360 million last year for 49% of (VAA), the Crawley, England-based airline founded by billionaire, Sir Richard Branson. The purchase helped (DAL) expand service across the North Atlantic, (the busiest international travel market) and stirred union concern that jobs would be threatened if (DAL) let (VAA) jets do more flying.

"With (DAL)'s large equity position, it concerns us that (DAL) could start to grow (VAA) and not to grow (DAL)." Dominguez said.

(DAL) enjoys a relatively good relationship with its pilots (FC) compared with other airlines, Dominguez said. Keeping them happy could be crucial as the two sides start contract discussions in April.
A (DAL) spokeswoman, Kate Modolo, said (DAL) had no comment about the pilot (FC) agreement. (DAL)'s 12,000 pilots (FC) are the only major organized work group at the airline, the least-unionized carrier in the USA industry.

(DAL) will have to retain about 49,000 hours of flying time a year between the USA and London's Heathrow (LHR) Airport on its wide-body jets. (DAL) also will have to continue flying about three times as much globally as (VAA), no matter how much the UK airline grows, Dominguez said. The union sought to protect the bulk of (DAL)'s UK - USA flying and ensure that (VAA) doesn't erode operations on other routes around the world. The pilot (FC) deal would let (VAA) add eight more wide-bodies to its current 38, according to its website, after which (DAL) would have to maintain about three times as much international capacity as the UK airline. The ratio of flying between (DAL) and its joint venture (JV) partners has been an issue before. (DAL) is supposed to do 50% of the flying in its transatlantic partnership with Air France (AFA) - (KLM) Group and Alitalia (ALI). It likely will come up short of that goal by a March deadline, in violation of its pilots (FC)'s agreement.

Dominguez said he has no reason to think (DAL) would replace its own flying with (VAA). However, its ownership stake in the UK airline sets that relationship apart from other partnerships with (AFA) and (ALI) or Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd. (DAL) won USA antitrust immunity to coordinate fares and schedules on routes to and from the UK in 2013, and President, Ed Bastian told analysts and investors on December 11 that the venture should add to (DAL)'s 2015 earnings by +US$200 million.

Tim Caplinger, the founder of a startup union that hopes to replace (ALPA) at the bargaining table, criticized the deal. It doesn't spell out specific punishments for (DAL) for any violations where it lets (VAA) do too much flying, he said. "It's completely optional for (DAL) to comply with it if there's no penalty for going out of compliance," said Caplinger, a (DAL) First Officer (FC) who flies Boeing 757 single-aisle jets and the 767 wide-body. He runs the (DAL) Pilots Association.

Dominguez said it would be unwise to spell out any penalties, which could encourage an airline to consider them a cost of doing business.
"It makes sure we maintain a global share of the flying."

News Item A-4: Air Transport World (ATW) Editor, Karen Walker in her (ATW) Editor's Blog titled "Not-So-Friendly Skies according to 2014 ranking of USA carrier performance:"

There’s an interesting article here by Wall Street Journal, "The Middle Seat" Editor, Scott McCartney, providing his annual scorecard on the performance of the eight biggest carriers in 2014.

The survey assesses the carriers on service parameters such as flight delays, cancellations, lost baggage and complaints (all of which increased last year, despite the USA airlines being in a much better financial position, McCartney pointed out.

His report showed that USA airlines canceled nearly +66,000 more flights last year than in 2013, and the percentage of canceled flights jumped to +2.7% from +1.9% the previous year, according to flight-tracking firm FlightStats Inc. The number of complaints filed with the Department of Transportation (DOT) over airline service, meanwhile, increased by a steep +26%.

Alaska Airlines (ASA) and Virgin America (VUS) score best; Delta (DAL) also stood out for a very good performance among the “Big Three” consolidated carriers.

American (AAL) and United (UAL), not so. Indeed, (UAL) is hunkered down in either last or second from last place on every ranking, making it the clear worst performer on all counts.

With carriers like (ASA) and Virgin America (VUS) changing the game in USA airline customer service, and Gulf carriers (with their excellent service reputations) growing their North American footprints on international routes, (UAL) has some real work to do. (Note to Jeff (Smisek): I know a man named Gordon (remember your previous leader, Mr Bethune at Continental Airlines (CAL), who famously took (CAL) from 'worst to first.' You may want to seek his advice.)

Addendum: A colleague of mine recently boarded a Delta (DAL) 737-900ER at Detroit bound for Washington DC and texted me raving about the cabin. Mood lighting!, clean, comfortable seats!, in-seat video!, (USB) port!, - - Go Delta!

News Item A-5: "Maintaining Capacity Discipline"
January 28, 2015 by Aaron Karp, (ATW) in his AirKarp blog.

Huge profits. Low fuel prices. Strong demand. In the past, those factors would likely have led major USA airlines to ramp up capacity, but no longer. The USA’s three global full-service airlines (Delta Air Lines (DAL), United Airlines (UAL) and American Airlines (AAL)) have all vowed to maintain strict capacity discipline.

(UAL) and (AAL) both plan to stay below <3% capacity growth in 2015. (DAL) has not provided full-year capacity guidance (though President, Ed Bastian has said domestic capacity will probably grow “somewhere in the +2% to +3% range”), but has said its March quarter capacity will rise just +3% schedule-over-schedule (factoring in all of last year’s winter storm-related cancellations, (DAL)’s first-quarter capacity could rise as much as +5%). That follows low growth in 2014, a year in which all three airlines stayed below <3% year-over-year capacity expansion ((UAL) +0.5%, (AAL) +2.4% and (DAL) +3%).

“We are not making any changes to our 2015 capacity plan in light of the lower fuel prices,” (DAL) (CEO), Richard Anderson told analysts and reporters when discussing (DAL)’s 2014 earnings. “In fact, we continue to trim capacity on the margin to maintain yields and our (RASM) premium.”

Similarly, (UAL) Chairman, President & (CEO), Jeff Smisek told analysts and reporters last week, “We’re going to run (UAL) for profit maximization and we’re very focused on capacity discipline. We will absolutely not lose our capacity discipline.” (UAL) plans to grow capacity no more than >2.5% this year.

(AAL) plans to increase 2015 capacity +3% year-over-year domestically and +1.5% internationally. (CFO), Derek Kerr said, “You won’t see any changes from us in the near future” on the capacity plan.

USA airlines have been burned badly in the past by moving too aggressively to increase capacity. “We’ve seen this movie many times in the industry,” Anderson said. “You’ve got to run the company conservatively and we’re trimming capacity as we speak.”

News Item A-6: "US carriers should tread carefully in their anti-Gulf carrier campaign" January 21, 2015 by Karen Walker in Air Transport World (ATW) Editor's Blog:

Following a bit of saber-rattling last year, leaders of the “big three” USA consolidated carriers, American (AAL), Delta (DAL), and United (UAL), are believed to ramping up their campaign in Washington DC against the major Gulf carriers, which are looking to expand their North American footprints.

The USA carriers should tread carefully. There are risks to a strategy that could lead to regulatory intervention on what is essentially a "marketplace" issue.

First, airlines do themselves no favors if they play the game of (rightly) rejecting regulation where it is not necessary, but (wrongly) seeking it when it suits them. Lawmakers should stay out of airline business practices such as ancillary fees, use of phones (when operationally safe), and other product-related decisions where rules are not applied to other travel businesses and have nothing to do with safety, security and anti-competitive behavior. Requesting help to keep out competition, sends mixed signals to Washington and opens a back door to the era of heavy-handed economic regulation. Remember when the (CAB) defined what could count as a “sandwich?"

These same USA carriers are turning to the Asia market and transpacific routes to get a bigger slice of that fast-growing market; one made possible through "Open skies." If USA carriers seek regulatory help to fend off Gulf competition in North America, then they have no recourse should Asian flagships do the same to them.

That isn’t to say a competitive threat doesn’t exist. In a report headed by Professor Martin Dresner, a member of the University of Maryland faculty and one of the country's leading aviation economists, empirical results suggest that greater competition by Gulf carriers in USA international markets is associated with significant growth in USA - Middle East traffic volumes and small but statistically significant traffic losses and fare reductions for USA carriers in route markets connecting the USA with Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe.

But the answer isn’t to whine about competition to Congress; rather, USA carriers must work to ensure their customer products remain the popular choice. As Emirates Airline (EAD) President, Tim Clark said in Chicago last year, “Don’t worry about us. Get on with the job. Focus on what you’re doing.”

Second, the “government subsidy” accusations that the USA carriers use as the foundation for their anti-Gulf carrier campaign, fall into the “people in glass houses” category. Each of the carriers that are leading this campaign have benefited from Chapter 11, allowing them to clean their balance sheets and void obligations to creditors and employees. They also enjoy legacy rights on some of the world’s most lucrative hub airports and routes, particularly in the transatlantic market. Individual USA states provide millions of dollars of incentives that help support, attract and keep their local carriers.

Whatever ‘subsidy’ accusations are leveled at the Gulf carriers, each effectively started from scratch, and built their global networks and customer bases on their service reputations, not on inherited rights. In other words, the customer chose the product. That’s the market at work, and that’s where USA carriers should invest their time and resources, not in lunches on Capitol Hill.

News Item A-7: Qatar Airlines (QTA) & the (IAG): "Shifting sands in the global reach of the Gulf carriers" January 30, 2015 by Karen Walker in (ATW) Editor's Blog:

The announcement that Qatar Airways (QTA) has acquired a 9.99% stake in (BAB)/(IBE) parent company, the International Airlines Group (IAG) is an interesting development in the ongoing change in the international airline landscape prompted by the growth of the Gulf carriers.

(QTA) (CEO), Akbar Al Baker describes the taking of a stake in the (IAG), worth about $1.7 billion, as an “excellent opportunity to further develop our Westward strategy.” (IAG) (CEO), Willie Walsh said he was “delighted” about the investment, and opportunities to work more closely with (QTA).

There’s an interesting history to the (IAG) and (QTA) connection. Al Baker and Walsh are long-time, firm friends who each hold the other in high respect. In October 2013, (QTA) joined the Oneworld (ONW) global alliance, becoming the first of the major Gulf carriers to join a global alliance. British Airways (BAB), a founding (ONW) member, was (QTA)’s sponsor and Walsh spoke very enthusiastically about the importance of having (QTA) join. My understanding is that his enthusiasm was not matched by every (ONW) member (CEO).

Dubai-based Emirates (EAD), meanwhile, remains alliance-independent, but in 2013 it entered a five-year alliance with Qantas (QAN), another Oneworld (ONW) Alliance founding member. And Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways (EHD) owns a 29% stake in airberlin (BER), another (ONW) airline. (EHD) has its own version of an alliance, taking stakes in relatively small carriers and creating a constellation of airline equity partners that includes airberlin (BER), Air Serbia (JAT), India’s Jet Airways (JPL), Virgin Australia (VOZ), Air Seychelles (ASY) and Aer Lingus (ARL). Interestingly, the (IAG) wants to buy Aer Lingus (ARL), a move, which if it happens, would further tangle the (IAG)-Oneworld (ONW)-Gulf carrier web.

(EHD), of course, is also now a 49% owner of Alitalia (ALI) (to keep you on track with the alliance matings here, (ALI) is a SkyTeam (STM) Alliance member). But (QTA)’s stake in the (IAG) is the first time that one of the “Big Three” Gulf carriers has invested in one of the “Big Three” European airline groups of the (IAG), the Lufthansa Group and Air France (AFA) - (KLM).

It will be fascinating to see if the (QTA) - (IAG) deal marks the beginning of more such equity partnerships (within the caps of the (EU) airline ownership rules) between Gulf carriers and their European counterparts. The fact is that it’s becoming increasingly challenging for the “traditional” global hubs of Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Heathrow, and Paris to compete with the “modern” world hubs of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Qatar.

In the USA, meanwhile, there is growing awareness that what happened in Europe regards Gulf competition could happen in America. A campaign is being run by North America’s “Big Three” (American Airlines (AAL), Delta Air Lines (DAL) and United Airlines (UAL)) to try and get lawmakers to review "Open Skies" policies and the international air transport competitive landscape to take account of the rise of the Gulf carriers.

Flying under the radar so far in the shifting sands of air transport power houses is Turkish Airlines (THY), which is a Star (SAL) Alliance carrier and which has developed an extensive network, very large and modern fleet and highly successful global hub in Istanbul. It will be interesting to see whether that continues to be the case if, as Al Baker described it, a “Westward strategy” by Gulf carriers begins, in some eyes at least, to look more like a "Westward" invasion.

News Item A-8: Boeing (TBC) delivers two new 737-900ERs.

February 2015: News Item A-1: Delta Air Lines (DAL) has issued an apology after remarks made by its (CEO) about Gulf carriers seemed to suggest they or the United Arab Emirates (UAE) governments were linked to the "9/11" terrorists.

(DAL) (CEO), Richard Anderson spoke on (CNN) TV News on Monday February 16th about Gulf carriers. Anderson is believed to be leading a campaign by the three major USA international carriers (Delta (DAL), American Airlines (AAL) and United Airlines (UAL)) to raise awareness of what they allege to be unfair subsidies that Gulf carriers receive from their government owners.

On (CNN), Anderson was asked about Gulf carrier counterattacks, saying (USA) airlines get subsidies in other ways, such as Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Anderson responded, “It’s a great irony to have the (UAE) from the Arabian Peninsula talk about that, given the fact that our industry was really shocked by the terrorism of "9/11," which came from terrorists from the Arabian Peninsula.”

Following angry comments from Emirates Airline (EAD) and Qatar Airways (QTA), (DAL) issued a statement saying that Anderson “didn’t mean to suggest the Gulf carriers or their governments are linked to the "9/11" terrorists. We apologize if anyone was offended.”

Emirates Airline (EAD) rejected that apology, saying, “We believe that the statements made by Mr Anderson were deliberately crafted and delivered for specific effect. This brings into question his credibility as a (CEO) of a USA public listed company, as well as the integrity of the submission which his airline has submitted to the USA authorities.”

Qatar Airways (QTA) Group (CEO), Akbar Al Baker said on (CNN) that Anderson “should be ashamed to bring the issue of terrorism, to try to cover his inefficiency in running an airline.”

Anderson and his counterparts at American (AAL) and United (UAL), Doug Parker and Jeff Smisek, are believed to have met with senior officials at the White House and Capitol Hill earlier this year to raise awareness of what they claim to be unfair, subsidized competition from Gulf carriers. Although the content of those meetings has not been made public, it is thought they are looking to have USA "Open Skies" policy reviewed in light of that competition.

On February 18th, a panel led by the USA Business Travel Coalition (BTC) and under the banner of an initiative launched last year, called "," told journalists at the National Press Club in Washington DC, that the three major USA airlines have “worked overtime” to communicate that they feel threatened by foreign carrier new entrants and disadvantaged by new customer-service oriented business models and airlines, in which governments hold equity stakes.

“The overall impression is that the big USA network airlines want to lock out independent airlines that offer lower fares, newer airplanes, faster connections, more destinations and better service,” (BTC) Chairman, Kevin Mitchell said.

News Item A-2: "Delta (DAL)’s Terrorist Apology Is Not Enough" by (ATW)'s Karen Walker in (ATW) Editor's Blog, February 19, 2015.

Delta (DAL) (CEO), Richard Anderson’s unfortunate comment on (CNN) (See News Item A-1 above) on the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and "9/11" terrorists, shows the dangers of the slippery slope he has put himself on with the campaign against the major Gulf carriers.

Not for one minute, do I believe that Anderson (a very talented and gracious man, who is also a former Chairman of the board of governors at (IATA)) thinks there is a link between the major Gulf carriers or their owners with terrorists. But he should have realized that such a remark would get sharp rebuttals from the Gulf carriers, leading to (DAL) having to issue an apology.

He and his counterparts at American Airlines (AAL) and United (UAL) have embarked on an anti-Gulf carrier campaign that, thus far, has conducted its high-level Washington meetings behind closed doors. If Anderson is prepared to raise the terrorist card in public, who knows what is being said in private?

If the three major USA international carriers genuinely believe they are facing unfair competition because of alleged Gulf carrier subsidies, they have public avenues at the (DOT) & Justice, where they can pursue their complaints.

If they are simply trying to keep out competition, now they have what they sought ("Open Skies" on their terms, immunized antitrust agreements with their European partner airlines, consolidation and the luxury of restructuring under Chapter 11 protection), then let that argument be heard in public also.

But let’s not see the campaign resort to the sort of dangerous mischief that we have seen this week on (CNN). Personally, I don’t think (DAL)’s apology is enough. Without any foundation whatsoever, a terrible suspicion was put out there in a very public manner.

I have to agree with Qatar Airways (QTA) (CEO), Akbar Al Bakar – "Shame on Anderson!"

News Item A-3: "Yes, Mr Anderson, Chapter 11 is a ‘government subsidy’" by (ATW) Aaron Karp in AirKarp Blog, February 20, 2015

Delta Air Lines (DAL) (CEO), Richard Anderson is getting knocked around for his controversial statement on (CNN) TV News regarding "United Arab Emirates (UAE) airlines, "9/11" and government subsidies." (DAL) has issued an apology for part of his statement, but doubled down on the less controversial portion of Anderson’s remarks. Actually, the focus on the first part of Anderson’s statement lets him off the hook for making two dubious claims in the second part of his comments.

A lot is being said about the first part of his statement, but I’d like to focus on the second part. First, via the (CNN) transcript, below is the full statement by Anderson. I’ve added emphasis to the claims I want to address. The context here is Anderson being asked by (CNN)’s Richard Quest to respond to the argument made by (UAE) carriers Emirates Airline (EAD) and Etihad Airways (EHD), that (DAL) and other major USA airlines like American (AAL) and United (UAL) “in your own ways have your hand in the bailout trough” through Chapter 11 bankruptcy restructuring.

Anderson’s response: “That is categorically false. And it’s a great irony to have the (UAE) from the Arabian Peninsula talk about that, given the fact that our industry was really shocked by the terrorism of "9/11," which came from terrorists from the Arabian Peninsula, that caused us to go through a massive restructuring. And in the USA, our restructuring process is transparent, and there is no government subsidy. And in fact, there were billions of dollars of equity and unsecured debt that were wiped out through that process.”

The whole reason Anderson brings up "9/11" is that "9/11" “caused us to go through a massive restructuring.” To call this oversimplified, revisionist history would be kind. Yes, "9/11" was a terrible blow for USA airlines and carriers did get direct bailout money from the USA government to compensate for the post-"9/11" airspace closure. But the USA airline industry was already headed for a financial disaster before "9/11" because of long-term structural problems and misguided practices imbedded in USA airlines’ business models.

And no one has been more vocal about this, than Richard Anderson. To say that the tragic events of September 11, 2001 caused (DAL) to enter bankruptcy protection four years later and (AAL) to enter the Chapter 11 process 10 years later, is highly misleading. Anderson has been lauded for clearly talking about the profound mistakes USA airline management made in the past—blindly chasing market share at the expense of profitability, placing imprudent orders for expensive airplanes, planning for best-case, rather than worst-case scenarios, etc, and the industry’s need to avoid repeating those mistakes. (DAL), Northwest Airlines (NWA), (UAL), Continental Airlines (CAL), US Airways (AMW)/(USA), and (AAL), all would have very likely been forced to restructure through Chapter 11, "9/11" or no "9/11," and Anderson knows this.

That brings one to the Chapter 11 process itself. After (AAL) became the last of the USA major international airlines to enter Chapter 11 in November 2011, it could be argued that USA airlines had secured a “backdoor bailout” via the bankruptcy protection process. As was wrote then: “The industry has achieved via the courts, what it could never have through lobbying the USA Congress: a huge bailout. While Congress did provide USA carriers with financial assistance in the immediate aftermath of "9/11" (which could be sold in part as compensation for the government temporarily shutting down USA airspace), an airline industry bailout would have surely been a complete non-starter on Capitol Hill, if proposed at any time over the last 10 years.

“USA airlines’ foreign competitors have often grumbled that the Chapter 11 process serves the same purpose as a bailout, practically speaking, and it’s hard to argue otherwise. Filing for Chapter 11 allows USA airlines to shed many [cost] burdens and receive heavy labor concessions, long-term structural savings, that likely benefit carriers more than a direct government bailout would. Instead of Congress passing a politically unpopular ‘Airline Bailout Act’ in which billions of dollars are handed to the industry, airlines one by one have used USA bankruptcy laws to, in essence, receive a backdoor bailout.”

Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection is not generally viewed in the USA as a company getting “government assistance.” One could wonder why this is part of it, and could be ignorance of bankruptcy laws, however, part of it is people seeing the USA judiciary as less of a “government” apparatus than Congress or the executive branch, and part of it, is how smooth and non-controversial the process often is. Anderson’s assertion that “there is no government subsidy” in Chapter 11 plays into widely-held American perceptions about the Chapter 11 process, but the argument sounds quite foolish outside the USA.

This is what Chapter 11 is: A company (such as (DAL)) goes to a government institution (a federal court) and is protected by that court, acting under bankruptcy laws written by Congress, from the marketplace. While the company is shielded from having to pay debts and other money owed for a considerable amount of time (often 1 to 2 years), it is able to significantly remake its long-term cost structure, including renegotiating labor contracts under court supervision. And all while continuing to operate and generate revenue.

This is not arguing for or against Chapter 11, but pointing out that by any reasonable definition it is a government bailout, or subsidy, or whatever term one wants to use for getting substantial financial assistance from the government. The fact that the process is “transparent” and overseen by a judge doesn’t make it less so.

Anderson is too smart, and has taken (DAL) too far, to engage in such facile arguments.

News Item A-4: Delta Air Lines (DAL) increased its Mexican seasonal offering with the addition of a new route from Seattle-Tacoma (SEA) to San Jose del Cabo (SJD) on February 14th, a sector that is already served by Alaska Airlines (ASA)’ eight weekly flights. The 2,919 km airport pair will be operated weekly (Saturdays) until April 25th, utilizing (DAL)’s A319s.

News Item A-5: Delta TechOps (Delta Air Lines (DAL)’s Maintenance division and Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) provider business) announced it will be offering six variants of the (CF34-8) jet engine to its list of airplane engines eligible for (MRO) services.

News Item A-6: Delta Air Lines (DAL) has selected (GoGo) to supply a 2KU in-flight connectivity system for installation on more than >250 narrow bodies, including Boeing 737s, 757s and Airbus A319s (new A321s will also have the system), starting in 2016.

737-932ER (31946, N834DN), delivery airplane features split scimitar winglets, a large underside belly logo and title. All Delta's 737-900ERs offer personal TV and the new GoGo KU-band WiFi system. SEE PHOTO - - "DAL-737-932ER - 2015-02.jpg."

March 2015: News Item A-1: American Airlines (AAL), Delta Air Lines (DAL), and United Airlines (UAL) joined with a number of unions March 4th to accuse the three major Gulf carriers of receiving government subsidies totaling more than >$40 billion.

Representatives of the USA airlines, the Air Line Pilots Association International, the Allied Pilots Association, and the Association of Professional Flight Attendants held a joint press conference in Washington DC as part of the USA carriers’ campaign against Emirates Airline (EAD), Etihad Airways (EHD) and Qatar Airways (QTA).

The USA carriers claim the subsidies that the Gulf carriers receive from their government owners in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar contravene fair competitive practices requirements of the "Open Skies" agreements that the USA has signed with Qatar and the (UAE).

The (CEO)s of (AAL), (DAL) and (UAL) held behind-closed-doors meetings with White House and government officials earlier this year and showed them financial documents they say support their claims of large government subsidies.

Today, they made public those documents. They did not explain why the documents were not revealed earlier.

Among their allegations, the carriers say that Qatar Airways (QTA) benefits from billions of dollars in interest-free, unsecured loans from its state owner that it does not have to pay back. Etihad (EHD), they say, has received $6.3 billion in direct equity infusions plus $4.6 billion in interest-free loans. Emirates (EAD) removed $2.4 billion in 2014 oil hedging losses from its books, the USA carriers say, and has benefited from $2.3 billion in subsidies for Dubai airport expansions.

The USA carriers said the financial details came from statements that the carriers have to file with other countries where they operate, including New Zealand and Singapore.

The USA carriers also accuse their Gulf rivals of “skyrocketing capacity” at more than three times the growth rate of global (GDP) (+11% versus +3%) and of starting to penetrate the transatlantic market via fifth freedom routes such as New York - Milan - Dubai.

They have requested USA government officials not to allow any of the Gulf carriers to add new flights to the USA, while they discuss the situation and their allegations are considered. To date, they say, their case has been taken “very seriously” and being looked at “diligently” by the government officials with whom they have met.

In February, a group of Washington lobbyists and a FedEx Express (FED) executive said the campaign by the USA carriers was an effort to roll back "Open Skies" and keep out international competition.

News Item A-2: The heads of Emirates Airline (EAD) and Qatar Airways (QTA) have strongly defended their airlines against allegations of large government subsidies leveled at them by the three big USA carriers (American Airlines (AAL), Delta Airlines (DAL), and United Airlines (UAL)).

News Item A-3: "In "Open Skies" War Game, Gulf Carriers 3: USA Carriers 0," by Karen Walker in (ATW) Editor's Blog, March 5, 2015.

Today, after two years of “investigation” and a largely behind-closed-doors campaign (apart from the Delta (DAL) (CEO)’s unfortunate (CNN) TV interview), the three major USA carriers finally made public the document that allegedly proves their Gulf carrier rivals are operating only because of more than >$40 billion subsidies from their state owners.

Representatives of American Airlines (AAL), Delta Air Lines (DAL) and United Airlines (UAL) held a press conference jointly with representatives of major airline unions to defend their campaign, provide an outline of the document, and insist that they are taking action not because they don’t believe in "Open Skies" (they love the other 112 USA agreements, they just don’t like those with the (UAE) and Qatar) or are against competition (“bring it on,” but it must be fair).

You can read the news summary of the press conference here, and responses from Emirates (EAD) President, Sir Tim Clark and Qatar (QTA) Group (CEO), Akbar Al Baker here.

But what was my quick take from this press conference? In my view, not a lot. It only raised more questions about the USA carrier (CEO)s’ true motivations behind this strange campaign.

First, any time that the three biggest international USA carriers join forces (backed solidly by their union groups) you have to wonder at the real story. Job protectionism is fine, but (like competition itself) must be done on a sound basis. I don’t see a case made.

Second, if the so-called “breakthrough” (their words) by the USA carrier investigation into Gulf carrier financials was the simple discovery that they could access the numbers via countries like New Zealand and Singapore, why did it take two years to compile a report? And, if the evidence is so damaging, why was this not made public much earlier, rather than shuffling secret documents around White House and government rooms? Unfair competition is a serious allegation: if you have the proof, show it and take it to Justice. The USA carrier reps were posed that question today by a reporter. Their reply: “We just didn’t.”

The third question relates to Chapter 11, a uniquely USA system that allows airlines in dire financial straits (for whatever reason) to hold off their creditors, wipe out debts and restructure. Outside the USA, Chapter 11 is seen as a subsidy. The USA carriers insisted today it was not a subsidy in the view of the USA. That’s irrelevant in a global market. It’s what counts as a subsidy in global eyes that matters.

The USA carriers also said today that Chapter 11 means you have to shrink your airline. So how come (AAL), fresh out of bankruptcy protection, is now the world’s largest carrier and investing heavily in new airplanes and products?

I’ll leave the last word for now to a response to the press conference from USA - (UAE) Business Council President, Danny Sebright. “Before claiming government support for international competitors, the Big 3 [USA carriers] may first want to check their own balance sheets. Since 2006, the Big 3 transferred billions of dollars of pension liabilities directly to Uncle Sam, while leaving creditors holding the bag for billions more, through multiple bankruptcies. They received billions in cash payments and guaranteed loans in a direct government bailout, while enjoying the advantages of antitrust immunity to fix transatlantic fares with their European partners,” Sebright said.

The USA airlines should “stop complaining and start competing,” he added.

Unless and until American (AAL), Delta (DAL), and United (UAL) have a more compelling case that is not so clearly about closing the competitive door after they got what they wanted via Chapter 11, I suggest that’s good advice. By my count, they are already several points behind in this game, and they now risk scoring home goals.

News Item A-4: "European Union (EU) Seeks Mandate for Talks with Gulf States Over Subsidies" by (ATW)'s Aaron Karp, March 18, 2015.

Citing “distortions in the market,” European Union (EU) Transport Commissioner, Violeta Bulc said she will seek a new mandate from (EU) countries to open talks with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar and Saudi Arabia over “unfair subsidies to airlines.”

Bulc said the request for talks with Gulf states was initiated by France and Germany. She pointed to the study recently issued by major USA airlines, alleging more than >$40 billion in state aid to Gulf airlines over the last decade. “Gulf carriers compete with Europe’s airlines on international flights,” Bulc said. “The subsidies they receive, create distortions in the market, denting the competitiveness of (EU) and USA carriers, critics say. According to the [USA airlines’] study, Gulf airlines received interest-free loans, free land and low airport charges, among others.”

French Secretary of State for Transport, Alain Vidalies and German Transport Minister, Alexander Dobrindt said in a joint statement, “European airlines are losing market share against the Gulf companies because of their unfair competitive practices, and in particular because of the significant public subsidies and guarantees they enjoy.” The two ministers said they want the European Commission to develop a “common strategy on controlling foreign airlines’ operations with traffic rights in the (EU).” They said the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, and Austria support their position.

Bulc said the mandate she is seeking to “curb market-distorting state aid to airlines” could also extend to China, Brazil, and Turkey.

Emirates Airline (EAD) President, Tim Clark, speaking to reporters in Washington DC, said his company will issue a “line by line response” to the USA carriers’ report. “We will do it in a very methodical, clinical manner,” he said.

Responding to Lufthansa Group Chairman & (CEO), Carsten Spohr announcing his support for the USA airlines’ campaign against Gulf carriers, Clark said, “Once we have disproved the allegations against us, then let’s have a talk about who is saying what. We have been dealing with the question of subsidies for many, many years in the European area and other parts of the world, and we have successfully dealt with that.”

News Item A-5: "FedEx: Don’t ‘Capitulate’ to USA Passenger Airlines on "Open Skies" by (ATW) Aaron Karp, March 19th, 2015.

FedEx Corporation (FED) is pushing back hard against major USA passenger airlines that, in the cargo giant’s view, are trying to get the USA government to alter "Open Skies" agreements with Middle East states that are integral to FedEx (FED)’s business.

American Airlines (AAL), United Airlines (UAL) and Delta Air Lines (DAL) have accused the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar of providing more than >$40 billion in state “subsidies” to Emirates Airline (EAD), Etihad Airways (EHD) and Qatar Airways (QTA) over the past decade, and appear to want the USA government to limit those airlines’ access to the USA by revisiting "Open Skies" agreements with the (UAE) and Qatar signed in 1999 and 2001, respectively. (EU) transport minister Violeta Bulc cited the USA airlines’ allegations when announcing she is seeking a new mandate from (EU) countries to open talks with the (UAE), Qatar and Saudi Arabia over “unfair subsidies to airlines.”

FedEx (FED), however, said "Open Skies" deals with Middle East states are crucial to its air cargo business and is urging the USA government not to “capitulate to the interests of a few carriers who stand ready to put their narrow, protectionist interests” ahead of the USA’s broader economic interests. (FED) is especially concerned about potential restrictions to its air cargo hub in Dubai.

Speaking to analysts, (FED) President & (CEO), David Bronczek said, “Our view is very simple. We believe in "Open Skies" and free trade, and we’ve been doing this for decades now. We base our whole business model on "Open Skies." We have a lot of business in the Middle East, a lot of business in Asia, and around the world. And of course for us, competing in an "Open Skies" environment is critical for us.”

In a letter recently sent to USA Secretary of State, John Kerry, Bronczek said, “Retrenchment in any way from "Open Skies" by the USA would jeopardize the economic growth benefits that air cargo provides. Retrenchment would result in higher fares and fewer options for flying passengers. Retrenchment benefits only a very few.”

Specifically, Bronczek said the "Open Skies" agreements the USA has with Middle East nations “are very valuable” to FedEx (FED), noting the Memphis-based express delivery operator’s Dubai hub was enabled by the USA - (UAE) "Open Skies" accord signed in 1999. “FedEx (FED) flights from the USA crisscross with our flights from India and Asia [at the Dubai hub] in order to move USA products into local markets,” he wrote. “This hub also acts as our gateway to Africa.”

Bronczek said (AAL), (UAL) and (DAL) “believe they have little to risk by limiting foreign carrier access to USA markets. What they want is for the USA government to protect them from competition from able, attractive new entrants.” He noted that “FedEx (FED) alone operates almost two-thirds more flights to the Middle East than all the USA passenger carriers combined. Modifications to [the USA - (UAE) "Open Skies"] agreement might spell the end of these opportunities.”

FedEx (FED) Founder, Chairman & (CEO), Frederick Smith told analysts this week that (FED) remains “very much in support of continuation of "Open Skies” and said the USA passenger carriers’ effort is part of a “very concerning trend” globally of “protectionism over the last several years.”

News Item A-6: Delta Air Lines (DAL) increased its Mexican seasonal offering with the addition of two new routes. On March 5th, (DAL), the SkyTeam (STM) Alliance member commenced daily flights from San Diego (SAN) to San Jose del Cabo (SJD), utilizing its 160-seat 737-800s. The 1,289 km sector, which will be flown by (DAL) until April 5th, is already served by Alaska Airlines (ASA)’s 13 weekly flights and Spirit Airlines (SPR)’s daily services. On March 7th, (DAL) introduced weekly (Saturdays) flights from New Orleans (MSY) to Cancun (CUN) until August 29th, using its 126-seat A319s. No other carrier serves this airport pair.

News Item A-7: Delta Air Lines (DAL) and Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA) have expanded their transatlantic partnership, with the introduction of six new daily services.

As the two airlines begin their summer schedule, they offer up to 39 return transatlantic flights a day between the UK and 15 destinations across North America. The joint schedule includes 10 daily flights between London Heathrow and New York, now with eight daily departures to New York (JFK) and two departures to Newark.

Virgin Atlantic (VAA) is launching a second daily service between London Heathrow (LHR) and Los Angeles (LAX). Combined with the (DAL) service launched in October 2014, the partnership will offer 3x-daily flights from London to (LAX), and expects to carry close to 400,000 annual passengers on the route.

Also launching at this time is a seasonal second daily Virgin Atlantic (VAA) service between (LHR) and Atlanta, and a second service between (LHR) and San Francisco, that will operate 5x-weekly over the summer.

Further joint venture (JV) services be introduced later in the summer include a new daily (DAL) service between (LHR) and Philadelphia starting April 27; a new daily (DAL) service between Manchester and New York-(JFK) from May 22; and a new daily, Virgin Atlantic (VAA) service between (LHR) and Detroit starting June 1.

News Item A-8: INCDT: SEE ATTACHED PHOTO - - "DAL-2015-03 - INCIDENT MD-88" shows a Delta Air Lines MD-88 resting on a berm at LaGuardia Airport on March 5, 2015 in Queens, New York City. Delta flight 1086, flying to New York from Atlanta, reportedly skidded off the runway after it landed during a snowstorm.

A Delta Air Lines (DAL) McDonnell Douglas MD-88, registration (N909DL) performing flight DL-1086 from Atlanta to New York La Guardia, NY (USA) with 125 passengers and 5 crew ((FC) - (CA)), landed on La Guardia's runway 13 following an (ILS) approach, tower reported the winds from 020 degrees at 10 knots, braking action "pretty good" by pilot (FC) report, (RVR) touch down 6000 feet, rollout 3500 feet, but skidded left off the runway, climbed an embankment and broke through the fence on top before coming to a stop on top of the embankment at about 11:02L (16:02Z). Tower called the flight for taxiing instructions but did not receive a reply. Airport Operations told the tower that runway 13 was closed with the tower querying in disbelief, fire engines finally told tower that there had been an aircraft gone off the runway, tower then instructed the next arrival on short final to go around. Airport Operations then advised the entire Aerodrome was closed. The MD-88 was evacuated through the overwing exits with the assistence of responding emergency services and the rear exit. 3 occupants received minor injuries, 2 of them were taken to hospitals, the airplane sustained substantial damage.

Emergency services reported the left hand wing was damaged and there was fuel leaking through a rupture and queried tower whether he was talking to the crew, tower advised there was no response from the crew.

New York's Fire Department (FDNY) reported there were 24 minor injuries, 3 were transported to a hospital.

New York's Police Department (NYPD) reported there was a minor fuel leak.

A number of people were taken to hospitals on stretchers.

The airline reported all passengers were safely evacuated and taken to the terminal.

The pilots (FC) of the (DAL) MD-88 that skidded off the runway at New York LaGuardia Airport (LGA) on March 5 “did not sense any wheel brake deceleration” upon landing and were “unable to prevent the airplane from drifting left,” according to the USA National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

In an investigation update, the (NTSB) said the pilots (FC) of DL1086 decided to land during snowy conditions after being informed by air traffic controllers that other airplanes had reported “good” breaking action on (LGA)’s runway 13. The pilots (fc) have told the (NTSB) “the runway appeared all white when they broke out of the overcast, moments before landing.” The pilots (FC) have reported “the auto brakes were set to max” but didn’t decelerate the airplane, according to the (NTSB), which said one of its meteorologists “is examining the weather conditions at the time of the accident.”

The (NRSB) said the MD-88’s left wing “destroyed about 940 feet of the [LGA] perimeter fence” before the airplane came to a stop on top of a berm. The (NTSB) reported there is “significant damage to the airplane,” including “damage on the left wing’s leading edge slats, trailing edge flaps and flight spoilers.” The left wing’s fuel tank was breached, which led to a fuel leak during the incident that was quickly contained. There was also damage “to the underside of the fuselage from the front of the airplane all the way back to the area of the left front passenger door,” the (NTSB) said. “Damage was also noted in the nose landing gear well and main electronics bay.”

The MD-88’s cockpit voice recorder (CVR) has been brought to (NTSB) headquarters in Washington DC, where investigators are “developing the (CVR) transcript,” the (NTSB) said.

There were 23 minor injuries among the 127 passengers, according to the (NTSB).

"to clear things up!"
By chris on Friday, Mar 6th 2015 17:03Z

And of EVERY aircraft type in Delta's fleet, the MD-88 holds the record for having the highest dispatch reliability rating. Second only to the 35 - 42 year old DC-9-51, which (DAL) retired on January 6th of 2014. The MD-88 also owns the highest (FAA) cycles/hours rating of 110,000 and 150,000 respectively. Compared to the 737 which they've limited to 75,000 cycles/hours. In short, the MD-88 is the most robust and well built commercial jet Delta (DAL) is flying at the moment, despite its age. And due to the design of the tail, it's also less prone to crosswinds compared to other aircraft in the fleet.


News Item A-9: DELTA TECHOPS secured two contracts from Hawaiian Airlines (HWI)to provide A330 heavy maintenance support over next five years and perform two lease-return "C"-Checks on two 767-300ERs in 2015.

News Item A-10: New higher weight A330 variant paves the way for the A330neo. SEE ATTACHED - - "DAL-A330 - NEW VERSION-2015-03."

Just 4 months after entering the Final Assembly Line (FAL), and <2 months after its maiden flight, the first 242 tonne Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) variant of the A330 rolled out of the paintshop in Toulouse, France in Delta Air Lines (DAL) livery.

This first, new higher weight variant of the A330-300 is powered by 2 (GE) (CF6-80E1) engines and will be delivered this year to the new variant’s launch customer (DAL).

(DAL) is a major Airbus (EDS) wide body customer, with 32 A330 Family airplanes (11 A330-200s and 21 A330-300s) in service today and +35 more on order (25 A330-900neo and 10 A330-300). In addition, (DAL) has equally +25 A350-900s on order. (DAL) also operates 126 A320 Family airplanes (57 A319ceo, 69 A320ceo) and has 45 A321ceo on order.

The A330 242 tonne (MTOW) is the platform for the future A330neo and offers more capability at lower operating cost with a range extended by up to 500 nautical miles and up to -2% reduced fuel consumption, while also benefiting from today’s A330 operational reliability of 99.4%. The 242 tonne (MTOW) is capable of flying missions up to 15 hours.

April 2015: News Item A-1: Delta Air Lines (DAL) posted first-quarter net income of +$746 million, more than tripling the +$213 million net profit the company recorded in the year-ago March quarter. Revenue increased +5.3% year-over-year (YOY) to $9.39 billion.

(DAL)’s reported adjusted net income for the 2015 first-quarter is +$372 million, reflecting $374 million in special items, net of taxes, the bulk of which ($372 million) went to mark-to-market adjustments and settlements on fuel hedges. Another $8 million went to mark-to-market adjustments on hedges owned by Virgin Atlantic (VAA). An additional $6 million in special charges were assessed for domestic fleet restructuring.

“[It was] the best March quarter, both operationally and financially, in (DAL)’s history,” (DAL) (CEO), Richard Anderson said. (DAL)’s “strong cash generation” enabled management to return $500 million to shareholders via dividends and share repurchases. The company additionally made $904 million in pension contributions and doled out $136 million in profit sharing during the quarter.

(DAL)’s first-quarter operating expenses declined -3.7% (YOY) to $7.99 billion; the company’s first-quarter operating profit was +$1.4 billion, more than doubling the +$620 million in operating income (DAL) reported in (1Q) 2014.

(DAL)’s consolidated traffic was up +3.6% (YOY) to 46.22 billion (RPM)s in the first-quarter. Capacity grew +5% (YOY) to 56.6 billion (ASM)s; passenger load factor for the March quarter came to 81.7% LF, down -1 point (YOY). Passenger yield dipped -0.4% (YOY) to 17.14 cents.

News Item A-2: SkyTeam (SKT) Alliance partners, Delta Air Lines (DAL) and Aeromexico (AMX) aim to launch a transborder joint venture (JV) for flights between the USA and Mexico similar to the transatlantic (JV)s (DAL) operates with Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA) and Air France (AFA) - (KLM)/Alitalia (ALI).

(DAL) and (AMX) have applied to the USA Department of Transportation (DOT) and Mexican Federal Economic Competition Commission for antitrust approval. The airlines said an antitrust-immunized (JV) would “allow (DAL) and (AMX) to operate more effectively on routes between the USA and Mexico. Also, (DAL) and (AMX) will seek to expand opportunities to collocate and invest in airport facilities by improving gates and lounges. Additionally, the airlines will increase joint sales and marketing initiatives.”

(DAL) owns a 4.17% stake in (AMX).

News Item A-3: Alaska Airlines (ASA) may transfer its authority to fly between Los Angeles (LAX) and Mexico City to American Airlines (AAL), the USA Department of Transportation (DOT) tentatively decided on April 17, despite an objection from Delta Air Lines (DAL).

News Item A-4: Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA) adds a second daily on London Heathrow - San Francisco on October 24. The service will be flown with new Boeing 787-9s and is part of a joint venture (JV) with Delta Air Lines (DAL).

News Item A-5: Senior executives from two of the three major USA carriers involved in the growing dispute over alleged unfair competition from the Gulf carriers, said they are simply asking for government-to-government consultations on the USA "Open Skies" agreements with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar.

Speaking as panelists at the (CAPA) Americas Aviation Summit in Las Vegas April 28, American Airlines (AAL) Senior VP Government affairs Will Ris and Delta Air Lines Executive VP & Chief Legal Officer, Ben Hirst said that both of the "Open Skies" agreements include a clause that allows either side to request government-to-government consultations for any reason related to the agreement. They said they want those consultations to happen soon, but are not against the Gulf carriers or against competition.

There was no representative from the USA third airline (United Airlines (UAL)) that joined (AAL) and (DAL) in commissioning a white paper report alleging that Emirates Airline (EAD), Etihad Airways (EHD) and Qatar Airways (QTA) have received a total of more than >$40 billion in subsidies from their state owners, that contravene the “fair competition” conditions of the "Open Skies" agreements.

“This is not a campaign. From the (AAL) point of view, this is not about airlines at all. It’s about USA government trade policy. When you have an airline receiving massive amounts of government money and unfettered access to the USA, we should do something about that,” Ris said.

Hirst said (DAL) was being “foreclosed” from serving the India market because of Gulf carrier capacity there. “We are not serving those markets because of subsidized flow from the Gulf,” he said.

Etihad (EHD) General Counsel & Company Secretary, Jim Callaghan was the only panel representative from the Gulf carriers. He said he had seen the “exact same playbook” before, when he was formerly at Irish low-cost carrier (LCC) Ryanair (RYR) and European majors “threw the kitchen sink at us.”

Callaghan said, “The three largest carriers not just in the USA but also in the world, and which also control the three clubs (the global alliances) that control 50% of the world’s traffic, are trying to shut the door on any competition or potential competition. That’s what’s going on here.”

News Item A-6: Delta Air Lines (DAL) has become the first USA airline to accept payments via Alipay, the PayPal-like service run by an Alibaba Group Holding Ltd affiliate that is used by hundreds of millions of Chinese consumers.

(DAL) has started taking payment for flight tickets on from Alipay's 300 million-plus registered users. As the largest online payments service in a country where consumer finance remains less-than-fully developed, supporting Alipay (run by Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial) should make it more convenient for would-be Chinese travelers to buy (DAL) tickets.

That decision underscores the attractiveness to the industry of China, now the world's largest source of outbound tourism after a decade of super-charged economic growth. The USA airline has said it wants to be the most Chinese-friendly American carrier.

Chinese tourists have emerged as a potent economic force, ranking among the world's biggest spenders. They splashed out US$165 billion on international travel in 2014, up +28% from 2013 (the biggest percentage increase in two years, according to data released by the State Administration of Foreign Exchange).

Much of that is spent in and around Asia, but governments are increasingly wooing the country's affluent jet-setters. In November, the USA signed a landmark deal with the country, extending one-year visas issued to Chinese travelers to up to a decade.

(DAL) itself has been adding non-stop USA - China flights since 2009. (DAL) flies direct between Beijing and Shanghai to Detroit and Seattle, and from July 9 will link Los Angeles and Shanghai.

News Item A-7: "Airlines Want Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) Facilities To Help More With Data And Predictive Maintenance" by
James R Asker, "Aviation Daily," April 15th, 2015.

When it comes to “predictive maintenance” and using the huge quantity of data that state-of-the art jet airplanes generate, airlines want better performance from maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) companies and suppliers. “We need to be getting away from the ‘no trouble found’ that drives everybody crazy,” said Ahmad Zamany, VP Technical Operations at Copa Airlines (COP).

Being unable to repeat in the hangar a fault found in line operations is a problem as old as airplanes, of course. But with modern health-monitoring systems, it is even more difficult (but more important, given airlines’ expectations) that (MRO)’s be able to determine whether a part should indeed be replaced. Just telling the airline “it’s still within spec,” will not cut it, he said. To put it bluntly, failure should not be the only option.

Zamany gave the example of an airplane’s health-monitoring system showing a valve is opening and closing slower than it had been. Is it about to fail, or would some sort of servicing restore it to speedy operations? Airlines want help figuring that out.

Lance Applegate, Director Fleet Engineering & Programs at Delta Air Lines (DAL), said the latest airliners may capture 500 MB of data about its workings on a single flight. Operators want help in sifting it. “It’s a matter of weeding out and deciding where you want to focus,” Applegate said. Zamany agreed, and added, “There are a lot of systems [health monitoring] doesn’t track. You still have to have hardcore engineering [capabilities].”

Those were among the points, representatives of three carriers made on a panel at Aviation Week’s (MRO) Americas convention and exhibition on a panel called “Customers Speak Out.”

The (MRO) industry certainly heard about pain points and desires for better performance. But (MRO)s also might have been reassured, hearing that carrier-(MRO) relationships are critical, and that a good one is like marriage (both sides need to work at it, openly and honestly).

Discussing key performance indicators (KPIs) that many airlines use to scrutinize their suppliers’ performance, Zamany said, “A lot of time you look, and the finger points back at you.” So, too, if an (MRO) is encountering difficulties, Applegate said, “we want to know about it.”

What is more, the basics will never change. Beth Medlen, Director Base Maintenance at Virgin America (VUS), said carriers would always like (MRO)s to improve on quality, cost and turnaround times. Staying on budget and meeting schedules is extremely important. But of the three, she said, “We can sacrifice a little on budget. We can sacrifice a little on schedule. But we cannot sacrifice quality and safety.”

News Item A-8: Delta (DAL) TechOps will extend its auxiliary power unit (APU) partnership with Sun Country Airlines (SCA) for an additional five-year term. As (SCA)’s exclusive (APU) partner, Delta TechOps will provide maintenance on the (GTCP) 131-9B (APU)s for 21 Boeing 737s.

News Item A-9: The new 242-tonne maximum take-off-weight (MTOW) Airbus A330-300 has achieved certification from the European airworthiness authorities (EASA) following a 100 hour flight-test campaign. The flight-test campaign was shared between two airplanes.

Certification from the USA authorities (FAA) is also expected soon, Airbus (EDS) said. Furthermore, and in the near future, the smaller A330-200 model will follow the A330-300, benefiting from the 242-tonne (MTOW) capability. To date, 11 customers have already selected A330s with the 242-tonne (MTOW) capability.

The new A330 version offers various aerodynamic refinements and increased fuel capacity, extending the airplane’s range of up to 500 nautical miles, while carrying a greater payload. Fuel consumption is reduced by up to -2%; today’s A330 operational reliability is 99.4%.

The 242-tonne (MTOW) A330-300 is capable of flying missions of up to 15 hours and allow operators to fly directly between Europe and Southeast Asia. It could be used for more than >90% of typical routes from London airports.

The initial certified A330-300 242-tonne (MTOW) airplanes is powered by (CF6-80E1) engines; certification with the other engine types (the (PW4000) and (Trent 700)) will follow. Notably, the 242-tonne (MTOW) A330’s structure is also the basis for development of the forthcoming A330neo.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) is the launch customer of the new variant, produced by European manufacturer Airbus (EDS).

The A330 variant entered the final assembly line in November and completed its maiden flight in January.

News Item A-10: See attached "DAL-2015-04 - TOP 25 WORLD TRAFFIC.jpg"
and "DAL-2015-04 - TOP REGIONAL TRAFFIC.jpg."

May 2015: News Item A-1: See attached "DAL-2015-05 - DAL vs ASA SEATAC-A/B/C.jpg" which details the present situation at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac) where Delta (DAL) executives have been turning Sea-Tac into a hub for its cross-Pacific flights, when Sea-Tac is already a hub for Alaska Airlines (ASA) which is based in Seattle.

News Item A-2 The USA government is “taking very seriously” the request Delta Air Lines (DAL), American Airlines (AAL), United Airlines (UAL) and their labor groups have made that consultations begin with the governments of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar on alleged subsidies for the airlines from those countries, a USA Department of State official said.

The government is doing its “due diligence” on the subsidy claims the USA carriers have made against Emirates Airline (EAD), Etihad Airways (EHD) and Qatar Airways (QTA), Tom Engle, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Transportation Affairs, said, speaking at the Phoenix International Aviation Symposium. The effort is an interagency affair, with State, Transportation & Commerce leading the investigation, with help from the USA Trade Representative and the Council of Economic Advisers, Engle said. He declined to describe a timeline for when the government will decide if it will proceed with consultations. Public comment is being solicited on a website, and the government will provide the opportunity for rebuttals before making a decision.

Consultations, or formal government-to-government talks, are provided for under the "Open Skies" treaties should one party have a grievance or dispute. At issue is whether the three Persian Gulf carriers receive subsidies that distort the market, making it difficult for USA carriers to compete for lucrative international traffic, particularly to South Asia.

Representatives from (DAL), (AAL) and the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) drove this point home forcefully at a panel discussion here, while also reiterating their support for "open skies" as a policy.

But at issue is that the three Gulf carriers are “instruments of government policy,” existing solely and subsidized to carry out Qatar’s and the (UAE)’s aims to flow passengers over their hubs in Doha, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi, Ben Hirst, (DAL) Chief Legal Officer said. “We are concerned about USA policy that opens the doors of this huge market to entities that basically are arms of the state,” (AAL) Senior VP Government Affairs, Will Ris said.

John Byerly, the former State Department official who negotiated more than >70 "Open Skies" policies and is now a consultant to Emirates (EAD), rejected the USA airlines’ claim to support "Open Skies." Asking for Gulf carriers’ capacity to be frozen at the January 28 level until consultations play out, is an abrogation of the treaty. "Open Skies" liberalize the market. “They [the Gulf carriers] are beating [the USA airlines] in the market place,” Byerly said. “These USA airlines had a nice, comfortable little nest, with alliances and joint ventures (JV)s.”

The international aviation playing field has never been level; rather, it has always had “bumps and hills,” Byerly said. "Open Skies" allow the market to function as freely as it can in such a regulated industry, he said.

News Item A-3: "USA Anti-Gulf Coalition Claims Grass Roots Support Across USA" by (ATW) Editor, Karen Walker, May 22, 2015.

The coalition of USA airlines and labor groups that is campaigning against the three major Gulf carriers, has claimed broad support from USA lawmakers, local chambers of commerce, and local unions.

The "Partnership for Open & Fair Skies," a coalition of (AALO), (DAL), and (UAL) plus a number of pilot (FC) and transport workers unions, has been briefing local leaders, newspapers and organizations across the USA during the past few weeks on a report commissioned by the three USA carriers that alleges Emirates Airline (EAD), Etihad Airways (EHD) and Qatar Airways (QTA) have benefited from $42 billion of subsidies from their state owners. The USA carriers say this contravenes fair competition rules of the "Open Skies" agreements between the USA and the (UAE) plus Qatar.

The three Gulf carriers strongly deny the allegations. (EHD) has commissioned and released a counter-report that accuses the three USA airlines and those they have merged with of benefiting from $71.5 billion—mostly from having debt wiped out under Chapter 11 restructuring.

This May 22, (EHD) issued a second report that it commissioned that also refutes the excess capacity accusations that the USA campaign has made against the Gulf carriers.

The USA carriers have asked the Obama Administration to hold government-to-government consultations with the (UAE) and Qatar on Gulf carrier activity within the two "Open Skies" agreements. It is not yet clear if such talks will be held, but the USA departments of Commerce, State & Transportation are conducting a review of the USA allegations and are seeking comments. The deadline for comments is the end of May.

The "Partnership for Open & Fair Skies" says it now has the support of more than >260 members of the House of Representatives, the USA Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, mayors of multiple major USA cities, and a coalition of trade leaders in North Carolina. New Chicago Mayor, Rahm Emanuel wrote a letter to the Secretaries of Commerce, State & Transportation expressing his concerns for the future of USA hubs like Chicago if the Gulf carrier operations are not addressed.

Video clip: The (MSNBC) news program looked at the Gulf carrier subsidies dispute:

The USA-Gulf spat has spread across the Atlantic, with some European countries asking the European Union (EU) Commission (EC) to review Gulf carrier operations to their major cities and freezing service expansions by the Gulf carriers. Dutch Secretary of Transport, Wilma Mansveld said two wide body flights a day from Dubai to Amsterdam does not correspond to market demand and has frozen Emirates (EAD) at one daily flight.

Not all European airlines are opposed to the Gulf carriers, however. The (IAG), parent of British Airways (BAB), has made clear its support for open competition and has taken a stand against the Association of European Airlines (AEA), withdrawing the memberships of (BAB) and Iberia (IBE) because it says the (AEA) is protectionist. Qatar Airways (QTA) has a 10% stake in (BAB). Airberlin (BER), an equity partner with Etihad (EHD), has also withdrawn from the (AEA).

News Item A-4: Delta Air Lines (DAL) and Alitalia (ALI) remain committed to their transatlantic joint venture (JV) and do not expect to see changes in the relationship, despite the apparent split between (ALI) and its SkyTeam (STM) Alliance partnership with Air France (AFA)/(KLM).

Etihad Airways (EHD) equity partner, Alitalia (ALI) has said it will not renew its long-standing agreements with (AFA) - (KLM), when they come up for renewal in January 2017, saying the relationship is imbalanced.

(DAL) President, Ed Bastian said he did not expect that to affect (DAL)’s relationship with Alitalia (ALI). (DAL), (ALI) and (AFA)-(KLM) are all founding members of the SkyTeam (STM) global alliance.

“Alitalia (ALI) is still in our partnership and we expect no change,” he said. “There are some intra-European discussions going on with Air France (AFA) now, but both Alitalia (ALI) and our expectations are that we will stay in the transatlantic partnership.”

Air France (AFA) used to be a key (ALI) shareholder, but now holds less than <1% of (ALI), while Abu Dhabi-based (EHD) now holds a 49% stake in (ALI).

In a recent statement, (ALI) (CEO), Silvano Cassano said (ALI)’s agreements with (AFA)-(KLM) were no longer beneficial, either commercially or strategically, to the new (ALI) and its ambitious turnaround plan. But he also said (ALI) remained open to further discussions “to achieve a mutually acceptable solution.”

Asked if (DAL) (which also has a transatlantic (JV) with Virgin Atlantic (VAA) and equity stakes in Aeromexico (AMX) and (GOL) (GOT)), whether it was seeking more airline partnerships, Bastian said (DAL) was “constantly pursuing opportunities.” Asia was a particular focus, he said. “That’s a little far out, but I think there may be some good opportunities there. Korean Air (KAL) is a partner, and we are trying to drive that to a better level.”

News Item A-5: Ed Bastian and a (DAL) contingency of some 100 employees were in Toulouse to take delivery of its first 242-tonne maximum take-off weight A330-300 variant. (DAL) is the first to receive the airplane type among 11 airlines.

(DAL) has received its first Airbus 242-tonne maximum take-off weight (MTOW) variant of the A330-300 - - see photo - - "DAL-2015-05 - 1st A330-300 242-tonne.jpg." (DAL) is the first to receive the type. (DAL) has selected (GE) (CF6-80E1) engines to power its new A330-300.

(DAL) President, Ed Bastian said, “(DAL)’s addition of this Airbus A330-300 marks a major milestone and reflects our continued strategy of making prudent investments in our fleet that enhance our customer experience and operational reliability.”

(DAL) is Airbus’ biggest A330 customer in North America. It currently flies both Airbus single-aisle and wide body airplanes, including 57 A319ceos and 69 A320ceos, plus 11 A330-200s and 21 A330-300s.

In addition to nine more A330-300s and 45 A321ceos still to be delivered to (DAL), the airline ordered 25 A350-900 and 25 A330-900neo Airbus wide body airplanes last year.

717-231 (55072, N930AT), 3 717-280 (55005, N942AT; 55026, N965AT; 55099, N939AT), 737-932 (31951, N840DN), 3 757-26D (33959, N346BC; 33960, N393BC; 33967, N338BC), and 757-251 (26483, N536US) deliveries.

June 2015: News Item A-1: "ACCDT: Delta Air Lines (DAL) 747-451 (PW4056) (721-23819, /89 N664US "The Spirit of Beijing"), Detroit to Seoul, June 17, 2015, Hail Strike" by Simon Hradecky, The Aviation Herald, created Monday, June 29th, 2015 23:31Z, last updated Tuesday, June 30th, 2015 22:47Z.

A (DAL) Boeing 747-451 (23819, N664US) performing flight DL-159 (dep June 16th) from Detroit, Michigan (USA) to Seoul (South Korea), was enroute over China when the airplane encountered hail, causing substantial damage to the airplane's radome (hail penetrating the radome causing a large hole) as well as leading edges of wings and tail plane. The airplane continued to its destination for a safe landing.

The airplane is still on the ground in Seoul, 13 days after landing.

A passenger reported while over China, the airplane encountered severe turbulence and hail. The flight crew (FC) announced they had requested to deviate around weather but did not receive clearance to do so.

Another passenger reported the captain (FC) illuminated the fasten seat belt signs about 2.5 hours before landing in Seoul and made an announcement to be seated and buckle up. Shortly afterwards, the airplane encountered severe turbulence causing the airplane to oscillate in roll, yaw and pitch, and anything loose in the cabin went flying within the cabin.

According to radar data, the airplane entered Chinese Airspace at FL360 at about 06:30Z, maintained 11,000 meters (FL361) in China, until after passing abeam Jilin (China), then climbed to 11,600 meters (about FL380) and maintained that level until about Delian (China), when the airplane began the descent towards Seoul and left Chinese Airspace at about 08:30Z. No altitude deviation is visible in the radar data. The 747-451 touched down in Seoul at 9:10Z.

Detailed analysis of the radar track reveals a change of speed over ground between 06:57Z and 07:00Z from 436 to 495 knots, which subsequently reduced again, stabilizing again at 430 knots at 07:04Z. The 747-451 was about 250nm northnortheast of Jilin at 07:00Z.

See 747-451 damage photo: (DAL-2015-06 - ACCDT-747-451 N664US.jpg).

News Item A-2: Delta Air Lines (DAL) will expand transcontinental capacity on flights from New York (JFK) to Los Angeles (LAX) and San Francisco (SFO). Starting in November, (DAL) will add an additional daily (JFK) - (LAX) flight to bring its total daily flights between the two airports to 10. Four of the 10 flights will be operated with Boeing 767s while six will be 757-200 flights.

Also in November, (DAL) will switch from 757s to 767s on three of its eight daily, (JFK) - (SFO) flights. The change will add about +250 seats daily. “New York (JFK) to Los Angeles and San Francisco are essential domestic markets from New York City, and (DAL) is committed to offering our customers a superior schedule and product on these routes,” (DAL) Senior VP New York, Gail Grimmett said.

(DAL) noted that it has recently invested $259 million to upgrade its facilities at (LAX).

News Item A-3: Delta Air Lines (DAL) has announced it will relinquish one of its two Tokyo Haneda slots to the USA Department of Transportation (DOT) for reallocation with effect from October 1, 2015.

In a letter to the (DOT), (DAL) said the seasonality of its Seattle Tacoma International - Tokyo Haneda route rendered it uneconomical to operate as a year-round daily service and as such, its final flight on the route would be on September 30.

News Item A-4: The City of Dallas, owner and operator of Dallas Love Field airport, has filed a lawsuit in a USA federal court seeking a declaratory judgment to determine which airlines are entitled to use which gate slots at the metropolitan airport.

“This lawsuit will allow all of the interested parties to put forth their positions in a structured setting so that the federal court can properly weigh their rights and obligations and thereafter allocate the gates in accordance with the law.”

News Item A-5: Southwest Airlines ((IATA) Code: WN, based at Dallas Love Field) has agreed to allow Delta Air Lines (DAL) to continue using one of its Dallas Love Field gates pending the outcome of a court case to determine the latter's right of access to the metropolitan airport.

According to the "Dallas News," (DAL) petitioned a USA District Court in Dallas to issue a preliminary injunction blocking a Southwest Airlines (SWA) restraining order which would evict (DAL) from Love Field.

News Item A-6: "Delta (DAL) to Order +40 more 737-900ERs, & Add +20 E190s to Mainline Fleet" by (ATW) Aaron Karp.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) has agreed to buy 40 new Boeing 737-900ERs and 20 used Embraer E190s, subject to ratification by (DAL)’s pilots (FC) of a tentative labor contract.

The Delta Master Executive Council (MEC) of the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) endorsed the tentative labor deal, sending it to rank-and-file flight deck crew (FC) for a ratification vote. (DAL) said the new labor deal enables it to place the order for 60 airplanes, which includes 20 E190s previously operated by another carrier and owned by Boeing (TBC). The E190s, configured with 98Y seats, will be flown in (DAL)’s mainline network, (DAL) (CEO), Richard Anderson said.

“The EMB-190 will be deployed on USA domestic routes to improve the flying experience for (DAL) customers and continue the shift of flying away from inefficient 50-seat regional jets as part of the company's successful upgauging strategy,” (DAL) said. The EMB-190s are slated to enter mainline (DAL) service in the 2016 fourth quarter.

The 40 new 737-900ERs are in addition to 100 of the type already ordered by (DAL). The 737-900ERs will enter (DAL)’s fleet through 2019, replacing older narrow bodies.

(DAL) said the new pilot (FC) labor contract includes base pay increases for flight deck crew (FC) and provides “additional career advancement opportunities for (DAL) pilots (FC).”

July 2015: News Item A-1: See "AAL-2015-07 - World Airline Report-A/B/C/D/E" which shows Delta Airlines (AAL) is in the top three airlines in the world.

News Item A-2: Delta (DAL) 2Q Net Profit up +85% to $1.49 billion" by (ATW) Aaron Karp, July, 2015.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) reported a second-quarter net profit of +$1.49 billion, up +85% over net income of +$801 million in the 2014 June quarter, as it kept costs in check in a disappointing revenue environment.

Second-quarter revenue rose just +1% year-over-year to $10.71 billion and (PRASM) declined -5% to 14.29 cents. President, Ed Bastian said, “We continue to project flat system capacity growth for the fourth quarter of 2015 (a level in line with current demand expectations which should put the business on the right trajectory to stem the erosion in unit revenues by the end of the year).”

(DAL)’s second-quarter expenses decreased -9% year-over-year to $8.23 billion and operating profit for the three-month period was +$2.47 billion, up +57% over operating income of +$1.58 billion in the 2014 June quarter.

(DAL)’s second-quarter airplane fuel bill (including regional operations) lowered -16% year-over-year to $2.47 billion. Without fuel hedging, (DAL)’s fuel costs would have decreased -40% year-over-year. (CFO), Paul Jacobson said that adjustments in fuel hedging mean (DAL) should benefit in line with rivals in terms of fuel cost savings going forward. “We have a fuel hedging policy that’s put us in a position where we’ve been less competitive for the last six months,” he conceded. “But that’s behind us now.” Delta (CEO), Richard Anderson said he expects “significant fuel savings in the September quarter.”

(DAL)’s second-quarter consolidated traffic increased +3% year-over-year to 54.76 billion (RPM)s on a +3% rise in capacity to 63.94 billion (ASM)s, producing a load factor of 85.6% lf, down -0.7 point. Yield dropped -4% to 16.69 cents.

News Item A-3: "USA Airlines’ (2Q) Earnings Roundup" by (ATW)
Aaron Karp in his AirKarp Blog, July 29, 2015.

Key points from USA airlines’ second-quarter earnings reporting season:

Soft revenue, exceptional profits: American Airlines (AAL), Delta Air Lines (DAL), Southwest Airlines (SWA) and United Airlines (UAL), which together control more than >80% of the USA airline market, earned a combined net profit of +$5 billion in the second quarter. That happened despite (AAL), (DAL) and (UAL) seeing revenue fall year-over-year and (SWA) reporting just a +2% revenue increase. USA airlines continue to control costs (with a big assist from low fuel prices) and prudently manage capacity, which is proving critical in a revenue environment that shows little sign of improvement as the USA economy has disappointed so far this year.

Pricing wars: Ultra-low cost carrier (ULCC) Spirit Airlines (SPR) is no longer being ignored. USA mainline airlines are aggressively matching (SPR)’s low fares on routes on which they are going head-to-head with the fast-growing (ULCC). (AAL) is “all-in now in matching (ULCC)s everywhere,” President, Scott Kirby said. (SPR) (CEO), Ben Baldanza conceded that (SPR)’s -14.8% second-quarter year-over-year (RASM) drop is 40% attributable to “very aggressive” moves by mainline USA airlines to match its low fares. (AAL) Chairman & (CEO), Doug Parker said, “Customers care a lot about the price of a ticket and we have to compete on price. That’s what we’ll continue to do.”

(DAL) goes global: News of (DAL)’s planned purchase of a stake in China Eastern Airlines (CEA) brought to mind a speech I heard (DAL) President, Ed Bastian give in Rio de Janeiro in 2011. Speaking at the Latin American & Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA) Airline Leaders Forum, Bastian said (DAL) was in the process of transforming from “a USA carrier that served global destinations” to “a global airline that serves the USA.” Since that speech, (DAL) has acquired a 3% stake in Brazil’s (GOL) (GOT), a 4.17% stake in Aeromexico (AMX), a 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA), and now has committed to buying a 3.55% stake in China Eastern (CEA).

Peaceful nights: During (AAL)’s second-quarter earnings conference call, in which (AAL)’s executives discussed what Parker said he believes is “the highest quarterly earnings that any airline has ever produced in any quarter,” (AAL)’s management team was asked by a reporter about what keeps them up at night. Parker’s quick response: “We sleep pretty well.”

News Item A-4: Delta Air Lines (DAL) will expand its alliance with Brazil's (Gol) Linhas Aereas Intelligentes (GOT) under a US$446 million stock and loan agreement, (GOT) said on July 10.

Under the accord, (GOT)'s controlling shareholder, Brazilian investment fund FIP Volluto, will buy up to US$90 million and (DAL) up to US$56 million of new (GOT) preferred stock. (DAL) will also guarantee third-party loans to (GOT) of up to US$300 million, the statement said.

(GOT) plans to borrow the money this year, depending on market conditions, Edmar Lopes Neto, the company's Chief Financial Officer, told investors. The loan will have a counter-guarantee of shares in "Smiles," (GOT)'s frequent-flyer plan, (GOT) said.

"It's always important to bolster the company's liquidity," Lopes Neto said. "It's not a short-term question, because if we look at our debt profile, there is no growing cash need in the short term, and by short-term, I mean 12 months."

According to the most recent number released by (GOT), the Brazilian airline has a cash position of 2.4 billion reais/US$1.1 billion.

Since 2012, (GOT) has sold stakes to (DAL) and Air France (AFA) - (KLM) as it raised funds to add foreign routes and invest in a turnaround strategy after years of heavy losses.

(GOT) preferred shares have fallen more than -20% in the last two weeks and are down more than >-50 percent this year.

(DAL) now owns 2.9% of Gol (GOT)'s non-voting preferred shares and (AFA) - (KLM) owns 1.5%, according to the (Gol) (GOT) Web site. Volluto owns 100% of (GOT) common, voting shares and 61.2% of its preferred stock.

The terms of the share offering will be announced on July 14, (GOT) said. Of the up to US$146 million new shares to be sold, Volluto will buy 61% and (DAL) the rest.

(GOT)'s problems have been exacerbated by a decline in the value of Brazil's currency the real BRL=. A weaker real has driven up the cost of airplane leases and other foreign debt.

In the first quarter, (GOT) recorded a loss of -627.7 million reais/-US$199 million. The result was seven times larger than a year earlier and the company's 13th-straight negative quarter.

(DAL) and (GOT) also agreed to extend the terms of their strategic and commercial operating agreements.

A continuing report was released on July 13 stating (DAL) will deepen its ties to (GOL) (GOT), agreeing to invest up to $56 million in preferred shares newly issued by (GOT).

(DAL), which spent $100 million in 2011 to gain a stake in (GOT) and a seat on the carrier’s board of directors, has also agreed to guarantee a $300 million term loan (GOT) plans to enter into with third party lenders, (GOT) said, adding, “In connection with these transactions, (GOT) and (DAL) will extend their commercial cooperation arrangements.” The two airlines code share and, according to (GOT), are planning to expand cooperation in aircraft maintenance.

Fundo de Investimento em Participações Volluto, (GOT)’s controlling shareholder, will invest up to $90 million in the newly issued preferred shares.

São Paulo-based, (GOT) incurred a 2014 net loss of more than >-$400 million.

News Item A-5: Delta Air Lines (DAL) is hoping to strengthen partnerships with carriers in South Korea, Mexico, and Brazil, and it has been approached about investing in Japan's bankrupt Skymark Airlines (SKM), (DAL)'s President, Ed Bastian told reporters July 6.

The comments, made on the sidelines of the International Air Transport Association's (IATA) annual meeting, reflect Delta (DAL)'s focus on streamlining flight service through cross-country partnerships and ventures.

Bastian declined to comment on the status of the Skymark (SKM) investment talks and what their outcome might be. Aircraft leasing firm Intrepid Aviation (INL), the biggest creditor of Skymark Airlines (SKM), is seeking another sponsor for the failed budget carrier instead of (ANA) Holdings Inc, a Japanese rival airline bidding to take part in the restructuring.

(SKM) holds landing slots at Tokyo's Haneda Airport that USA airlines consider valuable, as a treaty limits USA carriers to four slots there. A (SKM) investment could pave the way for greater (DAL) service to Asia, where USA airlines are competing vigorously to grow.

Skymark (SKM)'s creditors are slated to vote on the rival plans by an August 5 meeting of debt holders. Both plans would likely result in the winning sponsor taking a stake of under <20% in (SKM).

Airline leasing firm Intrepid Aviation (INL), Skymark (SKM)'s biggest creditor, said it had conducted a thorough process to identify the strongest sponsor candidate. As an incentive for other creditors to adopt its plan with (DAL) as the sponsor, (INL) in its rehabilitation plan, said it would withdraw a demand that (SKM) pay it 30 billion yen/US$242.91 million. "We feel confident that this plan provides a better solution to the creditors, so we are quite hopeful that the plan will be accepted," Franklin Pray, Intrepid (INL) President & (CEO), said at a press briefing in Tokyo.

Intrepid (INL), Skymark (SKM)'s biggest creditor, holds 38.1% of (SKM)'s debt, followed by the Airbus Group with 28.9% and jet engine maker Rolls-Royce (RRC) Holdings with 15.7%.

Skymark (SKM) holds 36 landing slots at Tokyo's Haneda Airport, which connects to cities throughout Japan and which many travelers prefer to Narita International Airport, because it is closer to central Tokyo.

(SKM) ran into financial trouble after an ambitious expansion that included buying Airbus A380 jumbo jets. It filed for rehabilitation proceedings in late January.

(DAL) is also interested in growing its relationship with long-time partner Korean Air Lines (KAL) after their ties were weakened by (DAL)'s acquisition of Northwest Airlines (NWA), which already had extensive Asian routes and competed with (KAL), Bastian said.

"We've been working hard with our Korean colleagues to reestablish a solid base for the relationship," he said. "I'm optimistic we'll find an answer" on how to proceed.

(DAL) is eyeing growth through partnerships across the Pacific, too.

(DAL) recently petitioned the USA government for antitrust immunity in a joint venture (JV) with Grupo Aeromexico SAB de CV (AMX) and Bastian said (DAL) already has a 4.17% stake in (AMX).

"We're working on" replicating alliances like the one (DAL) has with Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA), where (DAL)'s stake is 49%, Bastian said.

Antitrust immunity would help the two airlines coordinate schedules and prices for USA - Mexico flights.

(DAL) said it sees the potential for an antitrust immunized joint venture (JV) with (Gol) Linhas Aereas Inteligentes (GOT) as well, although that is "a little further behind" because the Brazilian airline does not operate as many international routes.

News Item A-6: "Delta (DAL) is to Buy 3.55% Stake in China Eastern (CEA) for $450 million" by (ATW) Aaron Karp, July 27, 2015.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) has agreed to invest $450 million to acquire a 3.55% stake in Shanghai-based China Eastern Airlines (CEA), and the SkyTeam (STM) Alliance members said they will launch a “commercial cooperation plan.”

In comments posted on (DAL)’s website, (DAL) Senior VP Asia Pacific, Vinay Dube said, “Delta (DAL) has nearly tripled the size of its China network in the past five years. Pairing up with China Eastern (CEA) increases our reach and further cements our commitment to the market and to our customers, who travel between China and the USA. (CEA) is the hub carrier in the leading Chinese business market, Shanghai, so this is a great opportunity to build a profitable, enduring business model.”

(CEA) (CEO), Shaoyong Liu said, “The cooperation of the parties is based on a global vision and joint strategic blueprint. The parties will take advantage of their respective route networks, flight services, relevant businesses and advantageous resources, to fully connect the world’s two top economies as well as two top air transportation markets.”

Dube added, “Our $450 million investment in (CEA) is only a part of our partnership. While the investment results in a 3.55% stake in (CEA) and an observer seat on the (CEA) board of directors, the true value in this agreement comes from our shared vision to build a long-term, profitable partnership by creating a world-class, customer-focused offering, and be the most successful franchise in the growing USA - China market.”

(CEA) and its subsidiary, Shanghai Airlines (SHA) code share with (DAL) on 30 domestic USA routes, 43 domestic Chinese routes and 7 China - USA transpacific routes. (CEA) operates 35x-weekly Boeing 777-300ER flights from Shanghai to Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Honolulu. (DAL) operates 28x-weekly flights to Shanghai, Beijing, and Hong Kong from Seattle and Detroit. (DAL) recently moved to Terminal 1 at Shanghai Pudong Airport, co-locating with (CEA) and Shanghai Airlines (SHA).

Delta (DAL) said its goal to be “the most Chinese-friendly USA airline.”

Later, on the next day, July 28, however, the following downturn occurred:

"China Eastern (CEA) Shares Fall with Market, Despite Delta (DAL) Deal" by Bloomberg News, July 28, 2015.

China Eastern Airlines (CEA) shares tumbled July 28 in Shanghai and Hong Kong trading despite a US$450 million investment from Delta Air Lines (DAL), as shares resumed trading following a market rout.

(CEA) fell as much as -10% in both cities. The shares traded for the first time since July 22. The Shanghai Composite Index plunged -8.5% and opened later down -4.1%.

"The placement is actually positive for (CEA): it's at a good premium and a partnership that will help (CEA) expand. It's just that market sentiment is not good right now," said Castor Pang, Head of Research at Core Pacific Yamaichi in Hong Kong.

(CEA), China's second-largest airline by market value said that (DAL) will take a 3.6% stake in (CEA), expanding a partnership that will allow the two airlines to better compete on routes across the Pacific.

(CEA) will sell about 466 million shares at HK$7.49/97 cents apiece, according to a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange. The sale price is a premium of +8.6% over the stock's closing price in Hong Kong on July 22, before trading was halted pending this announcement.

The deal will help (DAL) grow in the world's second-largest travel market by deepening a partnership with (CEA) at its Shanghai base through the Skyteam (STM) airline alliance. (DAL) has longstanding ambitions to grow in China, where it trails the leading USA carrier into the country, United Continental Holdings Inc (UAL).

(DAL) is expanding and strengthening overseas partnerships as a glut of available seats crimps carriers' ability to raise prices for USA flights. For (CEA), which is also seeking to deepen a partnership with Australia's Qantas (QAN), partnerships help work around regulations that limit its ability to fly on its own within foreign countries.

(CEA)'s move comes as rival Air China (BEJ) announced its own plans for a private share offering. Air China (BEJ) shares have been halted since June 30 and will resume trading July 29.

Earlier this year, (DAL) deepened ties with (CEA), with plans to move operations at Shanghai's Pudong International Airport to share a terminal with the Chinese carrier.

(CEA) and its Shanghai Airlines (SHA) unit operate code shares with (DAL) on 30 domestic routes in the USA, 43 in China, and 7 that cross the Pacific. (DAL) serves the three largest cities in China with six daily non-stop flights from the USA.

Earlier this month, (CEA) had forecasted a +263-fold increase in first-half profit and said it may report net income of as much as 3.7 billion yuan/US$596 million, according to regulatory filings.

(CEA) shares have surged this year, gaining +131% in Shanghai and 86% in Hong Kong, before they were halted July 23.

News Item A-7: Pilots (FC) at Delta Air Lines (DAL) have voted against a tentative contract agreement that would have hiked their pay to industry-leading wages, the pilots (FC) union said July 10.

Nearly 7,000 or 65% of voting pilots (FC) rejected the contract, according to (DAL)'s Master Executive Council, part of the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA). Some 97% of eligible pilots (FC) voted.

(DAL)'s stock was up nearly 5% after news that the higher wages would not set in. Critics of the contract have called the proposed gains slim in light of (DAL)'s growing income and said higher wages came at the sacrifice of more-lucrative profit-sharing. They said changes in sick leave and other work rules offset the gains, criticism the union has dismissed as deceptive.

The no-vote marks a labor setback for (DAL). It had hoped to ratify a new agreement months before the current contract's December 31 amendable date, in contrast to peer airlines that have taken years to reach union deals.

According to the union, (DAL)'s (CEO), Richard Anderson has said, "Failure to ratify the agreement will lead to a very different and longer path that will not result in a better deal. Uncertainty will prevail, and that will not be good for anybody."

The rejection also means (DAL) will not purchase 20 used and 40 new single-aisle airplanes from the Boeing Company (TBC) to replace planes that are scheduled to retire through 2019. (DAL) had said the purchase was conditional on the tentative agreement's ratification.

The (DAL) unit of (ALPA) will convene for a special meeting on July 21 to determine its next step and reassess its strategic plan, its Chairman, Mike Donatelli said in a letter to pilots (FC).

News Item A-8: (New York Governor Cuomo Announces New Laguardia Airport" By Deepti Hajela, Associated Press, July 27, 2015.

A year after comparing New York's LaGuardia Airport to "some Third World Country," USA Vice President, Joe Biden helped unveil an ambitious plan to rebuild its collection of aging terminals into a modern, unified hub while easing congestion by doubling the space available for planes to operate. "I wish everything I said that was truthful but controversial, would turn out this well," he joked during the announcement with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The overhaul would remake the entire footprint of the airport, which is shoehorned onto a small, oddly-shaped property on the shore of the East River. Its existing, cramped and chaotic buildings would be demolished and replaced with a big new terminal, 600 feet closer to the Grand Central Parkway, the highway that rings the airport like a moat.

That shift would relieve some of the space constraints for aircraft trying to taxi to and from the congested gate areas. More space would be made by having passengers get to their gates using elevated passageways that pass over active taxiways. In all, nearly two miles of new taxiways would be created. Construction on the first phase of the project would begin next year, pending final approval by the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, which owns the airport. A second phase would be overseen by Delta Air Lines (DAL).

The first remade portions of the airport would open to passengers in 2019. "This is what New Yorkers deserve and have deserved for a long time. And now we're going to get it," Cuomo said. He said the current airport is a collection of cramped terminals with high volume and low ceilings, and is "un-New York." "It's slow, it's dated, it has a terrible front-door entrance way to New York," he said.

Biden said last year that if he blindfolded someone and took him to LaGuardia, he'd think he was in "some Third World country." Biden lauded the governor for "thinking big." The USA Vice President's influence was critical, Cuomo said (approvals that would normally take years were expedited by Biden's office).

The first phase of the plan will cost US$4 billion, half from private funding, Cuomo said. Delta (DAL) is a partner in the new terminal.

The new airport is part of an ambitious plan aimed at four of the state's airports in the New York area. Stewart Airport north of the city and Republic Airport on Long Island, would both get "Startup New York" designation, offering new and expanding businesses to operate tax free for 10 years. Also, New York City's John F Kennedy Airport would have its architecturally distinct Saarinen building reconfigured into a hotel.

The construction will add thousands of jobs and help grow tourism and commerce. Officials said it would triple the screening space, increase concession space and create better connections between terminals, a new roadway system and new parking garages. "LaGuardia and (JFK) are economic anchors for this city, and they deserve to be the best in the world," Biden said.

LaGuardia, along the Flushing and Bowery bays in northern Queens, is the closest of the New York area's three major air hubs to midtown Manhattan (just eight miles) and it handled about 27 million passengers last year. Often, the first building travelers see, is the sprawling, boomerang-shaped Central Terminal, which opened just in time to receive visitors to the 1964 World's Fair. Many passengers say it is like stepping back in time. They immediately encounter low ceilings and dimly lit, narrow hallways. Check-in kiosks are arrayed haphazardly in rows just inside the entrances, where bright green neon lights blare, "Welcome to LaGuardia Airport." On the west side of the terminal sits a modest food court featuring a hamburger counter, a pizzeria and a Dunkin' Donuts.

In 2012, "Travel & Leisure" magazine named LaGuardia the nation's worst airport, saying it had the "dubious honor of ranking the worst for the check-in and security process, the worst for baggage handling, the worst when it comes to providing Wi-Fi, the worst at staff communication, and the worst for design and cleanliness."

News Item A-9: "Delta (DAL) Is About to Offer One of the Coolest Upgrades Yet - to Very Few Flyers" By Justin Bachman, "Bloomberg News" July 28, 2015.

(DAL) is cooking up what may be one of the most appealing flight upgrades yet: one that allows you to bag a commercial flight altogether and board a private jet. The new upgrade program, targeted at what (DAL) calls "high-value customers,"will cost US$300 to US$800, depending on destination. Beginning as soon as this week, passengers, who have achieved elite or "medallion" status in Delta's SkyMiles frequent-flyer program will be eligible for the upgrade offers. But officials stress that the initial number of private jet flights will be small, and focused mainly at (DAL)'s East Coast hubs.

"This is truly a groundbreaking new approach from both industry standpoints," said James Murray, VP of Operations at Delta Private Jets (DPJ). "Nobody else can do what we're talking about doing."

(DAL)'s decision to merge some of its commercial traffic with its 66-aircraft private jet unit shows (DAL)'s relentless focus on finding new revenue or squeezing more from existing customers, which is why carriers now appear to nickel-and-dime passengers for everything from snacks to movies which were once free of charge. Corporate travelers, who are less price-conscious, because they book travel on their company's credit card, represent the most attractive business for most large network carriers. The move reflects the airline industry's keen focus on differentiating air travel and showering their most profitable customers with ever-higher levels of perks and amenities. For example, (DAL), like most of its rivals, already drives lucrative passengers from one flight to another in luxury cars, allowing them to bypass the airport terminal gauntlet. ((DAL) uses Porsches, United (UAL) goes with Mercedes, and American (AAL) chose Cadillac). Chauffeuring customers to a private jet is a logical brand extension.

The upgrades could also help (DAL) quell one of the thorniest (and costliest) problems in private aviation, known as "empty legs," or the need to reposition a jet without having a customer headed to that particular location. These inefficient flights account for roughly a third of all private jet flights, despite years of effort by the industry to minimize them. The advent of greater tracking data and new software analytics tools is likely to help private jet operators reduce their empty legs even further, said Erik Snell, President of Delta Private Jets.

Initially, only (DAL)'s top customers (those at the highest "Diamond Medallion" level, which is met, when people spend US$15,000 at (DAL) and travel at least 125,000 miles or 140 flight segments per year) were going to be invited to purchase the upgrades. But (DAL) has spent several months tweaking its model and decided to expand the pool of potential customers by opening it to people at the lowest elite tier, those who travel 25,000 miles or 30 segments annually, and who spend US$3,000. Most of the upgrades will involve travel scheduled the next day, although Delta Private Jets (DPJ) said it would have some flights that offer travelers as much as 48 hours' notice.

Earlier this year, Delta Private Jets (DPJ) filed for a patent on the scheme of how to transfer passengers from a commercial carrier to a private jet operator. (DPJ), a wholly owned subsidiary that calls itself the fourth-largest USA operator of private jet flights, has received regulatory approval to fly (DAL) passengers on 160 domestic routes, although it plans to begin mainly with flights among Atlanta, New York, and Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, near the unit's Erlanger (Kentucky) headquarters.

Over time, Delta Private Jets (DPJ) officials said the program might expand, potentially deploying part of the private jet fleet toward regular upgrades on certain routes, complementing (DAL)'s commercial service. And depending on passenger reception, (DAL) may begin marketing the option of a private jet upgrade as commonly as it touts airport lounges, first class, and other amenities for the most lucrative travelers. Still, "(DAL) operates a whole lot more flights than we have [private] airplanes," Murray said, which means an upgrade to a private jet is likely to remain a niche offering.

Yet, the "empty legs" problem of a vacant cabin won't ever be eliminated. That's one reason executives at the (DAL) unit were keen to see if they could match up routes with their mainline parent and harvest some of (DAL)s most profitable customers (many of whom might not have flown privately before but could afford to).

Across the private jet industry, a trip averages about US$5,500 per hour, (DPJ) officials said. At an initial US$300 - US$800 per flight, some (DAL) customers will find the upgrade an inexpensive way to sample the swank romance of private aviation. "The hope is that once someone flies private, and they don't have to go through (TSA), and they have the experience, then they may determine that they want to fly private more often," said Cyril Turner, Delta Private Jets' Chief Executive 0fficer (CEO). Financially, the goal is "not necessarily to break even, but to at least get some type of income" from the empty flights, Turner said in a June interview.

The project has not been without hiccups. Delta Private Jets (DPJ) had hoped to launch the upgrades in early June but quickly found a need to tweak the initial US$800 flat fee and to brief corporate travel managers about the initiative.

Logistically, the operation faces a variety of hurdles beyond jet scheduling. Some corporate travel managers may not love the idea of employees spending more money at the last minute, or now having to devise a travel policy on who pays for it. The company also had to receive Department of Transportation approval for its plans; it is allowed to fly commercial passengers four days per week, Tuesday - Friday, and must submit for review new cities it wants to add. The upgrade program, for now, will include only domestic flights. (And miles junkies, take note: There's no bonus in the upgrade, just the usual mileage accrual one would get taking the regular (DAL) flight).

(DPJ) offers some of its charter-jet customers a 10-hour guarantee, meaning that it will make a plane available anywhere in its network with that much notice. That provision complicates the ability to match a jet with (DAL)'s scheduled routes; some of the private jet fleet repositioning happens overnight, when (DAL) has few domestic flights. "If we lock up an airplane two days out, we can put ourselves in a potential bind as far as covering" the regular business, Murray said. In other cases, he said, "sometimes we have trips booked for specific airplanes and so we know exactly what that airplane is going to be doing in three days."

(DPJ) has been testing and revising its model in earnest since May. (DAL) had a customer (who later changed his travel plans) booked for a June 12 flight from Atlanta to Cincinnati on an eight-passenger Cessna Citation X. The first flight is now expected to occur as early as July 29, although company officials said the timing remains uncertain.

"As it stands right now," said Murray, "there's only a very small subset of the population that can afford to fly privately on a routine basis."

News Item A-10: (DAL) appointed Kathy Waller as its newest board member, effective immediately. Waller is the Executive VP & (CFO) of The Coca-Cola Company.

News Item A-11: This season, the USA National Basketball Association (NBA) is planning to switch its (VIP) charter contract aircraft from A319-100s to 757-200s, a filing with the USA Department of Transportation (DOT) has shown. This year, the contract will cover twenty-seven of the thirty (NBA) teams, +4 more than last season.

According to the submission, eleven 757-200s will be transferred from Delta Air Lines (DAL) ownership to a private leasing firm, which will then lease the aircraft to a trust controlled by the league. "Under the proposed program, the Participating Teams will form an entity (the 'Team Entity'), which will be a trust. The Team Entity will lease eleven Boeing 757-200 aircraft from a third party lessor, and the aircraft will be specially configured for use by the Participating Teams," it said.

As per the agreement, (DAL) will be able to pursue "ad-hoc" charter contracts during aircraft downtime, so long as those services do not conflict with team transport operations. Planet Service, an administrative company, will coordinate charter scheduling for the (NBA).

Last year, the (NBA) employed a fleet of eight (VIP)-configured A319s, also sourced from (DAL), to service the contract.

News Item A-12: "Pilot (FC) Vote Leads Delta to Cancel Order for 40 737-900ERs, 20 EMB-190s" by (ATW) Aaron Karp, July 15, 2015.

(DAL)’s order for 40 new Boeing 737-900ERs and 20 used Embraer EMB-190s has been shelved owing to (DAL)’s pilots (FC) rejecting a tentative agreement on a new labor contract.

“Those orders will be canceled,” (CEO), Richard Anderson said July 15 when asked about the airplanes on (DAL)’s second-quarter earnings conference call. (DAL) executives and the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) had reached a tentative agreement on a three-year labor pact to replace the pilots (FC)’s current contract expiring at the end of this year. (DAL) said the terms of the deal allowed it to place the order for 60 airplanes, including 20 EMB-190s it planned to place into mainline service.

The Delta Master Executive Council (MEC) of ALPA endorsed the tentative labor deal in June and sent it to (DAL)’s nearly 13,000 pilots (FC) for a ratification vote. But (ALPA) announced late last week that the rank-and-file pilots (FC), more than >10,000 of whom cast ballots, rejected the contract by a 65% - 35% margin. Anderson said he was “disappointed” by the pilots (FC)’s vote and noted that the rejected contract would have made the flight deck crew (FC) the highest paid in the USA airline industry. But he pointed out that the sides still have more than >5 months to negotiate before the current contract expires.

Though the agreement rejected by the pilots (FC) included an immediate +8% pay raise and further salary hikes over the course of the three-year contract, it also made changes in profit sharing that a wide majority of (DAL)’s pilots (FC) apparently won’t accept. The (DAL) (MEC) said it will meet July 21 to “reassess our strategic plan.”

August 2015: News Item A-1: The (FAA) is investigating whether the city of Dallas failed to properly accommodate Delta Air Lines (DAL)’s request to continue operating flights from Love Field.

News Item A-2: Skymark Airlines (SKM) creditors have approved a rehabilitation plan that will see All Nippon Airways (ANA) take a minority stake in (SKM), rejecting a rival plan that included Delta Air Lines (DAL).

News Item A-3: Delta Air Lines (DAL) will add two transatlantic routes next year to buttress its joint venture (JV) with Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA).

From May 1, 2016, (DAL) will launch seasonal, daily service between Salt Lake City and London Heathrow (LHR). Given that the flights will be seasonal, (DAL) will have an opportunity to try out this route before committing to it long-term. Feeding the Delta (DAL)-Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA) transatlantic joint venture (JV) is critical to (DAL) and this provides USA passengers with another point to access it.

From May 26, 2016, (DAL) will start operating daily, year-round flights between New York (JFK) and Edinburgh. (VAA)’s code will be added to the flights on both routes. (DAL) owns 49% of (VAA) and the two carriers have been operating an antitrust-immunized transatlantic joint venture (JV) since March 2014.

(DAL) Senior VP Europe, Middle East & Africa, Nat Pieper said, “(DAL) and (VAA) are committed to offering an extensive network on the transatlantic, and our new flights from London and Edinburgh will offer more connections to destinations throughout the USA and beyond.”

News Item A-4: (DAL) pilots (FC)’s labor leadership is in “reset mode” following the pilots (FC)’s rejection of a tentative agreement, Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) President, Tim Canoll said.

News Item A-5: See Delta (DAL)'s grill at:

September 2015: News Item A-1: China Eastern Airlines (CEA) and Delta Air Lines (DAL) have finalized a partnership agreement unveiled in July to strengthen code share cooperation and extend network coverage.

According to the agreement, (DAL) would acquire 3.55% stakes in (CEA) with a $450 million investment. “(DAL) and (CEA) were always friends and now we are a family,” (CEA) Chairman, Liu Shaoyong said at the signing ceremony. According to terms of the deal, both carriers will expand their code share cooperation on all the Sino - USA routes they operate. It includes all domestic routes they operate in each other’s home countries and all international routes to a third country they operate, if approved by Chinese and USA regulators.

Currently, (CEA) and its subsidiary, Shanghai Airlines (SHA) code share with (DAL) on 30 domestic USA routes, 43 domestic Chinese routes and seven China - USA transpacific routes.

In addition, they are also expected to conduct closer cooperation on revenue management, scheduling, Information Technology (IT), sales, and frequent-flyer programs. (DAL) recently moved to Terminal 1 at Shanghai Pudong Airport, co-locating with (CEA) and (SHA).

News Item A-2: Delta Air Lines (DAL) will launch daily service between Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, and Paris Charles de Gaulle from May 12, 2016.

The flights will be operated with 164-seat Boeing 757-200ER airplanes. Air France (AFA) - (KLM) and Alitalia (ALI) will code share on the flights as part of their transatlantic joint venture (JV) with (DAL).

(DAL) will become the first carrier to fly the route. Raleigh-Durham will be the 13th destination (DAL) serves to/from Paris.

(DAL) also announced that it will increase from seven to 11 the number of weekly flights it operates between New York (JFK) and Tel Aviv. The four additional weekly flights, to be operated with 291-seat 777-200ERs, will start on May 26.

News Item A-3: A Delta Airlines (DAL) lawyer stated that the coalition led by the three USA legacy carriers (DAL), (AAL) & (UAL) and organized labor is asking the USA government to request the three Gulf airlines (EAD), (EHD) & (QTA) to freeze capacity to the USA.

News Item A-4: (DAL) appointed Alan Lavender as Area Sales Manager for its UK Cargo division. He joins (DAL) from Cathay Pacific (CAT) where he spent more than >10 years as key account manager and helped to launch (CAT)’s pharmaceutical shipping product in the UK.

October 2015: News Item A-1: Delta Air Lines reported a third-quarter net profit of +$1.34 billion, more than tripling net income of +$357 million in the prior-year period, even as the USA airline revenue environment remained challenging.

(DAL)’s third-quarter revenue totaled $11.11 billion, down -1% year-over-year. Responding to the revenue performance, (DAL) will keep system capacity flat in the fourth quarter and provided guidance for growing system capacity between 0% and 2% in 2016.

President, Ed Bastian said that “low fuel prices and foreign currency have pressured our revenue performance,” adding, “By keeping our system capacity flat for the December quarter, we are taking action to drive improvement in our unit revenues, which we forecast will decline -2.5% to -4.5% for the quarter, including 2 points of impact from foreign currency. Our conservative growth in this low fuel environment is evidence of our commitment to getting (RASM) back on a positive trajectory, which is a key component to achieving our long-term margin targets.”

(DAL)'s third-quarter operating expenses lowered -14% year-over-year to $8.89 billion and operating profit was +$2.21 billion, well more than doubling operating income of +$835 million in the 2014 September quarter. (DAL)’s airplane fuel expense decreased -38% year-over-year in the third quarter to $1.82 billion, and (DAL) was helped by a $146 million lower mark-to-market fuel hedging charge in the 2015 third quarter compared to the prior-year period.

(DAL)’s consolidated third-quarter traffic increased +4% year-over-year to 59.08 billion (RPM)s on a +3% rise in capacity to 68.03 billion (ASM)s, producing a load factor of 86.8% LF, up +0.4 point. Third-quarter (PRASM) lowered -5% year-over-year to 14.10 cents, while (CASM) fell -17% to 13.07 cents. Yield dropped -5% to 16.24 cents.

News Item A-2: "Delta’s Oil Refinery Earns Record Quarterly Profit"
by (ATW) Aaron Karp, October 16, 2015.

Delta Air Lines (DAL)’s oil refinery earned a +$106 million profit in the third quarter, a more than fivefold improvement over a +$19 million profit in the 2014 September quarter.

The third-quarter profit was a record for the Trainer, Pennsylvania facility, according to (DAL) (CFO), Paul Jacobson. “Lower crude [oil] cost, a favorable crack spread environment, and increased throughput drove the refinery’s profit,” Jacobson said during (DAL)’s third-quarter earnings conference call.

The refinery’s average throughput during the September quarter was 200,000 barrels per day, Jacobson said. (DAL) “produced over >40,000 barrels per day of jet fuel at the plant” during the quarter, he added.

Jacobson projected an approximately +$30 million profit for the refinery in the fourth quarter. That would mean it will produce about a $320 million contribution to (DAL)’s bottom line in 2015. The refinery posted a +$95 million profit in 2014.

(DAL) acquired the former ConocoPhillips refinery, which now provides about 80% of (DAL)’s domestic fuel needs, in 2012.

News Item A-3: Delta Air Lines (DAL) is planning to cut an unspecified number of jobs from its administrative workforce.

Though (DAL) has posted a string of strong quarterly profits, it said the move is intended to help improve productivity throughout the firm and thus keep it 'nimble' in the face of a decline in revenue.

The cuts will affect employees at (DAL)’s headquarters in Atlanta near Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson and will see salaried positions reduced over the next few months.

Despite the announcement, (DAL) has said it will continue to hire flight attendants (CA), pilots (FC), reservations agents, and other front line employees.

News Item A-4: Delta Air Lines (DAL) is buying six slot pairs at slot-constrained, London Heathrow (LHR) Airport from joint venture (JV) partner, Air France (AFA) - (KLM), (DAL)’s executives said on October 14.

News Item A-5: (DAL) will begin daily, Raleigh Durham - Paris Charles de Gaulle, 757-200 services on May 12. (DAL) will also add 4x-weekly, New York (JFK) - Tel Aviv service in May, bringing its total on the route to 11x-weekly. Tel Aviv flights will be operated with Boeing 777-200ERs.

News Item A-6: "The Real Reason Delta is Pulling out of Dubai" by Karen Walker in (ATW) Editor's Blog, October 28, 2015.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) is back in the news again, and this time it looks rather like more "route shenanigans."

(DAL) has announced it will end its Atlanta - Dubai service in February. Not your average route announcement, (DAL) said that the decision was made “amid overcapacity on USA routes to the Middle East operated by government-owned and heavily subsidized airlines, and less than a month after (DAL) reduced service between the world’s busiest airport and the Middle East’s largest hub.”

In other words, (DAL) is blaming its pullout on the Gulf carriers on which it has waged war for many months over alleged subsidies and "Open Skies" compliance.

But hang on a moment - - how many flights do Emirates (EAD), Etihad (EHD) and Qatar Airways (QTA) operate to Atlanta? The shocking answer is: zero. So (DAL) has exclusivity on Atlanta - Dubai, yet apparently can’t make a go of the route. How so?

At least part of the answer lies with these airline route maps: (DAL) route map and (EAD) route map. (DAL)’s 777 will take you from Atlanta to Dubai, but from there (unless you transfer to Emirates (EAD)), it’s a dead end. And, as (DAL) references in its statement, the majority of people who fly from outside the Gulf states on one of three Gulf carriers are not going to Abu Dhabi, Doha, or Dubai. They are transiting, and in ever larger numbers, their real destination is the sub-Indian continent: Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and so on, all places where, as the (EAD) route map shows, (EAD) offers multiple city destinations.

As is the golden rule with any airline, it’s all about the network. What (DAL) does not have is a sub-Indian continent network (nor do any of the USA majors).

The Gulf carriers (and perhaps, more precisely, their state owners) saw an opportunity that their geographical location provided to create international hub-and-spoke operations, that include the fast-growing sub-Indian continent market.

Atlanta Hartsfield is one of the largest and most successful USA and global hub-and-spoke airports, but it doesn’t currently have any reach into the sub-Indian continent beyond Dubai.

That will change next year, when Qatar Airways (QTA) begins Doha - Atlanta service. (QTA), I fully expect, will make a go of the route not because there’s a pent-up demand for people to fly from the southern USA to Doha, but because (QTA) (along with its Oneworld (ONW) Alliance partners) will offer a far better network and easier connections to all the beyond places, people do want to fly to.

(DAL) fully knows this, of course. So it’s making a silk purse from a sow’s ear and using its Dubai pullout announcement for some grand-standing on its favorite political campaign: those terrible, passenger-stealing Gulf carriers!

News Item A-7: "Emirates Refutes Delta’s Dubai Claim; Studies Atlanta Route" by (ATW) Karen Walker, October 30, 2015.

Emirates Airline (EAD) said it is “closely studying” whether to launch Dubai - Atlanta service after Delta Air Lines (DAL) pulls out from the route next year, a decision it announced earlier this week and which (DAL) claims was prompted by over-capacity by the Gulf carriers.

(DAL) operates the only passenger service between its home hub and Dubai, but announced October 28 that it will cease the route from February 11, 2016. (DAL) said its Dubai pullout decision was made “amid overcapacity on USA routes to the Middle East operated by government-owned and heavily subsidized airlines.”

(EAD), however, has issued a statement rejecting (DAL)’s accusation that competition from Gulf airlines forced it to cancel the service. (EAD) said industry data show that (DAL)’s Dubai flights have had average seat loads consistently over >85% and that (EAD)'s own studies indicate that the route was “highly profitable” with “an estimated route profitability of over >$10 million per annum, or a route net margin of 7%.”

“Delta (DAL) effectively has a monopoly on the Atlanta - Dubai route, they can carry ‘Fly America’ traffic that is protected from non-USA carriers, and enjoy high seat loads and yield on the route. By any airline’s standards, these are lucrative conditions and hardly reason to cease the Atlanta - Dubai service,” an Emirates (EAD) spokesperson said. “We can only conclude that this is a political move to position (DAL) as a ‘victim’ of the Gulf carriers (which is laughable considering (DAL)’s size and profitability; or it is perhaps because they wish to redeploy their aircraft on other trans-Atlantic routes that have even higher yields, due to the anti-trust immunity (DAL) enjoys with its alliance partners. In which case, Delta (DAL) should admit that its goal is to make even more money, and leave the Gulf airlines out of it.”

The spokesperson added: “Our route planners are now closely studying the opportunity for Emirates (EAD) to fill in the gap when (DAL) exits the non-stop Atlanta - Dubai service.

Qatar Airways (QTA), a Oneworld (ONW) alliance member, announced earlier this year that it will begin Doha - Atlanta service next year.

(DAL) has led a campaign, joined by American Airlines (AAL), United Airlines (UAL) and some labor groups, to address what it says are billions of dollars of government subsidies given to state-owned Gulf carriers in violation of fair competition rules in the "Open Skies" between the USA, the (UAE), and Qatar.

Delta Airlines (DAL) Executive VP & Chief Legal Officer, Peter Carter told Atlanta’s (WABE) public radio station that (DAL) “would applaud and embrace the opportunity to compete with the Gulf carriers, if in fact they were living consistent with the terms of the "Open Skies" agreements we’ve entered into. The problem we have is with the subsidies they’re receiving.”

“Emirates (EAD) has been flooding the market with capacity,” Carter said. “We know this is not the first route we’ve had to cancel, as a result of the subsidized Mid-East carriers.” (DAL), (AAL) and (UAL) have asked the USA government to hold consultations with the (UAE) and Qatar on the alleged subsidies and the "Open Skies" treaties. But several other USA carriers, including Alaska Airlines (ASA), FedEx (FED) and JetBlue Airways (JBL), are opposed to the campaign, and each of the Gulf carriers has strongly refuted the subsidy allegations. Some have counter-argued that the major consolidated USA carriers have benefited from the USA Chapter 11 bankruptcy process, government loan guarantees, and other forms of financial assistance.

(DAL) also announced this month that it was immediately quitting its membership of the Airlines for America (A4A) lobbying association. (DAL) said the trade group had failed to support (DAL) on several key issues, “including the growing harm of government-subsidized carriers in the Middle East and the damage the Export-Import Bank does to USA airlines.”

News Item A-8: "Delta to depart (A4A); (ATC) Policy Differences Cited" by (ATW) Aaron Karp, October 27, 2015.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) will leave Airlines for America (A4A), the group that lobbies on behalf of the USA airline industry, in 2016.

The move by the world’s and USA’s second largest airline in terms of revenue, which will take effect April 26, 2016, is a blow to (A4A)’s mission of presenting a united front of USA carriers as it lobbies Congress and the White House on major industry issues.

(A4A) said that (DAL)’s departure “was not unexpected, as (DAL) has not been aligned with other (A4A) members on a few key industry positions, including the need to modernize and improve the nation’s air traffic control (ATC) system.”

(A4A) has pushed for “a commercialized, non-profit type governance structure” for USA air traffic control (ATC).

(A4A) President & (CEO), Nicholas Calio said that (DAL)’s departure “will not distract (A4A) and its members from the continuing work of fighting higher taxes and unnecessary regulations while pushing for updated infrastructure, along with the vast array of technical and regulatory issues that (A4A)’s councils and committees regularly address.”

(DAL) said, “The $5 million that (DAL) pays in annual dues to (A4A) can be better used to invest in employees and products to further enhance the (DAL) experience, and to support what we believe is a more efficient way of communicating in Washington on issues that are important to (DAL) customers and employees.”

American Airlines (AAL) Chairman & (CEO), Doug Parker, who is serving as (A4A)’s current Chairman, said US airlines “have been and will continue to be more effective as an industry advocating for our customers and employees with a unified voice in Washington, and we are committed to working with (A4A) to achieve reform at the highest levels, including air traffic control (ATC).”

The split comes amid the debate over (FAA) re-authorization; the (FAA)’s authority has been temporarily extended to March 31, 2016, and Congress is expected to take up the issue early next year. “With (FAA) re-authorization, we have an opportunity to address [flight] delays that cost $30 billion annually and implement transformational change to the air traffic control (ATC) system that would mean greater efficiency and a better travel experience,” Calio said.

Although not referenced by (A4A), (DAL) or (AAL)’s Parker, there has also been a split among (A4A) member airlines on the issue of "Open Skies" and state subsidies for airlines. (DAL) & (CEO), Richard Anderson led the campaign to get the alleged subsidies of Emirates Airline (EAD), Etihad Airways (EHD) and Qatar Airways (QTA) exposed and to get the USA government to investigate whether those Gulf-based airlines are abiding by the fair competition rules of the "Open Skies" agreements between the USA, the (UAE) and Qatar.

Although (AAL) and (UAL) joined (DAL) in the campaign, other USA carriers are against it. (A4A), like (IATA), has taken no stance on the issue.

News Item A-9: "A4A’s Board Votes to Make Delta’s Exit Immediate" by (ATW) Aaron Karp, October 30, 2015.

Airlines for America (A4A) has expedited Delta Air Lines (DAL)’s departure from the organization, which is now effective immediately.

(DAL) gave the lobbying group a required six-month notice of its exit October 27, and it was announced (DAL) would depart April 26, 2016. But (A4A)’s board of directors has voted unanimously to waive the notice period and cut ties with (DAL) right away.

(A4A) said that the group’s remaining members have agreed to maintain its current budget and “cover the dues (DAL) had been paying.” (DAL) said earlier that it had been paying dues of $5 million annually to (A4A).

American Airlines (AAL) Chairman & (CEO), Doug Parker, who is the current (A4A) Chairman, issued a statement reiterating the “unanimous” support of (AAL) and (A4A)’s other members for the group’s agenda. “We will continue to be most effective as an organization with unanimity and alignment on key issues,” he said, adding that “the board believed an immediate departure [by (DAL)] was in the best interest of the association.”

(A4A) President & (CEO), Nicholas Calio said (DAL)’s immediate exit “will eliminate any confusion externally on (A4A) positions on key industry issues, including air traffic control (ATC) reform and modernization.”

(DAL)’s logo has already been removed from the membership page on (A4A)’s website. In addition to (AAL), (A4A)’s members include Alaska Airlines (ASA), Atlas Air Worldwide (TLS), FedEx Express (FED), Hawaiian Airlines (HWI), JetBlue Airways (JBL), Southwest Airlines (SWA), United Airlines (UAL), and (UPS) Airlines. Air Canada (ACN) is an associate member.

News Item A-10: "Delta’s Anderson Marches to the Beat of his Own Drum" by Karen Walker in (ATW) Editor's Blog, October 27, 2015.

True to form, (DAL)’s (CEO), Richard Anderson continues to do things a little differently from the crowd.

The latest announcement that (DAL) will quit membership of (A4A) is stunning at one level; (DAL) is the second largest carrier in the USA (indeed, in the world) and a heavyweight in the industry association that advocates on safety, security and regulatory issues, on behalf of its 11 airline members and one associate member (Air Canada (ACN)).

On another level, however, it’s a typical move by the maverick Anderson, who has taken his airline into the oil business by buying a refinery in Pennsylvania, initiated the campaign against Gulf carrier expansion in the USA (under their countries "Open Skies" agreements with the USA), and stayed on the other side of the fence on USA Air Traffic Management (ATM) privatization despite a growing consensus among airlines and industry that this is the way to go.

While the differences on the (ATM) issue may have crystalized, Anderson’s thinking on whether (DAL)’s $5 million annual dues for (A4A) membership were worthwhile, my guess is that the final decision was cumulative. Anderson and his top team think of (DAL) as a business first, just one that happens to fly planes. It’s that out-of-the-box thinking that has turned (DAL) around on so many levels, not least financially, and gained (DAL)’s leadership enormous admiration from its employees. And it has probably led to the thinking that (DAL) can now stand on its own feet when it comes to lobbying. At the end of the day, of course, the company will continue to benefit from any industry-wide regulatory gains that (A4A) makes, but without the bill.

Which raises the question, is (A4A) endangered by (DAL)’s exit? In the near term, no (and (DAL) will stay until the end of April 2016). American Airlines (AAL) Chairman & (CEO), Doug Parker, who is serving as (A4A)’s current Chairman, issued a statement after the announcement, strongly defending the role of (A4A) as a conduit for “a unified voice in Washington” and saying (AAL) was “committed to working with (A4A) to achieve reform at the highest levels.” So the leader of the world’s largest airline sees the benefit and there’s no indication whatsoever that others will follow (DAL)’s path to the exit door.

But it doubtless stings to no longer have all four of the USA consolidated majors ((AAL), (DAL), (SWA) and (UAL)) in the association, financially and representatively.

News Item A-11: Delta TechOps will add the Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent XWB) and (Trent 7000) engines to its Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) portfolio.

The (DAL) (MRO) provider will expand its Technical Operations Center in Atlanta to take on the new engine work. Design work of the expanded engine shop will begin in 2016 with construction scheduled to begin in 2018.

According to (DAL), the expansion will include space for all aspects of engine overhaul work, including a new test cell, a massive concrete installation, where stationary jet engines are run at full thrust. Expanded refurbishment areas for blades and vanes, rotors, and dozens of other engine components are also planned.

Delta TechOps currently overhauls more than >600 jet engines every year at its Atlanta and Minneapolis/St Paul facilities.

News Item A-12: Delta Air Lines (DAL) currently operates 818 airplanes, to 68 countries, to 347 destinations, on 1,036 routes and 5,458 daily flights.

News Item A-13: News Item A-6: Female pilots in USA now 7% of total:

November 2015: News Item A-1: "Atlanta - Dubai: Delta’s Response"
by Karen Walker in (ATW) Editor's Blog, November 2, 2015.

The following letter was submitted to (ATW) by Delta Air Lines (DAL)'s Chief Legal Officer in response to my blog on their decision to stop (DAL)'s Atlanta - Dubai service next year, citing competition from the Gulf carriers.

"November 2, 2015

To the editor,

Delta’s decision to cancel our Atlanta - Dubai service has been under the microscope in recent days, both by Karen Walker, the Editor-in-Chief of Air Transport World, and by Emirates, the heavily subsidized Gulf carrier, that has driven competition out of the USA - Dubai market.

A column by Walker last week questioning our motives for canceling the Atlanta - Dubai service, demonstrated a startling ignorance of how modern airline hubs operate.

Walker noted that none of the Big Three Gulf carriers (Emirates, Qatar or Etihad) operated flights from Atlanta to Dubai and concluded that Delta didn’t have any competition on that route.

As the editor of a respected airline trade publication, Walker should know better. Atlanta is Delta’s (and indeed the world’s) busiest hub, and is heavily reliant on connecting traffic to support its international service. Customers traveling from the USA to Dubai today have a choice of 16 daily departures from 12 USA cities (14 of which are operated by Emirates). Emirates’ extensive interline and code sharing agreements with USA carriers means most passengers traveling to Dubai can easily book one-stop service on Emirates through the gateway of their choice. Delta is competing with every one of those flights, all of which are heavily subsidized by the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Unlike Delta, the Gulf carriers don’t have to worry about being profitable or operating under the normal constraints of a free market, making fair competition impossible. Indeed, Delta’s Atlanta - Dubai route lost money for two years before we made the difficult decision to cancel the service.

Walker also noted that the Gulf carriers are boosting USA service in part to connect American passengers to the Indian subcontinent through their Middle Eastern hubs. She correctly notes that “Delta does not have a sub-Indian continent network (nor do any of the USA carriers).”

There is a reason for that. In the past, Delta had flown nonstop to Mumbai from both New York and Atlanta. Today, the USA airlines operate almost no service to India, because they have been driven out of the market by the subsidized Gulf airlines. The same phenomenon has occurred with European airlines, which have been driven out of the market by Gulf subsidies. It is shocking to realize that USA airlines have just a single flight to the second most populous country in the world.

The point that Walker omits is, of course, is the stunning level of subsidy enjoyed by the Gulf carriers. At $42 billion and growing, it is one of the largest trade-distorting subsidies on record, and without question violates the "Open Skies" agreements between the USA and Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. That is why Delta, United and American and airline labor unions continue to urge the USA government to open consultations with those nations to resolve the issue. The impact is real and growing fast (and thousands of USA airline jobs are at risk. A long-haul international flight like Atlanta - Dubai directly supports 800 airline jobs).

Emirates, meanwhile, touted an “analysis” claiming that our Atlanta - Dubai service was wildly profitable, and accused us of cancelling it to make a political point. That’s just nonsense. Airlines don’t cancel profitable routes, and Delta is no exception. Our Dubai service lost money for nearly two years, for the reasons stated above (we have been competing with heavily subsidized Gulf carriers that simply don’t have to worry about whether routes are profitable, since they are supported by their governments).

It’s not surprising to see Emirates making this type of argument, given that the airline is fighting to continue to dump subsidized capacity in the USA. But it is disappointing to see the same deliberately misleading rhetoric in a respected publication like "Air Transport World."


Peter Carter
Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer
Delta Air Lines"

News Item A-2: "Wall St Analyst Report: Delta May Create Overseas Subsidiary" by (ATW) Editor, Karen Walker, November 6, 2015.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) could potentially set up a non-USA subsidiary housing its international operations and joint ventures (JVs) to reduce the amount of USA taxes it pays, according to a "Wall Street" analyst report.

In a report issued November 6 by New York-based "Wolfe Research," the firm said (DAL) senior management has several times hinted in analyst calls that it was working on a tax strategy, and Wolfe believes it will announce that plan in December. (DAL) confirmed that it is scheduled to hold its investor day event on December 17, when it will outline its plans for 2016.

USA airlines pay about 38% in taxes, some of the highest in the industry, and it has long been a fighting ground with Congress as airlines point out that they are treated, in government tax and fee terms, like the alcohol or tobacco industries, even though airlines are a major driver of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). By comparison, Wolfe pointed out that other high-quality industrial companies, like Caterpillar, only pay 27%.

Although Wolfe said in its report it has no specifics on (DAL)’s tax strategy plan, it cited a possibility in which (DAL) sets up a non-USA subsidiary to house its international equity interests and (JV)s, and maybe some other business such as its Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) operation.

This would lead to the creation of “Delta Amsterdam," a foreign subsidiary based in the Netherlands, where the corporate tax rate is 25%, Wolfe stated.

Wolfe said the Netherlands makes sense, because (DAL) already has an overnight maintenance facility in Amsterdam and a big commercial office for (JV) pricing and yield management.

In this scenario, (DAL) would move two transatlantic (JV)s (one with Air France (AFA) - (KLM) and Alitalia (ALI) and one with Virgin Atlantic (VAA)) into Delta Amsterdam. Then it would move its transpacific (JV) with Virgin Australia Airlines (VOZ). Finally, (DAL) would move its 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic (VAA), its 9.5% stake in Brazil’s (GOL) (GOT), and its 3.5% stake in China Eastern (CEA) into Delta Amsterdam.

Wolfe posits two other ways in which (DAL) might move, but seems to think the overseas subsidiary possibility is most likely.

(DAL) has a track record under (CEO), Richard Anderson of doing things differently and behaving like a “normal” industry, rather than like an airline in its business pursuits, (DAL) has bought an oil refinery in Pennsylvania, has stood against the continuance of the USA Export-Import bank, has led the campaign against the three major Gulf carriers, and most recently ended its membership of the Airlines for America (A4A) lobbying organization, that represents all other USA major carriers.

“With Ex-Im now likely being renewed and unclear progress on the Gulf airline subsidy issue, it seems (DAL) has increasingly less to lose from the Hill in the event of a bold tax saving move, which may be met with displeasure from regulators,” Wolfe Research analyst, Hunter Keay wrote.

News Item A-3: "What does the (DOJ) Really Want from its Lawsuit Against United (UAL) and Delta (DAL)?" by (ATW) Aaron Karp in AirKarp Blog, November 11, 2015.

There is a lot of colorful language surrounding the USA Department of Justice’s civil antitrust lawsuit against United Airlines (UAL) and Delta Air Lines (DAL) over a slot transaction at Newark International Airport (EWR). (DOJ) Assistant Attorney General Antitrust Division, Bill Baer has accused (UAL) of “unlawfully seeking to maintain a monopoly” at EWR and of charging passengers a “Newark premium” (using its dominant position at the airport to charge higher fares for Newark flights vs. comparable flights at other New York-area airports). (UAL), he said, is “deliberately limiting its Newark service” by sitting on slots, thereby stifling competition at the hub so it can charge high fares for service that “ranks among the worst.”

But beyond the bluster, what does the (DOJ) really want? When one files a lawsuit, one asks the court to impose specific judgments. And in the (DOJ)’s lawsuit, it does ask for specific things. These include permanently enjoining (UAL) from acquiring the 12 (EWR) slot pairs it has agreed to lease from (DAL) for $14 million “or any similar acquisition that would result in (UAL) acquiring slots from (DAL) at Newark.” (DOJ) also wants the court to require (UAL) to notify the department’s antitrust division “at least 90 days in advance of any acquisition, lease, or agreement whereby (UAL) assumes long-term control of slots at Newark within the next five years.” (DOJ) additionally asks the court to force (UAL) and (DAL) to pay (DOJ)’s costs associated with the lawsuit.

Bottom line: The (DOJ) wants (DAL) to keep competing with (UAL) at (EWR) or, if (DAL) is content with lessening its presence at the airport, to give the slots it no longer wants, to another carrier that would compete with (UAL) at (EWR).

The inclusion of (DAL) as a “defendant” in the lawsuit is interesting. The (DOJ) can argue that it is a technical requirement; since (DAL) is part of a transaction that the (DOJ) believes would violate the Sherman Act, the 1890 USA federal law that prohibits anti-competitive business activities, (DAL) must be included. But the way in which the (DOJ) has framed the case seems, to me, to give (DAL) every incentive to abandon Chicago-based, (UAL) in the lawsuit, leaving the latter with less room to maneuver.

(DAL) had agreed to lease 12 of its 32 (EWR) slot pairs to (UAL) in exchange for leasing a similar number of slots from (UAL) at New York (JFK) International Airport, which (UAL) is pulling out of all together. The deal is effectively a straight swap (with each carrier agreeing to pay the other $14 million for the slots at the respective New York-area airports) but the lawsuit has revealed it is not actually technically a swap. The transactions are separate, and (DAL) has pointed out that its acquisition of (UAL)’s (JFK) slots is a done deal and not a subject of the lawsuit.

So (DAL) has nothing to lose. (DAL) may decide to stand up for the broader principle of airlines being allowed to swap and sell slots without government interference, but (DAL) is not exactly a “team player” in the USA airline industry. In fact, it has just recently made a very public departure from Airlines for America (A4A), the lobbying group that represents the USA airline industry. What’s to stop (DAL) from settling its part of the lawsuit with the (DOJ) by simply agreeing not to sell or lease its (EWR) slots to (UAL)? (UAL) is, after all, a competitor. Why should (DAL) help out (UAL)?

(UAL) does have a bigger fight here with the (DOJ). Newark is critical to its network, ever more so since it has pulled out of (JFK). If the (DOJ) is successful in this lawsuit, it would essentially mean that (UAL)’s growth at (EWR) is capped. It now controls 73% of (EWR)’s slots and this lawsuit could enshrine that as (UAL)’s limit at the airport.

This lawsuit also brings up a broader issue about the New York-area airports. In its statement responding to the lawsuit, (UAL) said, “With three major airports, the New York/Newark area is the most competitive air transportation market in the country.” One of the premises of the (DOJ)’s lawsuit appears to be that, rather than viewing (EWR), (JFK) and New York LaGuardia as part of one big market, each of the three airports is a market on its own. (UAL) will certainly argue that its position at Newark should be seen in the wider context of its overall position in the New York air transport market, where it does not have any sort of “monopoly.”

In fact, (UAL) would be gaining the slots at (EWR) after giving up slots at (JFK) and moving its premium service transcontinental Boeing 757-200 flights from (JFK) to (EWR). It can plausibly argue that, while it is gaining a greater position at (EWR), its overall position in New York is unchanged.

This lawsuit is ostensibly about just 24 slots out of more than >1,200 daily slots at (EWR). But it is really about much more.

News Item A-4: "Delta to Increase Stake in Aeromexico (AMX), Could Ultimately Hold 49%" by (ATW) Aaron , November 19, 2015.

December 2015: News Item A-1: On December 1, Delta Air Lines (DAL) celebrated its 70-year anniversary at Miami Airport. (DAL) is Miami’s longest-serving airline, beginning service on December 1, 1945 with an inaugural flight to Chicago. From just 21 passengers on that first flight, (DAL) has grown to serve nearly 2.5 million passengers annually from Miami.

News Item A-2: Delta Air Lines (DAL) between December 18 and 19 launched a total of 13 routes, with six of them starting from Seattle-Tacoma (SEA). Of the new routes, nine will face direct competition, with Alaska Airlines (ASA) competing on all of the new services launching from Seattle-Tacoma. Apart from the new service between Orlando (MCO) and Sao Paula Guarulhos (GRU), which is the only new long-haul route being launched, the average sector length of the remaining 12 routes is 2,138 km.

Routes as follows:
Seattle-Tacoma (SEA) to Edmonton (YEG), CRJ700 7x-weekly, vs Alaska Airlines (ASA) 20x;
Atlanta (ATL) to Cartagena (CTG), 737-800 3x, to Marsh Harbour (MHH), CRJ700 2x, to Medellin (MDE), 737 7x, to North Eleuthera, CRJ700 2x;
Los Angeles (LAX) to Tucson (TUS), CRJ700 21x, vs Southwest Airlines (SWA) 24x, American Airlines (AAL) 20x, United Airlines (UAL) 7x, to Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU), 767-300 4x, vs (TAM) Airlines (TPR) 16x;
(SEA) to Billings (BIL), CRJ700 7x, vs (ASA) 20x, to Cancun (CUN), 757-200 1x, vs (ASA) 7x, to Kona (KOA), 757-200 7x, vs (ASA) 14x, to Missoula (MSO) CRJ700 7x, vs (ASA) 21x, to Orlando (MCO) 757-200 7x, vs (ASA) 9x.

News Item A-3: SkyTeam (STM) alliance partners Delta Air Lines (DAL) and (KLM) Royal Dutch Airlines are launching a new code share program with Jet Airways (JPL), the Indian airline that is 24% owned by Gulf carrier Etihad Airways (EHD).

News Item A-4: "Liberalized USA - Mexico Air Services Agreement Signed" by (ATW) Aaron Karp, December 18, 2015.

The USA government said it has signed a liberalized air services agreement with Mexico that will go into effect “following internal ratification procedures in Mexico.”

USA Transportation Secretary, Anthony Foxx and USA Secretary of State, John Kerry said in a joint statement December 18, that the “landmark agreement with one of our largest aviation partners will significantly increase future trade and travel between the USA and Mexico,” adding, “The new agreement will benefit USA and Mexican airlines, travelers, businesses, airports and localities by allowing increased market access for passenger and cargo airlines to fly between any city in Mexico and any city in the USA. Cargo carriers will now have expanded opportunities to provide service to new destinations that were not available under the current, more restrictive agreement.”

It is expected that the agreement will end restrictions on the number of carriers allowed to operate on routes between the two countries.

A significant byproduct of the agreement is that it paves the way for SkyTeam (STM) Alliance partners, Delta Air Lines (DAL) and Aeromexico (AMX) to launch a joint venture (JV) for USA - Mexico transborder flying. The airlines have already submitted applications to the USA and Mexican governments for antitrust immunity (ATI) for the (JV), but approval is on hold until after the new air services agreement takes effect.

(DAL) in November expressed its intention to increase its holding in (AMX) to as much as 49%.

News Item A-5: Baggage fees revenues for USA airlines in (3Q) 2015 rose +6.2% year-over-year, to $1.02 billion, according to the USA Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS). It is the first time third-quarter baggage fee revenues have surpassed the $1 billion threshold.

In contrast, reservation cancellation/change fees revenues for the 11 major USA reporting airlines plus two other carriers (Sun Country Airlines (SCA) and Island Air Hawaii) were down -0.4% year-over-year (YOY), to $755.2 million.

In figures released December 15 by the (BTS), a USA Department of Transportation agency, American Airlines (AAL)’s (3Q) revenue figures in both categories reflected the consolidation of its reporting following its merger with US Airways (AMW)/(USA), with extreme (YOY) boosts in revenue: for baggage fees, (AAL)’s revenue grew +88.5% (YOY), while for reservation cancellation/change fees, its revenue grew +51.7% (YOY). Looking more closely, however, if the (3Q) 2014 revenues from both airlines are combined and contrasted to the consolidated (AAL) (3Q) 2015 revenue, the (AAL)'s (YOY) changes are more realistic, with baggage fee revenue rising +3.9% (YOY), and reservation cancellation/change fee revenue falling -2.7% (YOY).

For third-quarter baggage fee revenues, after American Airlines (AAL)’s $292.1 million in revenue, Delta Air Lines (DAL) earned the most, with $236.9 million in revenue, virtually flat with its (3Q) 2014 total. United Airlines (UAL) was next, with $184.7 million in revenue, up +2.2% (YOY).

Four of the five reporting low-cost-carriers (LCCs) showed remarkable jumps in (3Q) 2015 baggage fee revenue. JetBlue Airways (JBL) reported $42.7 million in (3Q) baggage fee revenue, up +86.6% from $22.9 million in (3Q) 2014. Allegiant Air (WJE), Spirit Air Lines (SPR) and Frontier Airlines (FRO) all saw (YOY) baggage fee revenue growth of +25.2%, +23.5% and +22.6%, respectively. Virgin America (VUS)’s (3Q) baggage fee revenue fell -1% (YOY).

Southwest Airlines (SWA) reported a -34.9% (YOY) drop in baggage fee revenue, earning $11.5 million during the September quarter (compared to $17.7 million in (3Q) 2014). (SWA)’s baggage policy allows two checked pieces of baggage per customer. Excess baggage on (SWA) starts at $75 per item one-way.

(DAL) brought in the most revenue for reservation cancellation/change fees during the third quarter with $230.9 million, up +2.1% (YOY). Following (AAL)’s $217 million in revenue, (UAL) reported $202.2 million in revenue, down -4.2% (YOY).

Low Cost Carriers (LCC)s (FRO) and (WJE) both had notable increases in revenue for reservation cancellation/change fees during the quarter. (FRO)’s revenue was up +41.2% (YOY) to $9.3 million, while (WJE)’s was up +31.7% (YOY) to $2.7 million. Minneapolis-based, Sun Country Airlines (SCA) reported reservation cancellation/change fees revenue of $3.8 million during the quarter, over >5 times what the airline earned in (3Q) 2014.

News Item A-6: "Delta Airlines (DAL) Pilots (FC) Restart Labor Contract Negotiations," by (ATW) Aaron Karp, December 23, 2015.

(DAL)’s pilots (FC) have returned to labor contract negotiations more than >5 months after rejecting a tentative agreement.

The (DAL) Master Executive Council (MEC) of the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) endorsed a tentative labor deal with (DAL) management in June and sent it to (DAL)’s nearly 13,000 pilots (FC) for a ratification vote, but the rank-and-file flight crew (FC) rejected it by a 65% to 35% vote in July. The (MEC) leadership stepped down following the vote, and the (DAL) pilots (FC) went into “reset mode,” according to (ALPA) President, Tim Canoll.

The (DAL) (MEC), led by new head, John Malone, “re-engaged (DAL) management in contract negotiations,” (ALPA) said in a December 22 statement.

Malone said the pilots (FC) “put a substantial package on the table, calling for major increases in pay, benefits and work rules, representing a significant (and justified) increase to (DAL)’s operating costs.” He added that “(DAL) is one of the most profitable airlines in the industry,” justifying pay hikes for flight crew (FC).

The pilots (FC)’s current labor contract with (DAL) becomes amendable on December 31. The contract’s terms will remain in place as (DAL) and (ALPA) negotiate. “We will further review the proposal we received [from the (MEC)] and look forward to engaging with (ALPA) in negotiations to reach an agreement that is good for both (DAL) and its pilots (FC),” (DAL) said.

After the pilots (FC) rejected the tentative agreement, (DAL) shelved an order for 40 new Boeing 737-900ERs and 20 used Embraer E190s. But the airline earlier this month partly revived the order, reaching agreement with Boeing for 20 new 737-900ERs and up to 20 E190s previously operated by Air Canada (ACN) and now owned by Boeing (TBC). A (DAL) spokesperson said the new deal for E190s “was done under what is [allowed] under the current contract” with its pilots (FC).

News Item A-7: Delta (DAL) TechOps has a 13-year Virgin Australia (VOZ) contract to provide (CFM56-7B) maintenance/repair.

News Item A-8: Delta Air Lines announced December 16 it will add up to 20 Embraer E190s and 20 new Boeing 737-900ERs into its fleet.

(DAL) had a plan to place 20 98-seat E190s owned by Boeing (TBC) into its mainline network, but had to rescind the plan, when its pilots (FC) rejected a tentative agreement on a new labor contract that would have allowed the E-Jets to be placed into (DAL)’s fleet.

(DAL) said that it had reached a new agreement with (TBC) that was part of a continued strategy to improve its efficiency by adding additional 737-900ERs and up-gauging its mainline fleet with the twin-engine E190 jets, while reducing the use of small regional aircraft.

The new deal for EMB-190s “was done under what is [allowed] under the current contract” with its pilots (FC). The previously-canceled agreement with Boeing (TBC) “was specifically tied to the [tentative labor] agreement” that the pilots (FC) rejected, he said. (DAL) has not reached a new tentative agreement with its pilots (FC), represented by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA).

(DAL), a SkyTeam (STM) global alliance member, said the EMB-190s were expected to begin flying in early 2017, with two-by-two seating throughout the main (Y) cabin and one-by-two in first (F) class.

The additional Boeing 737-900ERs will bring the total in (DAL)'s fleet to 120 by 2019.

News Item A-9: Delta Air Lines (DAL) has signed a letter of intent (LOI) to buy a used Boeing 777 for $7.7 million, according to (CEO), Richard Anderson.

Anderson raised some eyebrows in October when he said there was a “huge bubble” in used wide body airplanes, pricing a 10-year-old 777-200 at $10 million. The market would be “ripe” for (DAL) to buy used 777s, he said then. Boeing President & (CEO), Dennis Muilenburg was among those who pushed back against Anderson, saying the (DAL) (CEO) was valuing used 777’s much too low.

Anderson said December 17 that he was “wrong when I said used 777s were on the market for $10 million. It was actually $7.7 million. We just signed a letter of intent (LOI) to buy one.”

Anderson’s comments came during (DAL)'s investor day and, for added emphasis, were posted on Twitter by (DAL). Just as happened when Anderson made the original remark about used 777 values, Boeing’s stock price immediately dropped.

As a point of comparison, Boeing’s list price for a new 777-200ER is $277.3 million, meaning (DAL) is buying a used 777 at a price -97.2% lower than the value of a new 777.

(DAL) did not give details on the 777 for which it signed the (LOI), such as who the seller is and which airline previously operated the airplane.

January 2016: News Item A-1: Delta Air Lines (DAL) earned a net profit of +$4.53 billion in 2015, a nearly +$3.9 billion improvement from $659 million in net income in 2014.

(DAL) (CEO) Richard Anderson told analysts and reporters that capacity discipline remains a key to (DAL)’s consistent financial success. (DAL) grew total system capacity +3% year-over-year in 2015 and plans to increase system (ASM)s only +0% to +2% in 2016. Anderson said (DAL) is now operating at a level “similar to other high-value industrial companies” and has built a “durable business model that can deliver strong results” in all market conditions. He predicted a profit margin of 18% to 20% in the current quarter even though the first quarter is historically the company’s weakest quarter.

Anderson noted (DAL) had a 99.6% flight completion factor in 2015 and had 161 “100% completion factor days in 2015.” The (DAL) (CEO) said that operational performance “significantly outpaces” rivals American Airlines (AAL), United Airlines (UAL), and Southwest Airlines (SWA) combined.

(DAL)’s 2015 revenue was up +1% year-over-year to $40.7 billion, while expenses dropped -14% to $32.9 billion, producing an operating profit of +$7.8 billion, up more than >+$5.5 billion year-over-year. The expense reduction was helped by a -44% decrease in annual fuel costs.

(DAL)’s fuel hedging strategy hurt its profitability in 2014, but Anderson said adjustments in hedging had allowed (DAL) to capture 75% of the benefits of low fuel prices in 2015. He added that fuel is expected to provide a “$3 billion tailwind” for (DAL)’s financial performance in 2016 despite anticipated losses of about -$100 million to -$200 million per quarter from fuel hedging this year. “Low fuel prices are very good for our business overall,” Anderson said.

(DAL)’s 2015 system traffic was up +3% year-over-year to 209.63 billion (RPM)s on a +3% rise in capacity to 246.76 billion (ASM)s, producing a load factor of 84.9% LF, up +0.2 point. Passenger yield was down -4% to 15.59 cents.

News Item A-2: Delta TechOps has agreed with Rolls-Royce (RRC) to establish (BR715) overhaul capability at TechOps in 2016. Delta Air Lines (DAL) has 91 (BR715)s entering service, and the agreement is part of Rolls-Royce (RRC)’s plan to develop a competitive network for its customers.

News Item A-3: (DAL) (CEO), Richard Anderson said (DAL) is taking a very serious look” at purchasing the Bombardier (BMB) CSeries aircraft.

Bombardier (BMB) brought the CSeries to Atlanta late last year and Bombardier Commercial Aircraft President, Fred Cromer met with Anderson, who toured the aircraft. “It’s a pretty impressive airplane,” Anderson told analysts and reporters January 19, while discussing (DAL)’s 2015 earnings.

He praised the Pratt & Whitney (PRW) geared turbofan (GTF) engine, which powers the CSeries, as the most significant recent advancement in commercial aircraft technology.

“At the right price, it’s quite a competitive airplane,” Anderson said. “We’re taking a very serious look at it.”

Bombardier (BMB) has struggled on the sales side with the CSeries and is pushing for a major breakthrough order.

February 2016: News Item A-1: "Delta Contributes $350 million Shares to Pension Plan" by (ATW) Linda Blachly, February 17, 2016.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) has contributed $350 million in shares of its common stock to its pension plans. “This is in addition to the $825 million in cash contributions (DAL) has already made to the plans this year.”

To accomplish this contribution, (DAL) said it issued 7.85 million shares from its treasury. “To avoid diluting existing shareholders with this contribution, the company has entered into a $350 million accelerated share repurchase (ASR) agreement. The (ASR) is part of (DAL)’s existing $5 billion share repurchase authorization and is in addition to the company's previous guidance of $425 million of share repurchases for the March quarter under this authorization,” (DAL) said.

News Item A-2: Delta Air Lines (DAL) on February 13 launched a weekly, Saturday service from Los Angeles (LAX) to Sun Valley (SUN) in the state of Idaho. The 1,120 km sector will be served by Delta Connection’s CRJ700s until April 2. The airport pair is already served by one incumbent carrier, with Alaska Airlines (ASA) operating a daily service. (DAL), the SkyTeam (STM) member already serves Sun Valley, known locally as Friedman Memorial Airport, from Salt Lake City. The airport’s other routes are with United Airlines (UAL) to Denver and San Francisco, while (ASA) also serves it from its Seattle/Tacoma hub. Last year the airport handled just under <140,000 passengers, up around +3% on the previous year.

News Item A-3: "Free Snacks Now Back at All 3 Big USA Airlines, Even in Coach" by Ben Mutzabaugh, USA TODAY, February 1, 2016.

Enjoy your stroopwafels, United (UAL) customers. And your rice crackers and mini pretzel sticks.

Free snacks returned to the economy (Y) cabin of (UAL)'s flights February 1. And, soon, free snacks will be back for (AAL)'s coach (C) class customers, too.

(AAL), the world's biggest carrier, announced February 1 that it will restore complimentary snacks and add more free in-flight entertainment options in the coach (C) class cabin.

The moves by (UAL) and (AAL) - - (Delta never removed its complimentary snacks) - - come as the airline industry has found stable financial footing after a tumultuous run from 2001 into the early 2010s. USA carriers lost money by the billions last decade. But a wave of consolidation subsequently swept over the industry, producing several mega-mergers that has left the USA with four giant airlines that control about 80% of the passenger traffic here.

Some consumer advocates have bemoaned that development, arguing that fewer airlines means less competition. On the flipside, USA airlines are now reporting record profits. And they've begun to use at least some of those profits to improve passengers' flying experiences. "What has changed is that the airlines have been able to fix our core business and be able to reinvest in our customers," Fernand Fernandez, American's VP Global Marketing, said to The Associated Press (AP).

The free snacks in coach (C) class may not mark a sea-change in how airlines operate, but it does signal competition among the biggest carriers. And it may be a shot across the bow to an emerging breed of "ultra" low-cost carriers (ULCC)s that are increasingly expanding at the hubs of major airlines like (AAL), (DAL) and (UAL).

Those (ULCC) discount carriers (Spirit (SPR) & Frontier (FRO) are the biggest in the USA) make their mark by offering rock-bottom fares, but charge extra for almost everything else. Even seat reservations are not free. "We know that we have customers who select our airline based on price and we're really excited to offer them a product that is superior to choosing a (ULCC)," Fernandez said to (AP).

It also allows (AAL) and (UAL) to keep up with (DAL), said Henry Harteveldt, founder of travel consultancy, the Atmosphere Research Group. Even Southwest Airlines (SWA), which offers only coach (C) class seats, has continued to offer basic complimentary snacks.

"These are token investments in the passenger experience that will not cost airlines a lot of money but are small ways to make passengers a little bit happier," Harteveld added to the (AP). "(AAL) and (UAL) realized: We don't let other airlines have an advantage on price, - - why let them have one on pretzels."

As for (AAL), its free snacks will be available this month on its transcontinental flights connecting New York (JFK) to both Los Angeles and San Francisco. (AAL) said all other domestic flights will have "an assortment of complimentary snacks . . . by April."

"We want customers to choose (AAL) every time they fly," (AAL)'s Fernandez said in a statement announcing the change. "We are giving our customer more choices to enhance their personal flying experience by offering new service and new entertainment options in all cabins."

(AAL)'s customers on flights departing prior to 9:45 am local time will receive Biscoff cookies. Passengers on later flights will get either Biscoff cookies or pretzels. (AAL)'s heartier "Food for Sale" items will continue to be sold on its flights.

Starting in May, however, (AAL)'s coach (C) class customers will get complimentary meal service on all flights between Hawaii and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). (DFW) is (AAL)'s busiest hub.

Beyond snacks, (AAL) said it will expand its selection of free in-flight entertainment choices on domestic flights with in-seat entertainment.

Meanwhile, at (UAL), the free coach (C) class snacks started February 1. (UAL), which first announced the move in December, even went so far as to coin a "#GetTheStroop" hashtag on social media to promote its new breakfast offering.

(UAL)'s free snacks will be offered on all of (UAL)'s flights in North America, the Caribbean and between Honolulu and Guam that did not already have a complimentary meal or snack option in coach (C) class. The move comes as new (UAL) (CEO), Oscar Munoz has tried to put customer service in the spotlight at (UAL), acknowledging earlier this fall that "the implementation of the (UAL) and Continental (CAL) merger has been rocky for customers and employees."

(UAL) said coach (C) class customers on flights that depart before 9:45 am will receive a morning stroopwafel, which (UAL) describes as "a Dutch, caramel-filled waffle that pairs perfectly with coffee or tea."

For flights that depart after 9:45 am, economy (Y) customers will get "packaged savory snacks, such as an Asian-style snack mix of rice crackers, sesame sticks and wasabi peas or a zesty-ranch mix of mini pretzel sticks, Cajun corn sticks and ranch soy nuts."

The free snacks will be offered in tandem with (UAL)'s for-pay "Choice Menu" items. Those items range from small snacks like Chex Mex (US$3.99) and Pringles (US$3.99) to a more robust breakfast, lunch and dinner options that cost up to US$9.99. The availability of the Choice Menu options varies by flight.

(UAL)'s Latin America flights that already had free meals in coach will not receive the new snacks, since (UAL) will retain its current complimentary offerings in those markets.

News Item A-4: "Delta (CEO) Anderson to Retire from Role; Bastian to be New (CEO), by (ATW) Aaron Karp, February 3, 2015.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) (CEO) Richard Anderson will retire from his current role on May 2, when (DAL) President Ed Bastian will assume the (CEO) role and Executive VP, Glen Hauenstein will become President. Anderson will become Executive Chairman of (DAL)’s board of directors.

The succession plan was announced February 3 by (DAL). Anderson took over as (DAL) (CEO) in 2007 and oversaw the merger of (DAL) and Northwest Airlines (NWA), which was agreed to in 2008, and steered the merged carrier to consistently high levels of profitability. He also has at times courted controversy, including playing a lead role in the USA major airlines’ campaign against the major Gulf carriers and (DAL)’s exit from Airlines for America (A4A).

Bastian has long been (DAL)’s President, and took over as (NWA)’s (CEO), while the carriers were integrated.

(DAL) Executive Chairman, Dan Carp, who will step down when Anderson takes his role on May 2, praised Anderson’s “unique combination of strategic and operating skills, plus his commitment to employees, corporate culture, customers and shareholders.” He said Anderson “has redefined (DAL) and led to an entirely new and better way of flying around the world.”

Carp added that Bastian “has been a critical part of (DAL)’s success. He is an exceptional leader and has been an invaluable partner in leading the remarkable transformation of (DAL) over the last decade.”

March 2016: News Item A-1: "USA Carriers File Applications to Start Scheduled Flights to Cuba" by (ATW) Editor Karen Walker, March 2, 2016.

All four USA major carriers and at least three independents filed applications with the USA government March 2, seeking approval to provide non-stop services to Cuba.

The flood of filings, submitted March 2, come after the USA and Cuba announced an agreement in February to resume scheduled commercial air service. Services are expected to begin late summer or early fall this year, with an initial total of 20 daily round-trip flights being allocated to USA airlines between the USA and Havana and 10 daily round-trip flights to nine other Cuban cities.

Those slots will be hard fought over as the consolidated “big four”:— American Airlines (AAL), Delta Air Lines (DAL), United Airlines (UAL) and Southwest Airlines (SWA)) and independents Alaska Airlines (ASA), JetBlue Airways (JBL) and Silver Airways rushed to get their applications in. Ultra low-cost carrier (ULCC) Spirit Airlines (SPR), based in Florida, has also said it said it plans to apply.

(AAL) is requesting 10 daily frequencies to Havana from its Miami hub plus additional service to Havana from Charlotte, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, and Chicago. (AAL)’s proposal also includes daily service between Miami and five other Cuban cities.

To Havana, (AAL) is proposing 10 daily flights from Miami, one daily from Charlotte and (DFW), and one weekly from (LAX) and Chicago. (AAL) also wants to fly 2x-daily services out of Miami to Santa Clara, Holguin, and Varadero; and daily service to Camaguey and Cienfuegos.

Delta (DAL) wants to fly daily flights to Havana from Atlanta, New York (JFK), Miami, and Orlando, using Boeing 757-200s out of its Atlanta and (JFK) hubs and Boeing 737-800s on the Miami and Orlando routes.

United (UAL)'s proposal seeks 11 roundtrip flights per week to Havana that includes daily service from New York, plus one additional Saturday flight (8x-weekly flights), along with a Saturday-only flight from Houston George Bush Intercontinental, Washington Dulles and Chicago O'Hare (3x-weekly flights). (UAL) would use 737-800s.

Southwest (SWA) wants to serve Havana from three Florida airports: (Fort Lauderdale, Tampa Bay, and Orlando) as well as fly to Varadero and Santa Clara from Fort Lauderdale. (SWA) is an all-737 operator.

New York-based, JetBlue (JBL) would put Airbus A320s and A321s on 15 daily frequencies connecting four Cuba cities with six cities. These include 2x-daily, New York (JFK) - Havana; 4x-daily, Fort Lauderdale - Havana; 1x-daily, Fort Lauderdale - Camaguey; 1x-daily, Fort Lauderdale - Holguiìn; 1x-daily, Fort Lauderdale - Santa Clara; 2x-daily, Orlando - Havana; 2x-daily, Tampa - Havana; 1x-daily, Newark - Havana; and 1x-daily, Boston - Havana.

JetBlue (JBL) said it anticipates a start date of September 8, or within <100 days after receipt of all necessary approvals, whichever is earlier.

Alaska Airlines (ASA) (seemingly the only USA carrier with a concept of Cuba’s still limited and fragile infrastructure) has placed a relatively modest request to fly 2x-daily nonstop flights from Los Angeles to Havana operating 737-900ERs.

Silver Airways, a small regional carrier that operates Saab 340B turboprops, is seeking approval to serve 10 Cuban destinations from the five Florida cities of Key West, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, and Fort Myers/Naples.

Although the restoration of an air bilateral with Cuba is widely welcomed, general USA tourist travel to Cuba is still not allowed. Initially, at least, the new arrangement will be aimed at facilitating visits by travelers who fall under one of the 12 categories authorized by the USA Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.

However, USA President, Barack Obama is scheduled to make an historic visit to Cuba March 21 - 22 (the first sitting USA President to visit the Caribbean island in 88 years) as part of efforts to normalize diplomatic relations.

(IATA) and others forecast that USA tourism to Cuba will see huge growth.

News Item A-2: "Cuba is a Rare, Hot-growth Opportunity for USA Airlines" by Karen Walker in (ATW) Editor's Blog, March 3, 2016.

Large and significant as it is, the USA domestic air transport market is essentially a mature market, growing at about +4 to +5% annually. Relative to regions like China, which is seeing domestic travel increase at about +10% year over year, or India, that is seeing an astonishing +20% clip, the USA market has limited growth opportunities.

That helps to explain the mass rush to grab available frequencies to Cuba for scheduled flights that will become available later this year under the new USA - Cuba air bilateral.

American Airlines (AAL), Delta Air Lines (DAL), Southwest Airlines (SWA), United Airlines (UAL), Alaska Airlines (ASA), JetBlue Airways (JBL), Silver Airways, Spirit Airlines (SPR), and Frontier Airlines (FRO) all want to get a slice of what is a rare new growth market right on America’s doorstep. Cuba isn’t a USA domestic destination, of course, but much of the Caribbean is regarded as “almost” domestic (especially from Florida and east coast cities (and Puerto Rico is a USA territory)) in terms of appeal and ease of access for American tourists.

What each of these airlines wants to establish is a foot in the door of this new market, then build on it as USA - Cuban diplomatic relations thaw and normalize. Here’s an opportunity to get in first on a near-USA market that is expected to see double-digit air traffic growth, akin to the emerging and much further afield markets like China and India.

India, of course, is a much tougher market for USA airlines to break into because the major Gulf carriers got ahead of that game. China, also, is a huge future market (but Chinese carriers are also growing fast, in numbers, quality, aircraft capacity and ability to compete).

Cuba has only Cubana (CUB), a small airline with very limited resources and which has been severely restricted by Havana in the types and origin of aircraft and components it can operate.

In the application filings submitted this week to the USA Department of Transportation, (AAL) made the biggest grab, seeking more than half of the 20 daily round trips that are expected to be made available to Havana, as well as some of the 10 daily round trips dispersed among Cuba’s other nine airports. (AAL)’s interest is natural, given its Miami hub, but it seems unlikely that the (DOT) will extend a large hand to the largest of the big four consolidated airlines. That probably explains why (AAL) has hedged its bets and also submitted applications for Cuban cities like Santa Clara, Holguin, and Varadero, which the other airlines are far less interested in. Havana is the prize.

What will be interesting to see is whether the (DOT) divvies this year’s flight allocations between a couple of the “big four,” enabling them to offer meaningful frequencies and connections from the get-go, or whether it will disperse them more widely so that independents like JetBlue (JBL) (which operates charters to Cuba), Alaska (ASA), or even small turboprop regional, Silver can get a foothold and keep the market competitive. My guess is the latter.

The timing of this opportunity is also interesting. A few short years ago, Southwest (SWA) would not have been a player, but since its acquisition merger with AirTran (CQT), it has become an international airline with a significant Caribbean market it wants to grow. Will the (DOT) regard Southwest (SWA) as a low-cost competitor in its decision-making, or just another one of the big four that dominates 80% of the USA domestic market and warrants as much control as (AAL), (DAL), and (UAL)?

But remember, the real growth trajectory won’t occur until the USA lifts its prohibition on regular American tourists who can visit Cuba, just as they do in their millions to the Virgin Islands, Bahamas, Mexico and the rest of the Caribbean. That’s the historic landmark that these USA airlines want to get ahead of and why these initial flight allocations are so important. It’s a critical moment for a USA airline to get in on the ground as a new market opens; and that’s a rare opportunity.

News Item A-3: Delta Air Lines (DAL) commenced three new services starting on March 2 with the 2,926 km sector between Salt Lake City (SLC) and Raleigh-Durham (RDU). The route will be flown by (DAL) using its A320 fleet on a daily basis. (DAL) then launched a further two routes on March 5, with (DAL) connecting its largest hub Atlanta (ATL) with Santiago (STI) in the Dominican Republic and Minneapolis-St Paul (MSP) with Savannah (SAV). The 2,091- and 1,756-km sectors will be flown weekly, with the former operated by (DAL)’s A320 fleet, while the latter will be served using (DAL)’s CRJ900s. No incumbent carriers operate on any of (DAL)’s new routes.

News Item A-4: "Delta Believes Los Angeles ‘Bright Lights’ will Support Additional Beijing Rotation" by Richard Maslen, Routes News, March 17 2016.

This will be Delta (DAL)’s fifth daily nonstop flight to the Asia-Pacific region and will add to existing links to Shanghai, Sydney, and Tokyo; the latter being served by flights to both Haneda and Narita airports. The Shanghai service was only added in July 2015, and (DAL) will be the only carrier to offer service to both of China’s biggest cities from Los Angeles.

USA major, (DAL) plans to begin a daily non-stop service between Los Angeles International Airport and Beijing Capital International Airport from December 16, 2016, pending USA Department of Transportation and foreign government approval.

The Los Angeles – Beijing market is already served on an up to 3x-daily basis by Air China (BEJ) offering upwards of 1,850 seats a day on the city pair, but (Dal) believes the power of the Los Angeles market, its own network from Los Angeles International Airport and its onward offering from the Chinese capital through SkyTeam (STM) Alliance members, China Eastern Airlines (CEA) and China Southern Airlines (GUN) will help support this fourth daily rotation.

This will be (DAL)’s fifth daily nonstop flight to the Asia-Pacific region and will add to existing links to Shanghai, Sydney, and Tokyo; the latter being served by flights to both Haneda and Narita airports. The Shanghai service was only added in July 2015, and (DAL) will be the only carrier to offer service to both of China’s biggest cities from Los Angeles.

It will serve the Beijing route using a 291-seat Boeing 777-200ER with 37 full flat-bed seats in "Delta One," 36 seats in "Delta Comfort+" and 218 seats in "Main Cabin." The flight has been scheduled to launch to capture peak holiday and Chinese New Year traffic.

"(DAL)'s new non-stop service to Beijing continues our expansion in China, providing our business customers with access to Beijing and beyond through our partnerships with the market's leading carriers, (CEA) and (GUN)," said Ranjan Goswami, VP Sales, West, (DAL).

Through its Asian SkyTeam (STM) Alliance partners, (DAL) will provide convenient one-stop connections from the USA to more than >39 cities in China, including Chengdu, Shenyang, Qingdao, Xi'an, and Hangzhou, while in its local market, efficient connection options will be available to Denver, Las Vegas, Portland, San Diego, and Phoenix as well as 35 other markets throughout the USA, Canada and Latin America.

Combined with its hubs in Seattle and Detroit, subject to regulatory approval, (DAL) will operate 21x-weekly departures to China's capital, Beijing. Additionally, (DAL) offers 28x-weekly departures to China's global financial center, Shanghai from its key markets and hubs in Los Angeles, Detroit, Seattle, and Tokyo Narita.

(DAL) claims that Los Angeles is the largest market for service to Asia and drives 21% of all USA - Asia demand. Analysis shows that of the 15.3 million passengers that flew between the USA and Asian markets in the first half of last year, around 2.4 million (approximately 15.8%) began or ended their journeys in Los Angeles, however, many more connected via the City of Angels and could explain the more inflated figure from the carrier.

Los Angeles is the largest origin and destination market in the USA for traffic to and from Asia with monthly flows of over >200,000 passengers. The New York, San Francisco, and Honolulu markets also generate average monthly flows of over >100,000 passengers, while Chicago, Washington, Seattle, and Newark have flows of around 50,000 monthly passengers.

News Item A-5: "American vs Delta for Los Angeles - Beijing Authority" by (ATW) Aaron Karp, March 29, 2016.

American Airlines (AAL) has applied to the USA Department of Transportation (DOT) for permission to fly daily between Los Angeles (LAX) and Beijing (PEK), pitting it against rival Delta Air Lines (DAL) for the route authority.

(DAL) earlier this month sought permission from the (DOT) for daily, (LAX) - (PEK) flights. With only 7x-weekly USA - China route slots remaining available to USA carriers, the (DOT) will have to choose between Dallas/Fort Worth-based (AAL) and Atlanta-based (DAL) for the (LAX) - (PEK) flights. Both airlines said they would like to launch the service on December 16, 2016.

No USA airline currently operates between Los Angeles and Beijing nonstop. The only airline operating the route is Beijing-based, Air China (BEJ), and United Airlines (UAL) code shares with (BEJ) on the route.

(AAL) does serve (PEK) from Dallas/Fort Worth and Chicago O’Hare, while (DAL) serves (PEK) from Seattle and Detroit. “This new route would be our only Beijing access from the western USA, creating new connections to one of Asia’s major business and leisure destinations,” (AAL) said. An (AAL) spokesperson said (AAL) would use a Boeing 777-200 on the (LAX) - (PEK) route.

(DAL), which plans to operate the route with a 777-200ER configured with 291 seats including 37C lie-flat business-class seats, said the route would provide “our business (C) customers with access to Beijing and beyond through our partnerships with China Eastern Airlines (CEA) and China Southern Airlines (GUN).”

News Item A-6: Jet Airways (JPL), which recently announced a strategic code share with SkyTeam (STM) Alliance partners Delta Air Lines (DAL) and (KLM) Royal Dutch Airlines, confirmed it will close its Brussels hub and move to Amsterdam Schiphol.

News Item A-7: Delta Air Lines (DAL) and its pilots (FC), represented by the Air Lines Pilots Association (ALPA), are seeking USA federal government mediation in their labor negotiations.

(DAL) and (ALPA)’s (DAL) master executive council (MEC) have jointly filed with the USA National Mediation Board (NMB) for mediation in collective bargaining contract talks. Though the (ALPA) (DAL) (MEC) said in a statement that (NMB) “will assume control of the process and a federal mediator will take control of the calendar and oversee negotiations,” it also said that it and (DAL) “have committed to continue meeting on a regular basis, even without the presence of the mediator.”

The (DAL) (MEC) endorsed a tentative labor deal with (DAL) management in June 2015 and sent it to (DAL)’s nearly 13,000 pilots (FC) for a ratification vote, but the rank-and-file flight crew (FC) rejected it by a 65% - 35% vote in July. That led to the (MEC)’s leadership resigning and new leadership, led by Chairman, John Malone, taking over. The new (MEC) leadership re-engaged in negotiations in December.

(DAL)’s contract with its pilots (FC) became amendable on December 31, 2015.

News Item A-8: 2 737-932ERs (31966, N855DN; 31967, N856DN), deliveries; 757-232 (24389, N649DL), returned to service, 757-26D (33966, N822DX), re-registered, 2 717-23s (55064, N87DN; 55067, N989DN) for eis, 3 MD-90-30s (53457, N932DN; 53460, N935DN; 53544, N931DN), purchased off lease, A321-211 (6923, N301DN), ex-(D-AVZL) delivery.

April 2016: News Item A-1: "Delta (1Q) Net Profit Up +27% to $946 Million; Revenue Remains Sluggish" by (ATW) Aaron Kar, April 14, 2016.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) earned a first-quarter net profit of +$946 million, up +27% over +$746 million in net income in the 2015 March quarter.

First-quarter revenue was down -1% year-over-year to $9.25 billion and unit revenue, as measured in (PRASM), declined -4.6% to 13.25 cents.

(DAL) President and incoming (CEO), Ed Bastian said (DAL) “started 2016 with tremendous momentum” and pointed out that (DAL) had 49 days of “perfect mainline completion factor” in the first quarter.

But (DAL) acknowledged continuing sluggishness on the revenue front, noting that March quarter revenue was negatively affected by $125 million in foreign currency pressures (accounting for two points of the 4.6% unit revenue drop) and a $5 million hit from the Brussels terrorist attacks and the attacks’ aftermath, which included a protracted closing of Brussels Airport.

(DAL) projected a 2.5% to 4.5% year-over-year (PRASM) decline in the second quarter. “While this is an improvement over our March quarter performance, we are focused on getting unit revenues back to a positive trajectory and we will make adjustments to our fall capacity levels, if we are not making sufficient progress over the coming months,” Executive VP and incoming President, Glen Hauenstein said.

(DAL)’s first-quarter operating expenses fell -3% year-over-year to $7.71 billion, including a -33% drop in fuel costs to $1.23 billion. (DAL) took a $98 million non-cash hit on mark-to-market adjustments on fuel hedge settlements in the quarter, but this was big improvement over the $374 million negative impact from fuel hedging in the 2015 first quarter.

First-quarter operating income was $1.54 billion, up +10% over an operating profit of +$1.4 billion in the prior-year period.

First-quarter consolidated traffic rose +3.3% year-over-year to 47.73 billion (RPM)s on a +2.7% increase in capacity to 58.15 billion (ASM)s, producing a load factor of 82.1% LF, up +0.4 point. Yield declined -5.1% to 16.26 cents.

News Item A-2: Delta Air Lines (DAL) announced it will suspend service between Atlanta and Brussels until March 2017, because of the continued uncertainty surrounding the re-opening of the Brussels airport and weakening demand.

News Item A-3: "Delta: Qatar Airways’ Doha - Atlanta Flights Won’t be Successful" by (ATW) Aaron Karp, April 14, 2016.

Outgoing Delta (DAL) (CEO), Richard Anderson, who has been vocal in the campaign waged by (DAL), American Airlines (AAL) and United Airlines (UAL) against Middle East airlines Qatar (QTA), Emirates Airline (EAD), and Etihad Airways (EHD), did not participate in (DAL)’s April 14 first-quarter earnings conference call. But executives made it clear (DAL) has no plans to ease up in its quest to persuade the USA government to take action related to the three Middle East airlines and the governments of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which (DAL) alleges unfairly subsidize the carriers.

“This is our number one priority in Washington,” (DAL) Executive VP & Chief Legal Officer, Peter Carter told analysts and reporters. “We have reason to believe the USA government will do the right thing. Having said that, this is a diplomatic issue and it will take some time.”

Meanwhile, Executive VP and incoming (DAL) President, Glen Hauenstein knocked Qatar (QTA)’s Doha - Atlanta route during the conference call, saying (O&D) demand on the route is “less than five people a day.” He added, “We don’t think they’ll be successful.”

Later pressed by reporters on whether (DAL), which carries a large amount of connecting traffic, doesn’t also operate flights that primarily serve to feed other flights, Hauenstein responded, “We don’t have any flights crossing the world that have [demand for] less than <10 people a day.”

(DAL) President and incoming (CEO) Ed Bastian added, “We do have some markets that we have four or five passengers on. We call that Delta Private Jets,” a reference to (DAL)’s luxury jet charter subsidiary.

Qatar (QTA) (CEO), Akbar Al Baker said in March that his airline’s Doha - Atlanta flights would “rub salt in the wounds” of (DAL), according to "Reuters."

(DAL) stopped flying the Atlanta - Dubai route earlier this year, blaming “overcapacity on USA routes to the Middle East, operated by government-owned and heavily subsidized airlines.”

News Item A-4: "Delta Orders 75 Bombardier CS100s in ‘Watershed’ Deal for CSeries" by (ATW) Karen Walker, Graham Warwick and Aaron Karp, April 28, 2016.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) has placed a firm order for 75 Bombardier (BMB) CS100s, becoming the USA launch customer for the aircraft in a deal that is highly significant for the Canadian-made narrow body. The order, valued at $5.6 billion at list prices, immediately makes (DAL) the world’s largest CSeries customer.

(DAL) also took 50 CS100 options, which it can convert to the larger CS300. Deliveries are slated to start in the spring of 2018. In announcing the order April 28, (DAL) also said it would no longer bring the Embraer E190 into its fleet as previously planned.

The (DAL) firm order means Montreal-based Bombardier (BMB) has met the target of 300 firm orders by entry into service (EIS) that it set at the launch of the CSeries program. The CS100 is set to enter service with Swiss International Air Lines (CSR) in July.

“As we reshape our fleet for the future, the innovative onboard experience of the CSeries is a perfect complement for the top-notch service provided every day by (DAL) people,” incoming (DAL) (CEO), Ed Bastian said. “These new aircraft are a solid investment, allowing us to take advantage of superior operating economics, network flexibility and best-in-class fuel performance.”

The CSeries aircraft are powered by Pratt & Whitney (PRW) (PW1500G) geared turbofan (GTF) engines.

(DAL) is the CSeries customer, Bombardier (BMB) has been looking for since Alain Bellemare, shortly after becoming (CEO) in February 2015, brought in experienced airline executive, Fred Cromer to lead the commercial aircraft business. Bombardier Commercial Aircraft President, Cromer called the (DAL) order “a watershed moment” for the CSeries program, adding that “the order is a resounding endorsement of the CS100 aircraft performance.” In addition to the sheer size of the deal, the biggest yet for the CSeries, (DAL) ticks all the boxes as a customer: a marquee name, a major USA airline, and one of the world’s largest international carriers.

Air Canada (ACN) ticked similar boxes for Bombardier (BMB), when it committed to 45 firm CS300s plus 30 options in February, but no disparaging accusations of domestic political pressure can be made about the (DAL) order.

Bombardier (BMB) is likely to have had to significantly discount the CSeries to win the (DAL) order, but Bellemare, after bringing in Cromer and experienced salesman, Colin Bole as Commercial Senior VP, made clear he was willing to be aggressive on pricing to win those customers that would establish credibility for the CSeries.

(BMB) has long targeted a major USA airline in its CSeries sales campaigns, and winning the Delta (DAL) order follows the CSeries losing out to the Boeing 737-700 in United Airlines (UAL)’s recent narrow body order decision.

Discounting by Airbus (EDS) and Boeing (TBC), which likely played a role in (UAL)’s decision to buy 737-700s rather a newer, more fuel-efficient aircraft type, has made it hard for the CSeries to get established.

CSeries development delays and liquidity concerns about (BMB) deterred buyers, but when the CS100 was finally certified in December 2015, it met or beat its performance guarantees, and the larger CS300 is on track for certification later this year with similar results.

See attached - - "DAL-2016-04 - Bombardier CS100 Order-A/B.jpg."

News Item A-5: "Delta Touts CSeries, Eyes CS300 Model" by (ATW) Aaron Karp, April 29, 2016.

The first 35 of 75 Bombardier CSeries aircraft ordered by (DAL) are locked in as CS100s, but (DAL) can begin converting to the larger CS300 model starting with the 36th aircraft on order.

Incoming (CEO), Ed Bastian said (DAL) is “very interested” in the CS300 and has agreed to “firm pricing” with Bombardier (BMB) on the larger CSeries model. (DAL) plans to configure its CS100s, which will begin delivering in 2018, with 110 seats. Executives said the CS300 would be configured with 130 - 134 seats. In addition to the 75 CS100s on firm order, (DAL) also took 50 options, all of which can be converted to CS300s.

Bastian said the CS100 will be used to upgauge routes now flown by regional aircraft to mainline flying. The CS100 is “largely going to be an upgauge from where the regional is today,” he explained. “Where you see the 76-seat aircraft today, that’s going to be the best opportunity [for the CSeries].” He cited New York LaGuardia as a “perfect” market for the CS100.

Bastian said the CSeries is the “next evolution” of (DAL)’s regional-to-mainline upgauging strategy that began with (DAL) adding 88 ex-AirTran Airways (CQT) Boeing 717s to its fleet in 2013. He added that the CS100 has “enormous performance capability” and, with a maximum range of 2,052 nautical miles, has about 500 nautical miles more range than the 717. “It is an absolute wide body feel on a narrow body,” Bastian said of the aircraft.

Delta Senior VP Supply Chain Management & Fleet Strategy, Greg May said he expects to see CS100s replacing “both 50 seaters and larger [76-seat] two-class regional jets,” adding that “the economics of [the CS100] are very, very compelling for us. It’s not just the [Pratt & Whitney) (PRW) (PW1500G] engine. The aircraft has the latest technology aerodynamics.”

In addition to replacing regional aircraft, May said the CS100 could also be used to start some new routes.

Incoming (DAL) President, Glen Hauenstein said the comfort of the CSeries cabin was a key draw for the airline. “I think it’s going to be one of the most comfortable aircraft we’ll have in our fleet, if not the most comfortable,” he said.

Standard CS100 economy (Y) class seats will have a 31-inch pitch and be at least 18.5 inches wide, according to May. With a 3-2 format planned for economy (Y), all but 17% of the seats on the aircraft will be window or aisle seats, he said. (DAL)’s CS100 aisle will be 20 inches wide.

(DAL) has not decided how many first-class seats will be on the CS100, a spokesperson said.

News Item A-6: "Delta Continues Narrow Body Overhaul with Order for 37 More A321s" by (ATW) Aaron Karp, April 29, 2016.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) has agreed to acquire 37 additional Airbus A321s valued at $4.2 billion at list prices.

The announcement of an additional order for (CFM) International (CFM56)-powered A321s comes a day after (DAL) placed a firm order for 75 Bombardier CS100s, and will allow (DAL) to “cost-effectively accelerate the retirement” of its fleet of 116 MD-88s, incoming (DAL) (CEO), Ed Bastian said.

(DAL) took delivery of its first A321 in March and plans to put it into service between Atlanta and Orlando on May 2. The additional 37 Sharklet-equipped A321s bring (DAL)’s total orders for A321s to 82 aircraft, all of which are scheduled to be delivered by the end of 2019. (DAL) has 126 A320 family aircraft in its fleet currently.

Bastian called the new A321 order an “opportunistic fleet move.” (DAL) added: “These transactions are part of Delta’s broader fleet strategy allowing the company to achieve its long-term financial targets, while replacing 20% of its mainline narrow body fleet over the next five years.”

May 2016: News Item A-1: "Winners and Losers from Delta’s CSeries Order" Aaron Karp in AirKarp Blog, May 3, 2016.

See attached: "DAL-2016-05 - CS100 Order.jpg."

“There’s no question this is an industry-accepting order,” Bombardier (BMB) Senior VP Sales, Colin Bole said.

There are aircraft orders, and there are aircraft orders. Even with the valuable assets involved in commercial aircraft transactions (planes worth tens of millions of dollars or more) most orders are relatively routine. But a handful can rightly be described as “game changing” with wide reverberations. Last month, one of those kinds of aircraft orders came along when Delta Air Lines (DAL) placed a firm order for 75 Bombardier CS100 aircraft plus 50 options. Here are the winners and losers from the deal:

* Winners

A. Bombardier: “We’re ecstatic,” Bombardier Commercial Aircraft Senior VP Sales, Colin Bole, the Canadian manufacturer’s top commercial aircraft salesperson, said last week while standing aboard a CS100 aircraft in Atlanta. Bole and a handful of senior Bombardier (BMB) executives flew down to (DAL)’s headquarters in Atlanta on the CSeries aircraft after (DAL) placed the crucial order.

“There’s no question this is an industry-accepting order” for the CSeries, Bole said. Yes, Air Canada (ACN) committed to the CSeries in February, but a major USA airline has always been the big prize for Bombardier (BMB). (ACN)’s commitment is not insignificant, but the airline and (BMB) share Montreal as a headquarters city, so it is not surprising (ACN) would commit to the CSeries, even if there was no overt domestic political pressure to do so. But (DAL) ordering 75 aircraft (and this is especially important after United Airlines (UAL) ordered Boeing 737-700s over the CSeries) means that the CSeries will be operated in a significant way on mainline service by one of the world’s largest and most successful airlines.

It means that the CSeries is now definitely in play as airlines around the world make choices when buying low-end (size-wise) narrow body aircraft.

B. Delta (DAL): The airline is famous for making opportunistic aircraft orders and it seized on Bombardier’s need to establish the credibility of the CSeries to get what was undoubtedly a huge bargain on the $5.6 billion list price for the 75 firm aircraft. (DAL) will take at least 35 CS100s and can then start converting to the larger CS300 model ((DAL) has already negotiated and agreed to a firm price for both models with (BMB)).

Given the aircraft’s fuel efficiency, expected maintenance-cost savings and the relatively low price (DAL) paid, it’s no wonder (DAL) execs were exuberant about the CSeries during the airline’s April 29 media day in Atlanta. The economics of the CSeries “are very, very compelling for us,” (DAL) Senior VP Supply Chain Management and fleet strategy, Greg May said.

USA domestic airline passengers: (DAL) is planning to use the CS100 on domestic routes now operated with 50-seat or 76-seat regional aircraft, so the quality of the flight experience for (DAL) passengers on these routes will greatly improve. “It is an absolute wide body feel on a narrow body,” (DAL) (CEO), Ed Bastian said of the CS100, which will start being delivered to (DAL) in 2018.

(DAL) plans to configure its CS100s with 110 seats. Standard economy (Y)-class seats will have a 31-inch pitch and be at least 18.5 inches wide, according to May. With a 3 - 2 format planned for economy (Y), all but 17% of the seats on the aircraft will be window or aisle seats, he said.

“I think it’s going to be one of the most comfortable aircraft we’ll have in our fleet, if not the most comfortable,” (DAL) President, Glen Hauenstein said.

* Losers:

A. Embraer: The Brazilian manufacturer has been trying to get its E190/E195 aircraft into USA mainline fleets, and the (DAL) CSeries order was a double blow. First, (DAL) chose the CSeries over the E190. Second, it said the 20 used E190s it had been planning to add to its mainline fleet will no longer be added. The order was by no means a devastating blow for Embraer (EMB), which continues to win orders for both current and next-generation E-Jets, but it is a blow nonetheless.

B. Boeing and Airbus: At least Airbus had the solace of winning an order for 37 additional A321s from Delta (DAL) the day after the CSeries order and having (DAL) launch A321 service this week. But Boeing (TBC) and Airbus (EDS) had, until last week, kept Bombardier (BMB) from getting an “industry-accepting” CSeries order by discounting prices on 737-700s and A319s. That strategy seems to have played out and the world’s two largest commercial aircraft manufacturers may have to figure out an actual response to (BMB). “What [(DAL)’s order] in particular establishes, is that there is a need for an aircraft in the 100 to 150-seat size range in the market,” Bole said. “Some of our competitors had denied that.”

C. United: Does United (UAL) regret choosing the 737-700 with current-generation engines over the CS100 or CS300 with next-generation engines, now that rival (DAL) has chosen the CSeries? In, say, 2019, if a (UAL) 737-700 goes head-to-head with a (DAL) CS100 on a domestic route, you’d probably have to give the operating economics advantage to (DAL).

D. USA regional airlines: Because of pilot (FC) contract scope-clause restrictions, USA regional airlines can’t operate aircraft with more than >76 seats. “Where you see the 76-seat aircraft today, that’s going to be the best opportunity [for the CSeries],” Bastian said. This means that capacity at major markets like New York LaGuardia now being operated by regional carriers under the “Delta Connection” brand will move to CSeries aircraft operated by mainline (DAL). Business (C) is already tough for USA regional airlines, and it looks like it will only get tougher.

News Item A-2: Mexico approves Delta (DAL) - Aeromexico (AMX) joint venture (JV) pending slot transfer.

A key approval has paved the way for (AMX) and (DAL) to go forward with their proposed joint venture (JV), but the process is not yet complete.

News Item A-3: Delta Shuttle Service - Seattle Business Fliers Traveling to Los Angeles and San Francisco, Beginning May 11."

This new service offers dedicated check-in counters and gates located near security as well as complimentary newspapers and drinks, plus complimentary meals or snacks depending on the class of seat.

On May 23, Delta Air Lines (DAL) will also add +2 more daily flights from Seattle to Los Angeles for a total 10 peak-day Delta Shuttle flights.

News Item A-4: "Delta Signs for Airbus A330 Predictive Maintenance Tool" by (ATW) Editor Karen Walker, May 30, 2016.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) is the launch customer for an Airbus-developed digital maintenance prognostics solution, Airbus (EDS) announced.

The web-based application, which Airbus (EDS) calls a Prognostics & Risk Management, or (PRM), solution, was developed in partnership with (IBM).

Announcing the (DAL) sign-up during (EDS)’ Innovation Days media briefings in Hamburg May 30, Airbus Head of Customer Services, Didier Lux said the big-data solution was the result of teamwork with (DAL) following a year-long collaboration.

Initially, (PRM) will be applied to (DAL)’s Airbus A330 fleet, allowing (DAL) to maximize aircraft turnarounds and turn unscheduled maintenance events into anticipated and scheduled events.

“Prognostic alerting will allow our Engineering & Maintenance teams to detect in advance failures on our components and systems to mitigate possible operational interruptions,” (DAL) Manager, Predictive Maintenance Engineering, Jim Jackson said.

News Item A-5: Under "Management" below see Ed Bastian ATW article:
"DAL-2-Ed Bastian-A/B/C/D/E-2016-05.jpg."

June 2017: 737-932ER (31990, N879DN), delivery.

July 2016: News Item A-1: "DOT Proposes 4 USA Airlines for Daytime Slots at Tokyo Haneda" by (ATW) Mark Nensel, July 20, 2016

The USA Department of Transportation (DOT) on July 20 gave tentative approval to American Airlines (AAL), Delta Air Lines (DAL), Hawaiian Airlines (HWI), and United Airlines (UAL) as proposed final candidates for daytime service to Tokyo Haneda Airport. USA departure cities proposed by the (DOT) are Los Angeles, Honolulu, San Francisco, and Minneapolis.

The applicants are aiming for five flights per day to Tokyo Haneda, which is regarded as Japan’s busiest airport and is the closest airport to downtown Tokyo.

Following the February 18 agreement between the USA and Japanese governments to open Haneda to daytime USA service, four USA airlines applied for the daytime rights.

The agreement, which was an amendment to the bilateral "Open Skies" agreement between the USA and Japan, announced that effective October 30, 2016, the four existing USA nighttime slot pairs at Haneda will be transferred to daytime hours. Additionally, a new daytime slot plus a new nighttime slot were announced and made available.

Hawaiian Airlines (HWI) was the only carrier to apply for the new nighttime opening. The (DOT) awarded the slot to (HWI) on May 13, for service between Honolulu and Haneda, and service between Kona, Hawaii, and Haneda.

Nonstop nighttime flights to Haneda are already in operation from Los Angeles (operated by (DAL), (AAL) and (UAL)), Honolulu (operated by (AAL), (HWI) and (UAL)) and San Francisco (operated by (AAL) and (UAL)).

The (DOT) will receive objections to the proposed allocations through August 1, with answers to the objections due for submission the following week, on August 8. The (DOT) said it will review all of the material and make its decision soon thereafter.

Mark Nensel,

August 2016: News Item A-1: American Airlines (AAL) said the USA Department of Transportation (DOT) award of a daytime Minneapolis – Tokyo Haneda flight to Delta Air Lines (DAL) does not serve the public interest.

News Item A-2: 12 hours after a power outage knocked out its computer systems worldwide, Delta Air Lines (DAL) was struggling on August 8 to resume normal operations and clear backlogs of passengers stranded by canceled flights. By early afternoon, (DAL) said it had canceled 451 flights. Tracking service FlightStats Inc. counted 2,000 delayed flights (about 1 3rd of (DAL)’s entire schedule.

(DAL) representatives said (DAL) was investigating the cause of the meltdown. They declined to describe whether (DAL)’s information-technology (IT) system had enough built-in redundancies to recover quickly from a hiccup like a power outage. (DAL) said that almost 1,700 of its scheduled 6,000 flights had operated by mid-afternoon. (DAL) posted a video apology by (CEO) Ed Bastian, who stood in (DAL)’s Technology Center and assured customers that employees were working hard to resume normal operations.

Last month, Southwest Airlines (SWA) canceled >2,000 flights over several days after an outage that it blamed on a faulty network router. United Airlines (UAL) suffered a series of massive (IT) meltdowns after combining its technology systems with those of merger partner Continental Airlines (CAL). Lines for British Airways (BAB) at some airports have grown longer as (BAB) updates its systems.

On Monday August 8 in Richmond, Virginia, Delta (DAL) gate agents were writing out boarding passes by hand. In Tokyo, a dot-matrix printer was resurrected to keep track of passengers on a flight to Shanghai.

* UPDATE: Delta Air Lines (DAL) preemptively canceled 300 flights early Tuesday August 9 as (DAL) "work[ed] to reset the operation" and schedule and transport crews ((FC) & (CA)), aircraft and airport personnel to problem locations throughout (DAL)'s system. As of 12:30 pm (EST), (DAL) reported nearly 530 flight cancellations; however, >1,600 flights did depart.

Delta (DAL) said the company was focusing "on promptly moving departures at (DAL)'s Atlanta hub, the world's busiest." Reservations personnel from (DAL)'s corporate headquarters in Atlanta have been sent to help Customer Service agents processing passengers at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL). "We are sorry for what many of our customers have experienced over the past 24 hours, including those who remain at airports and continue waiting for their flights," (DAL) Senior VP Operations Dave Holts said. "We are doing everything we can to return our operation to normal reliability, but we do expect additional delays and cancellations."

(DAL) said it canceled nearly 1,000 flights on August 8. As of 7 pm (EST) that night, (DAL) said it had operated 3,340 of its nearly 6,000 scheduled flights for the day.

Certain critical systems and network equipment did not switch over to (DAL)'s backup systems following the power loss, Delta said.

* "Analysis: Delta & Southwest Technology Crashes Raise Troubling Questions" by (ATW) Aaron Karp,, August 22, 2016.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) and Southwest Airlines (SWA) are very different airlines. One is a global full-service airline with a fleet of varied aircraft types and multiple product offerings for passengers, while the other is the world’s original low-cost carrier (LCC) with an all-Boeing 737 fleet, no business (C) class and a mostly domestic operation. But the USA carriers have two things in common: both make operational reliability a key selling point, and both recently suffered severe technology meltdowns that damaged their reputations for reliable service. Each airline was forced to cancel around 2,000 flights over several days.

1st came (SWA), which suffered what it called a “system-wide technology outage” on July 20. “There was a network equipment failure and the planned redundancy, or backup, failed as well,” Chairman, President & (CEO), Gary Kelly explained. (COO), Mike Van de Ven said (SWA)’s “redundant systems” didn’t work, forcing (SWA) “to reboot about 400 servers,” a process that took 12 hours.

In a video posted on Twitter the week of the system failure (part of (SWA)’s effort to inform and apologize to passengers) Van de Ven noted all of the spillover effects that resulted. “We have an incredible backlog of customers and bags, and we have crews in places they’re not supposed to be,” he said, adding that (SWA) also “had a fare sale going on in the middle of all of this” on its website that was disrupted by the technology failure.

(SWA) gave a hint of the extent of the damage in an August 10 report detailing its July traffic. The flight delays and cancellations from the July 20 incident will cause an 0.5 point unfavorable year-over-year impact to 3rd quarter 2016 (RASM), (SWA) stated. “As a result, (SWA) now expects its 3rd quarter 2016 (RASM) to decline, year-over-year, in the 3.5% to 4.5% range, versus its previous guidance of a year-over-year decline in the 3% to 4% range,” it said.

That likely means a financial hit totaling tens of millions of dollars. But some of the impact is incalculable. “I realize how frustrating it can be” to have travel plans disrupted, Van de Ven said, adding, “Some of those travel plans were for really special moments that can’t be replaced.”

(DAL), meanwhile, spent much of the 1st half of 2016 touting is operating performance advantage over American Airlines (AAL), United Airlines (UAL) and (SWA). “We’re operating the best airline on the planet and it’s not even close,” (CEO) Ed Bastian said at the company’s media day in the spring, pointing out that (DAL) had more “100% completion factor days” (by a wide margin) than its 3 USA rivals combined.

As of August 7, (DAL) had canceled just 300 total flights in all of 2016. But despite the fact that (DAL) has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on technology safeguards, an early morning August 8 power outage at its Atlanta headquarters led to a disastrous operational failure. That’s because critical systems inexplicably did not switch over to redundant backup power (sound familiar?) and (DAL) had a technology crash that required a reboot, forcing its entire global operation to be grounded for several hours.

“This isn’t who we are,” Bastian said in a one of several apology videos (DAL) posted online in the aftermath of the system failure. Beyond the monetary hit (DAL) will incur in its 3rd-quarter earnings, the episode is a significant negative mark on 1 of (DAL)’s core brand claims (that it is operating the best, and most reliable, airline in the world). Bastian and other executives will have to cool it for a while on the operational reliability horn tooting.

The dual system failures at (SWA) and (DAL) lead to a number of questions. First, why did their backup systems fail? What is the point of investing so heavily in redundant systems if they can’t be relied upon at critical times? And if the backup systems are inadequate, how vulnerable are (SWA), (DAL) and other airlines to similar system crashes occurring in the future?

The competitive stakes are high. Just a week after its system crash, (DAL) announced that it will introduce an all-suite business (C) class cabin on its 1st Airbus A350-900 arriving next year, and will roll out the new business (C) class offering on additional aircraft over time. The A350 business (C) class cabin will feature 32 suites with full-height sliding doors. (DAL) has 25 A350-900s on order and will also install the suites on Boeing 777s. Among other amenities, each suite will also have a lie-flat seat with a memory foam cushion and an 18-inch high resolution in-flight entertainment (IFE) monitor.

The “Delta One suite” and the fact that (DAL)’s entire A350 business (C) class offering will be comprised of these suites are truly innovative concepts among the USA majors that show (DAL) is finally trying to compete with the passenger offerings of Asia-Pacific and Gulf global long-haul carriers.

But however luxurious the service, what passengers (especially business (C) travelers) value most is reliability and an on-time arrival. No fancy suite is going to hold its appeal if the airline can’t deliver the fundamentals.

News Item A-3: Delta Air Lines (DAL) announced 3 new routes from the USA to Mexico that will start December 17. This is exactly a year after the USA and Mexico signed an air transport agreement that ended restrictions on the number of carriers allowed to operate on routes between the 2 countries.

The 3 routes, announced August 19, will be the 1st (DAL) flights to be launched since the implementation of the agreement, (DAL) said. The Mexican Senate reportedly approved the agreement in the 1st quarter of 2016.

2 of the daily nonstop flights are between Los Angeles International (LAX) and San Jose del Cabo/Los Cabos (SJD) and New York (JFK) International Airport (JFK), as well as Cancun International Airport (CUN). The (LAX) - Los Cabos flight will utilize a Boeing 737-800; the New York (JFK) - Cancun flight will operate a 737-900. The 3rd route is a Saturday nonstop service between Kansas City International Airport (MCI) and Cancun, which will operate utilizing an MD-88.

“The new routes bolster our presence in Mexico and support our international growth strategy,” (DAL) Director Mexico, Carlos Hernandez said. “The "Open Skies" agreement sets the stage for additional expansion in the transborder market, [which] we are eager to provide.”

(DAL) already has a code share agreement with Grupo Aeromexico for flights to Mexico out of both (JFK) and (LAX). From New York - (JFK), the two airlines combined fly to five Mexican cities: Mexico City, Monterrey, Puerto Vallarta, Los Cabos, and Cancun in December. From (LAX), Delta (DAL) and Aeromexico (AMX) combined provide service to nine Mexican cities: Leon, Guadalajara, Hermosillo, Mexico City, Monterrey, Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, Mazatlán, and Los Cabos in December.

News Item A-4: Delta Air Lines (DAL) will consolidate its London Heathrow Airport operations in Terminal 3 as of September 14, (DAL) announced on August 22.

The move will allow (DAL) and its UK-based joint-venture (JV) equity partner Virgin Atlantic (VAA) to operate from the same terminal.

(DAL) plans to move its Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis, Salt Lake City and Philadelphia flights out of Heathrow (LHR)’s Terminal 4 and transfer them to Terminal 3, joining (DAL)’s flights to New York (JFK), Boston, and Seattle.

“Having our (LHR) service under one roof [with Virgin Atlantic (VAA)] is crucial to delivering a synched-up, more convenient service,” (DAL) Senior VP Europe, Middle East & Africa, Nat Pieper said.

“We are looking forward to our [JV] partner (DAL) joining us in Terminal 3,” Virgin Atlantic (VAA) Executive VP Commercial, Erik Varwijk said. “Once the switch goes ahead, customers [will have a] more seamless experience flying from or through London.”

News Item A-5: "USA Airlines Tickets to Havana Already On Sale" by (ATW) Mark Nensel,, August 31, 2016.

The 8 USA airlines granted permission by the USA Department of Transportation (DOT) on August 31 to operate scheduled flights between the USA and Havana have begun rolling out proposed service plans. Tickets are already on sale at Spirit Airlines (SPR) and United Airlines (UAL). All routes require approval by the Cuban government. Most airlines will not reveal start dates until the approval is granted.

* Seattle-based Alaska Airlines (ASA) is tentatively scheduling daily service involving a Seattle - Los Angeles -Havana same-airplane routing.

* American Airlines (AAL) will operate 4x-daily service from Miami and a daily flight from Charlotte, North Carolina.

* Delta Air Lines (DAL) intends to begin daily nonstop service to Havana from Atlanta, Miami and New York (JFK) on December 1. (DAL) said tickets for the proposed flights will go on sale September 10. (DAL) operated charter flights to Havana from the USA at various times since 2002, including a period from October 2011 through December 2012 in which up to 12 flights to Havana per week originated from Miami, Atlanta and New York (JFK).

* Frontier Airlines (FRO) will operate daily service from Miami.

* New York-based JetBlue Airways (JBL), which on August 31 made the first commercial airline passenger flight to Cuba in nearly 55 years, will operate 2x-daily service from Fort Lauderdale, Florida (excluding Saturday, which will be daily) and daily service from both New York (JFK) and Orlando, Florida. (JBL) announced it will offer Cuban government-required health insurance coverage as part of the ticket purchase price. Additionally, as part of the online booking process, customers can fill out the required affidavit indicating which of 12 USA Treasury Department-approved Cuba-travel reasons (ie, family visits, educational activities, religious activities, journalism, humanitarian projects, professional research, professional meetings, etc.) is applicable to them.

* Florida-based low cost-carrier (LCC) Spirit Airlines (SPR) expects to begin 2x-daily nonstop service from Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport (FLL) on December 1. Tickets for (SPR)’s flights to Havana went on sale on September 1, but (SPR)’s booking site stipulates the flight is subject to government approval. Cuban government-required health insurance is bundled into the ticket price, (SPR) said.

* Southwest Airlines (SWA) intends to offer 2x-daily nonstop service to Havana from Fort Lauderdale (FLL) and daily nonstop service from Tampa, in addition to 2x-daily nonstops from (FLL) to Varadero, Cuca and daily nonstop service to Santa Clara, Cuba. (SWA) said the airline intends to launch its Cuban flights later this year.

* United Airlines (UAL) will begin daily nonstop flights to Havana from Newark, New Jersey, on November 29, pending Cuban government approval, (UAL) said. Additionally, (UAL) will have 1x-Saturday-only service to Havana from Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH). (UAL)’s Havana flights went on sale on September 1. (UAL) will operate both services utilizing Boeing 737 airplanes.

News Item A-6: "Delta Whines About JetBlue Federal Travel Route Rights" by Karen Walker in her (ATW) Editor's Blog, August 31, 2016.

Delta (DAL)’s got the blues again about competition, and this time the Atlanta mega carrier is whining about USA carrier JetBlue Airways (JBL).

In (DAL)’s sight line is an award by the USA General Service Administration (GSA) (which manages government operations, including travel for federal employees) to New York low cost carrier (LCC) (JBL). (DAL) has complained about that award in a letter to the (GSA), and (DAL)’s Executive VP & Chief Legal Officer Peter Carter, has posted the details of the letter on (DAL)’s website.

Why the concern? Because (GSA) has awarded (JBL) a contract that permits it to provide federal travel between New York (JFK) and Milan, Italy, and also between (JFK) and Dubai. JetBlue (JBL), which operates a fleet of Airbus A320s and Embraer E190s, does not fly either route with its equipment, so they will be operated as a code share on (JBL)’s partner, Dubai-based Emirates (EAD).

Cue indignant outrage from (DAL), because, according to Carter, Emirates (EAD) “will benefit via code share agreement from USA taxpayer dollars (not a USA flag air carrier as required by the Fly America Act.”

But wait, that’s not exactly the truth. USA carriers do use code shares with foreign airlines to fulfill their (GSA) contracts. And Carter himself writes, “(DAL) does not believe USA carriers should never engage foreign code share partners to assist in the operation of international contract routes for USA government-funded travel.”

For good reason. Otherwise, (DAL) itself would be “in violation” of the "Fly America Act" because it offers (GSA) routes that are operated by code share partners that include Air France (AFA), (KLM), Aeromexico (AMX) and Korean Air (KAL).

So it’s one rule for Delta (DAL), another for JetBlue (JBL)?

The (GSA) points out that code shares are permitted if submitted as part of the bid, that (JBL)’s bid complied with the "Fly America Act," and the fares it offered were cheaper than those of competitive bids. Price is part of the equation in the (GSA)’s determining who gets which awards. (JBL) said that “the (GSA) awards contracts that deliver the best value to the USA taxpayer and JetBlue (JBL) is honored to have this traffic with our code share partner.”

It’s been pretty quiet for the most part this year on the anti-Gulf carrier campaign that American (AAL), (DEAL) and United (UAL) waged ferociously last year. My understanding is that the USA carriers were effectively told the formal government-to-government talks on "Open Skies" compliance they requested are not going to happen, at least not in an election year, and who knows where this issue will sit in 2017’s political priorities? Not so high, is my guess. Especially when the end game by the USA majors still seems to be to stomp out competition, especially in the prized transatlantic market (see also Norwegian Air International (NAI)).

News Item A-7: According to, Delta Air Lines (DAL) hired 118 pilots (FC) in July and 676 (FC) year-to-date. (DAL) is projected to hire nearly 1,300 (FC) in 2016.

News Item A-8: 2 737-932ER (31974, N864DN; 31975, N863DN), Wells Fargo Bank leased, A321-211 (7233 A308DN; 7268, A309DN), ex-(D-AZAW & D-AYAG) deliveries.

September 2016: 737-76N (32574, N864DN) bought for parts use to be broken up at Marana. 757-232 (24394, N654DL) sold to Bank of Utah and leased back. 6 MD-11F (48502, N380BC; 48503, N382BC; 48504, N383BC; 48766, N460BC; 48780, N545BC; 48758, N546BC), bought from (BCC) Equipment Leasing (Boeing).

October 2016: News Item A-1: Richard Anderson has retired as Executive Chairman of Delta Air Lines (DAL)’s board of directors, departing from the Atlanta-based airline on which he left an indelible mark over the last 9 years.

The move comes just over >5 months after Anderson stepped down as Delta (DAL)’s (CEO), handing the reigns to Ed Bastian, (DAL)’s longtime President and number 2 executive who succeeded Anderson as (CEO). By staying on as Executive Chairman, Anderson technically remained the (DAL)’s top executive. But even before officially ceding the (CEO) role to Bastian on May 3, he had moved to Houston and was no longer a regular presence at (DAL)’s headquarters.

Frank Blake, the former Chairman & (CEO) of The Home Depot and a member of (DAL)’s board since July 2014, will become (DAL)’s non-executive Chairman. Bastian is now the company’s top-ranking executive.

Blake called Anderson “one of the great leaders in global aviation.”

Anderson took over as (DAL) (CEO) in 2007 and oversaw the merger of (DAL) and (NWA), which was agreed to in 2008, and steered the merged carrier to consistently high levels of profitability.

News Item A-2: Delta Air Lines (DAL) posted $1.26 billion net income for (3Q) 2016 (vs $1.32 billion in (3Q) 2015) on -5.6% lower revenues. (DAL) said technology outage and subsequent operational recovery in early August reduced its pre-tax income by about -$150 million and revenues by -$100 million.

News Item A-3: "Southeast USA Braced for Hurricane Matthew; Over >2,300 Flights Canceled" by (ATW) Mark Nensel, October 6, 2016.

As Hurricane Matthew, a major Category 4 storm, bore down on Florida and the southeastern USA on October 6, airlines serving the region announced preemptive operational closures and flight cancellations. Nearly 2,400 preemptive flight cancellations resulted.

As of noon, October 6, (DAL) shuttered operations at Miami International Airport, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Palm Beach International Airport, resulting in 130 total flight cancellations. Additionally, (DAL) canceled nearly 150 mainline and Delta Connection flights for Friday, October 7 to and from airports in Melbourne, Orlando, Daytona Beach, Gainesville, and Jacksonville, Florida. (DAL) said there were additional cancellations for flights Saturday, October 8 to coastal Georgia and South Carolina airports.

As of October 6, at 2:30 pm (CDT), Southwest Airlines (SWA) estimated about 60 flights were canceled systemwide, and about 130 flights were canceled for October 7. (SWA) canceled all operations at Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Nassau, Bahamas; and West Palm Beach, Florida, for Thursday and Friday, October 6 & 7. Operations in Jacksonville were canceled October 7. Operations in Orlando were canceled as of late afternoon October 6 and October 7. (SWA) had some delays and cancellations in Charleston, South Carolina for October 7. For the airports on the east coast of Florida, (SWA) adjusted its resumption of service plans as needed once the storm passed.

JetBlue Airways (JBL) said they canceled >450 flights through October 8. (JBL) offered to waive change/cancel fees for customers traveling October 5 - 9 to/from Charleston, South Carolina; Daytona Beach, Florida; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Nassau, Bahamas; Orlando, Florida (MCO); Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina; Savannah/Hilton Head, Georgia; and West Palm Beach, Florida.

American Airlines (AAL) canceled 65 flights for October 5, with 600 flights canceled for October 6, 475 flights canceled for October 7, 130 flights canceled for October 8 and 20 flights canceled for October 10; 1,290 flights in all.

United Airlines (UAL) said it canceled nearly 180 flights in Florida through October 8, 2016.

News Item A-4: "Delta’s Oil Refinery On Track for $100 million Full-year 2016 Loss" by (ATW) Aaron Karp, October 14, 2016.

Delta Air Lines (DAL)’s Trainer, Pennsylvania, oil refinery is expected to incur an operating loss of about -$100 million for the full-year 2016 after posting operating profits in both 2014 and 2015.

The refinery, which (DAL) purchased in 2012, had a -$45 million operating loss in the 2016 3rd quarter, reversed from an operating profit of +$106 million in the 2015 September quarter. The refinery’s 3rd-quarter revenue fell -23% year-over-year to $971 million.

(DAL) (CFO) Paul Jacobson told analysts and reporters while discussing (DAL)’s 3rd-quarter earnings that the refinery’s 3rd-quarter loss was “driven by lower crack spreads” (the difference between crude oil prices and the actual price of jet fuel). Even as oil prices rise, with per barrel prices hitting a 2016 high of $54 earlier this week, Jacobson said crack spreads are remaining consistently narrow. For that reason, (DAL) is anticipating a -$100 million full-year operating loss by the facility.

Through 10 months of 2016, the refinery has incurred a -$83 million operating loss. (DAL) executives have said they expect the refinery to return to profitability in the future. Jacobson has noted that low crack spreads benefit (DAL)’s airline operations.

News Item A-5: Delta Air Lines (DAL) plans April 24 2017 to begin daily Los Angeles - Reagan National (757-200).

News Item A-6: "3 Reasons why Major USA Airlines are not Planning to Grow in 2017" by Aaron Karp in AirKarp blog, October 21, 2016.

The 3 top global USA airlines (American Airlines (AAL), Delta Air Lines (DAL) and United Airlines (UAL)) appear to be bringing growth to a near halt through next year, with little-to-no growth in the domestic market and only marginal international growth expected through the end of 2017. (DAL) has already capped system capacity growth at 1% for the 2016 4th quarter and all of 2017. (AAL)’s system capacity is expected to be flat in the 4th quarter and grow just +1% in 2017, including no domestic growth next year. (UAL) will end up growing full year 2016 capacity just +1.2% to 1.4% and, while it hasn’t given specific guidance on 2017, it is unlikely (UAL) will grow much next year. If USA carriers are so healthy from a net profit standpoint ((AAL), (DAL) and (UAL)posted nearly $3 billion in combined net income in the 2016 3rd quarter) why are they forswearing growth in 2017? 3 reasons:

1. USA airlines desperately need to get unit revenue back to +ve growth. (DAL) (CEO) Ed Bastian said recently that the USA airline industry is experiencing the “weakest revenue environment in recent memory.” Bastian said a lack of pricing power, not weak demand, is the cause of the weak revenue environment. Indeed, USA air fares are set to fall by >5% for the 2nd straight year in 2016. Since late 2014, airline unit revenue (as measured in either (RASM) or (PRASM)) has consistently declined on a year-over-year basis quarter after quarter.

Wall Street has punished airlines for this. As much as airline executives want to dismiss unit revenue as a short-term metric that isn’t very meaningful long term, sustained declines in unit revenue simply aren’t acceptable to airline shareholders. So 2017 is all about returning to +ve unit revenue growth for the major USA airlines. As Bastian said, “capacity is a significant lever” airlines can pull to affect unit revenue performance. If the airlines stop growing, a relatively strong demand environment should lead to increased pricing power, meaning higher fares and rising unit revenue. If (AAL), (DAL) and (UAL) accomplish nothing else in 2017, they want to get back to +ve unit revenue growth (not growing is probably the best way to get that result).

2. Labor costs are rising. We appear to be entering a period of labor peace in the USA airline industry, but that peace has come at a cost. (AAL)’s expenses, for example, increased +5.2% year-over-year in the 3rd quarter, driven primarily by higher labor costs. New labor contracts mean carriers’ cost base is going to rise, and 2017 will be a year of adjustment in that regard. So not growing is a way to keep some control over those costs (more capacity would mean more employees are needed and those employees’ compensation would be higher than it would have been a year ago or 2 years ago).

3. There is a feeling among USA airline executives that fuel prices bottomed out earlier this year and will only keep rising. “Year-over-year fuel prices are expected to be higher for the remainder of the year,” (AAL) (CFO) Derek Kerr said on October 20. Year-over-year gains in fuel costs have probably been exhausted. Airlines’ fuel costs in 2017 probably won’t drop much compared to 2016, and may very well increase. USA airlines have achieved strong profits in a low fuel-cost environment. While USA airline industry leaders like (AAL) Chairman & (CEO) Doug Parker insist profitability will persist even if fuel prices rise, the carriers have to prove it. Not growing is one way airline executives can ease their nerves about rising fuel costs.

November 2016: News Item A-1: "American Beats Out Delta for Los Angeles - Beijing Route Award by Aaron Karp, November 8, 2016.

American Airlines (AAL) has been chosen over Delta Air Lines (DAL) to operate daily Los Angeles (LAX) - Beijing (PEK) flights.

Both carriers had applied to the USA Department of Transportation (DOT) for the route rights in March, seeking to become the only USA airline operating nonstop (LAX) - (PEK) service. The (DOT) has tentatively awarded the route to Dallas/Fort Worth-based (AAL). “The (DOT) tentatively found that selecting (AAL) would add a 3rd USA carrier to the West Coast - Beijing market, in addition to (DAL)’s service from Seattle and United (UAL) [Airlines’] service from San Francisco, thereby enhancing competition,” the department said.

(AAL) will operate a Boeing 777-200 on the route. It had previously said it would begin flying the route in December, but the timing of the (DOT) selection process likely pushes the start date to next year. Objections to the tentative awarding of the (LAX) - (PEK) route to (AAL) are due to the (DOT) by November 22. The only airline currently operating the route is Beijing-based Air China (BEJ), and (UAL) code shares with Air China (BEJ) on the route. (AAL) does serve (PEK) from Dallas/Fort Worth and Chicago O’Hare. It also currently serves China from Los Angeles with daily (LAX) - Shanghai flights. The (LAX) - (PEK) route “further underscores (AAL)’s commitment to providing customers with a world-class global network from our Los Angeles hub,” an (AAL) spokesperson said.

News Item A-2: The USA Department of Transportation (DOT) is proposing to approve antitrust immunity (ATI) for the joint venture (JV) between Delta Air Lines (DAL) and Aeromexico (AMX) (but with conditions including the divestiture of slots at Mexico City and New York (JFK). The (DOT) said the airlines would have to divest enough roundtrip slot pairs to support 24 daily services between the USA and Mexico at Mexico City International Airport (MEX), and to open 6 transborder services in New York.

News Item A-3: The 1st commercial passenger flights in 55 years between the USA and Havana, Cuba, departed November 28, as Fort Worth, Texas-based American Airlines (AAL) and New York-based low-cost carrier (LCC) JetBlue Airways (JBL) each launched scheduled service to the island nation’s capital.

(AAL) flight 17, a Boeing 737-800, took off from Miami International Airport at 7:41 am and landed at Havana’s José Martí International Airport at 8:25 am. (JBL) flight 243, an Airbus A321, departed New York’s (JFK) International Airport at 9:45 am and landed in Havana at 12:34 pm.

The (AAL) and (JBL) flights are the vanguard of scheduled commercial passenger service to Havana from 8 USA airlines. Havana service was also awarded to Alaska Airlines (ASA), Delta Air Lines (DAL), Frontier Airlines (FRO), Southwest Airlines (SWA), Spirit Airlines (SPR) and United Airlines (UAL).

(UAL) is scheduled to begin its Havana service from Newark Liberty International Airport on November 29, with (DAL), (SPR) and (FRO) all launching Havana service December 1. (SWA) will launch Havana service December 12. (ASA) will launch its Havana service from Los Angeles on January 5, 2017.

The USA announced the resumption of commercial passenger airline service to Cuba following the signing of an agreement between the 2 countries on February 17. The 1st commercial flights between the USA mainland and Cuba began August 31, with a (JBL) flight from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Santa Clara, Cuba. That same day the USA Department of Transportation awarded 8 USA airlines service routes to Havana.

December 2016: News Item A-1: Delta Air Lines (DAL)’s pilots (FC) approved a new labor contract on December 1, according to the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA). The contract approval comes 16 months after the pilots (FC) rejected an earlier tentative contract agreement. This most recent contract was agreed-on “in principle” on October 3. “The ratification of this new contract ensures (DAL) pilots (FC) remain among the very top of airline pilot (FC) wages earners and recognizes the value we bring to the recent unprecedented success of Delta Air Lines,” (DAL) master executive council Chairman John Malone said.

“The contract, which marks significant progress for (DAL) pilots (FC) and also for United Airlines (UAL) pilots (FC), serves as an example of our union’s determined efforts to work to restore some of the lost pay and benefits that so many of our members sacrificed to help their airlines emerge from bankruptcy in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks,” (ALPA) President Tim Carroll said.

“The contract, which marks significant progress for (DAL) pilots (FC) and also for United Airlines (UAL) pilots (FC), serves as an example of our union’s determined efforts to work to restore some of the lost pay and benefits that so many of our members sacrificed to help their airlines emerge from bankruptcy in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks,” (ALPA) President Tim Carroll said.

“The new pilot (FC) agreement contains an industry-leading package of pay, benefits and work rules and recognizes the many contributions of (DAL) pilots (FC) to (DAL)’s operational and financial success.”

Malone said in an October 14 memo to the pilots (FC) association that the contract includes a +30% cumulative pay raise, no change to current profit sharing, and full retro pay back to January 1, 2016.

In a December 1 memo to (ALPA), Malone said “Retro checks are scheduled to be distributed to you on December 16.”

News Item A-2: Delta Air Lines (DAL) and Aeromexico (AMX) have accepted antitrust conditions imposed by USA regulators on (DAL)’s transborder joint venture (JV), and will move forward to establish the (JV.)

(DAL) and (AMX) had threatened to “reconsider” the (JV) unless the USA Department of Transportation (DOT) dropped the conditions it was requiring for granting the (JV) antitrust immunity, including the divestiture of 24 slot pairs at Mexico City International Airport and 6 slot pairs at New York (JFK) International Airport. But ultimately the airlines decided there was too much to gain from the (JV) to drop it over regulatory conditions.

“Together, (DAL) and (AMX) are stronger in the USA - Mexico market than either airline can be on its own,” (DAL) (CEO) Ed Bastian said, adding that the (JV) will offer passengers “an unmatched array of options” for transborder travel.

Aeromexico (AMX) (CEO) Andrés Conesa said the (JV) marks “the beginning of a new era in the aviation of North America.” The (JV) is the 1st of its kind for Mexico - (USA) flying. Bastian said it “means growth of services and jobs for both (DAL) and (AMX).” The (JV) will closely align the airlines, both SkyTeam (STM) alliance members. Delta (DAL) already owns a minority stake in Aeromexico (AMX) that it is in the process of increasing to as much as 49%.

The airlines plan to coordinate transborder flight schedules, co-locate facilities at airports and increase joint sales and marketing activities. Speaking at (DAL)’s investors day, Bastian emphasized that (DAL) is “committed to (AMX)” and said Mexico City, North America’s most populous city and (AMX)’s base hub, is an “underserved market.”

He also praised (AMX) as a forward-thinking airline that appeals to younger passengers, and said (DAL) plans to learn from its (JV) partner. “I want Delta (DAL) to be seen as the airline of choice of the next generation, for millennials,” Bastian explained. “If you look at Aeromexico (AMX), they’re already there.”

Conesa has said the (JV) “makes sense for the consumer” and will create “an additional wave of traffic” for (AMX).

* "USA (DOT) Wins "Game of Chicken" vs Delta - Aeromexico" by
(ATW) Aaron Karp in AirKarp Blog, December 21, 2016.

The USA Department of Transportation (DOT) engaged in a "game of chicken" with Delta Air Lines (DAL) and Aeromexico (AMX), and won. The (DOT) placed a series of conditions on its approval of the Delta - Aeromexico joint venture (JV) that the carriers emphatically said were too high a price to pay to gain antitrust immunity for USA - Mexico transborder flying.

Just as a reminder, (DAL) and (AMX) said in a joint regulatory filing in November that the (DOT)’s conditions were “unprecedented, arbitrary, and untethered to any potential alleged harms related to the [JV].” The airlines added, “The proposed conditions would jeopardize the sizeable consumer and economic benefits that [DOT] recognized would flow from the proposed [JV]. Moreover, they would severely diminish the economic viability of the [JV], and would compel [(DAL) and (AMX)] to reconsider undertaking it.”

That is just a sampling. In high-pitched rhetoric, the airlines went on for pages, saying the (DOT)’s conditions were “unprecedented, unwarranted, and should not be imposed.”

The (DOT) didn’t budge an inch. It wholly dismissed the airlines’ concerns and stuck with its conditions: To gain antitrust clearance for the (JV), the carriers would have to divest 24 slot pairs for Mexico - USA services at Mexico City International Airport (MEX) and 6 slot pairs for USA - Mexico services at New York (JFK) International Airport. The (DOT) additionally limited the (JV)’s antitrust immunity to 5 years, after which the airlines will have to reapply.

The (DOT) gave (DAL) and (AMX) (which wanted to divest just 8 slot pairs at (MEX), none at (JFK) and have indefinite antitrust immunity) 7 business days to accept its terms. Take it or leave it.

And the airlines have now accepted, as the (DOT) surely knew they would. Why? Because while avoiding the slot divestitures would have been ideal, the divestitures are pretty minor in the grand scheme of things, especially since (DAL) is in the process of increasing its ownership stake in (AMX) to 49%. (DAL) has just essentially added Mexico City, Monterrey and Guadalajara to its North American hub network of Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis St Paul, New York (JFK), Salt Lake City and Seattle. (MEX), where (DAL) and (AMX) will co-locate facilities and coordinate flight schedules, will become a huge asset for (DAL).

(DAL) knows there is really nowhere to grow in the mature USA domestic market. But Mexico is still a developing air transport market where millions of bus travelers have been transformed in recent years into low-cost carrier (LCC) airline passengers. As (AMX) (CEO) Andrés Conesa recently said, once passengers get accustomed to air travel, they may eventually migrate from (LCC)s to long-haul services on more traditional carriers. “These passengers that used to travel by bus are flying with (LCC)s, but in the future they may be flying with us,” he commented.

(DAL) (CEO) Ed Bastian has also noted that (AMX) is popular with young passengers, who obviously will travel the most over the long term. He has conceded (DAL) still has a ways to go to become “the airline of choice of the next generation.”

For (AMX), accepting the (DOT)’s terms is a no-brainer. Gaining access to what Conesa has called a “wave of traffic” from the USA via (DAL) is a major win for (AMX), boosting its connecting traffic through it hubs. The (JV) also effectively seals (DAL) becoming a 49% owner of (AMX), giving (AMX) serious long-term financial stability.

It additionally gives (AMX) access to an operating structure (the transnational (JV)) that Conesa and other major Latin American airline (CEO)s believe is critical to those carriers’ aspirations of becoming truly global airlines. European and USA carriers have gained significantly from a “very developed” transatlantic (JV) structure, Conesa said recently, adding, “What we’re asking, is to be on the same level as other airlines.”

I wonder whether the airlines are regretting the tone of their response to the (DOT)’s conditions. It was so over the top (“unprecedented,” “untethered”) that I suspect the (DOT) didn’t take it too seriously. The department confidently called the airlines’ bluff, knowing they were unlikely to actually scuttle the (JV) rather than accept the (DOT)’s requirements. What if (DAL) and (AMX) had taken a more magnanimous line and indicated a willingness to negotiate? Would the (DOT) have considered, for example, going from 24 to 16 slot pair divestitures at (MEX), essentially splitting the difference between the airlines and the (DOT)?

There is a risk to the carriers in the expiration of the (JV)’s antitrust immunity after 5 years. What if, say, a 2nd-term President Trump’s (DOT) gives a thumbs down to a USA airline collaborating so closely with a Mexican airline? But that’s way down the road, and the airlines have plenty of time to prove the (JV)’s worth to regulators.

There’s real logic behind this (JV). Particularly in commercial aviation, it makes sense to view North America (Mexico, the USA and Canada) as a single market. The (DAL) - (AMX) (JV) is the 1st genuine attempt in the airline industry to do so.

News Item A-3: (DAL) announced John “Ned” Walker, who served as Senior VP and Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) during a period of growth and transition for (DAL), is returning to (DAL) in a similar position with increased responsibilities, effective January 1, 2017.

News Item A-4: Airbus (EDS) has delivered the 1st A321 to Delta Air Lines (DAL) from its USA manufacturing facility in Mobile, Alabama.

(DAL) operates 137 A320 family aircraft and 40 A330s, and has another 123 aircraft on order (including A320 family, A330 and A350 aircraft). In April, (DAL) placed its 3rd A321ceo order in 3 years.
“The 1st (DAL) A321 produced in Mobile will be our 12th overall for (DAL),” (DAL) Senior VP Supply Chain Management & Fleet Greg May said. “We look forward to taking many more A321s in the years ahead to safely and comfortably get our customers to their destinations.”

(EDS) announced its commitment to build a single-aisle assembly line in Mobile, Alabama in 2012, and <1 year later, broke ground on the $600 million facility. The ceremonial inauguration of the plant took place in September 2015. The (DAL) A321 is the 15th aircraft delivered from the Mobile facility.

Airbus (EDS) said it anticipates delivering 4 aircraft per month from the Mobile plant by the end of 2017. The initial deliveries will all be A320 family aircraft with the "ceo," but will begin transitioning to "neo" derivatives in late 2017.

News Item A-5: "Delta Air Lines Cancels Order for 18 Boeing 787s"
by Doug Cameron, The Wall Street Journal, December 28, 2016.

Delta Air Lines Inc on December 27 officially canceled a deal for 18 Boeing 787 wide body jets that, though long anticipated, still leaves a dent in Boeing's 2016 order book.

The number 2 USA carrier by traffic inherited a 2005 deal for 18 Boeing 787 jets when it bought Northwest Airlines (NWA) 3 years later, and in 2010 deferred deliveries until after 2020 in a move that analysts viewed as a signal it would never take the planes.
Northwest (NWA) had been the USA launch customer for the 787 and took options on +50 more jets that were due to start arriving in 2008. Design and production problems delayed the 1st 787 delivery to All Nippon Airways (ANA) until 2011.

(DAL) said it would continue to take delivery of the 120 737-900ERs airplanes it has on order. “(DAL) is one of the world’s largest operators of Boeing airplanes and our valued partnership with Boeing will remain strong as we safely and comfortably serve our customers across the world every day,” (DAL) Senior VP Supply Chain Management & Fleet Greg May said. “This business decision is consistent with (DAL)’s fleet strategy to prudently address our wide body airplane needs.”

In 2014 (DAL) placed a firm order for 50 Airbus wide bodies, comprising 25 A350-900s and 25 A330-900neos. The A350s are scheduled to begin deliveries in 2017 and will feature a new, all-suite business-class (C) cabin with full-height sliding doors, lie-flat seats with a memory foam cushion, and customizable ambient lighting.

American Airlines Group Inc and United Continental Holdings Inc both operate the 787.

Neither company detailed the terms of the cancellation, though Boeing (TBC) had kept the 787s in its order book. Boeing has booked net deals for 70 of the 787 jets so far this year and has a backlog totaling 721 of the 787s.

January 2017: News Item A-1: Delta Air Lines (DAL) posted a 2016 net profit of +$4.4 billion, down -3% from net income of +$4.5 billion in 2015, as higher labor costs drove a slight decrease in earnings. (DAL)’s full-year earnings report indicates the revenue environment remained sluggish in the USA airline market in 2016, with (DAL)’s revenue dropping -3% year-over-year to $33.8 billion. Costs for 2016 fell just -1% compared to 2015 to $32.7 billion as employee salaries rose +14% to just >$10 billion. Operating income in 2016 was just under <$7 billion, down -11% from an operating profit of +$7.8 billion in 2015.

The labor cost rise was primarily driven by a new contract approved by (DAL)’s pilots (FC) in the 4th quarter. (DAL)’s 4th-quarter outlay in salaries jumped +30% year-over-year and a retroactive pay raise to January 1, 2016 further increased full-year costs.

“(DAL) is expecting pressures on margins [in 2017] as the pace of change in unit revenue will not match the cost impact of higher fuel prices and employee wage increases,” (DAL) acknowledged. With a 1% cap on year-over-year capacity growth for all of 2017, (DAL) expects to return to positive unit revenue growth in 2017, as measured in (PRASM), for the 1st time since 2014.

“For the March quarter, we expect a unit revenue increase of flat to go up +2%, stemming the declines that have been ongoing for 2 years,” (DAL) President Glen Hauenstein said. “We will remain conservative and keep our capacity growth in check until we see a further firming of these revenue trends.”

Delta’s full-year 2016 consolidated traffic increased +1.7% year-over-year to 213.1 billion (RPM)s on a +2.1% rise in capacity to 251.9 billion (ASM)s, producing a load factor of 84.6% LF, down -0.3 point. Yield declined -4.5% to 15.9 cents.

News Item A-2: "Aviation’s 2017 Nightmares Begin in Fort Lauderdale" by Karen Walker in (ATW) Editor's Blog, January 6, 2017.

There is still a lot to be learned from the shooting incident at Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL), but this is the nightmare (especially regarding USA airlines and airports) feared as we entered a new year.

What was known by early January 6 afternoon was that at least 5 people were killed and 8 injured in the shooting, a suspect was in custody, and all services at the airport were suspended. The shooting happened in the Terminal 2 baggage claim area, which is on the land side of the airport and not on the secured post-screening side. Air Canada (ACN) and Delta Air Lines (DAL) operate out of T2.

From what little is known, however, there are patterns and differences relative to recent similar incidents.

Differences: 1st, this was a shooting, not a bomb. The terrorist attacks at Brussels and Istanbul airports (and we have no indications yet as to whether this was an organized terror event or an individual) involved explosives. 2nd, if reports are true, the perpetrator is alive, while the Brussels and Istanbul attackers were killed by their own bombs.

Similarities: Airports (ie, aviation) is targeted again. And the incident happened on the “unsecured” side of the terminal, before security screening.

What we learn in the next few days will be critical to how much impact this incident will have on the air transport industry, especially in the USA. Fort Lauderdale (FLL) is a relatively small, but very popular and busy airport. (FLL) provides easy access to beach resorts, seaports (a lot of cruise ships operate out of Fort Lauderdale and nearby Miami ports), a large convention center, and to Miami, for which (FLL) is often regarded as a low-cost carrier (LCC) alternative. This is also high season for tourism, as many USA and Canadian sun-seekers head for a break from their northern homes.

The industry will be watching closely to see if this event shakes confidence in the traveling public and reduces demand. But the other question will be whether this event begins an operational process change at airports akin to that which happened after "9/11," which spawned the no knives; laptops/shoes/belts off; gels in tiny containers in plastic bags procedures that are still standard practice at every airport 15 years later. Will there now be calls for new, additional pre-security screening and procedures?

After the Brussels and Istanbul bombings, Airports Council International (ACI) called for “a common sense approach to landside security”, pointing out that additional screening at a terminal entrance could bring its own risks (creating an additional bottleneck and merely moving the vulnerability to another location where it might not be as well managed). Will that warning be heeded post-Fort Lauderdale?

News Item A-3: "Delta - Aeromexico Execs Appointed to Lead (JV)
Mark Nensel, January 23, 2017.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) and Aeromexico (AMX) have announced leadership changes as the 2 carriers move to establish a trans-border joint venture (JV) between Mexico and the USA.

(DAL) VP Seattle Mike Madeiros was appointed (COO) of (AMX), and (DAL) VP Latin America & the Caribbean Nicolas Ferri was named VP Mexico and Aeromexico/Delta Joint Business.

The move follows the 2 carriers’ acceptance in December 2016 of conditions demanded by the USA Department of Transportation (DOT) in its antitrust immunity ruling before the airlines could move forward with their planned (JV).

(DAL) and (AMX) ultimately agreed to divest 24 slot pairs at Mexico City International Airport and 4 slot pairs at New York (JFK) International Airport. “These strategic moves are critical to our deepening partnership with (AMX) and to helping both airlines realize synergies across our operations and commercial entities,” (DAL) (CEO) Ed Bastian said. “These leadership moves continue our history in forging strong cross-border alliances.”

Madeiros will report directly to (AMX) (CEO) Andres Conesa. Madeiros joined (DAL) in 1988, starting as an airport customer service agent in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, before rising to VP New York Operations at (JFK). He was (DAL)’s VP Global Human Resources & Talent Development prior to being named VP Seattle.

Ferri will be based in Mexico City and will report to (DAL) President International Steve Sear. Ferri will oversee both (DAL)’s commercial activity in Mexico and the implementation of the (DAL)/ (AMX) (JV). Previously based in São Paulo, Brazil, Ferri has been VP Latin America & the Caribbean for Delta since 2011. Prior to joining (DAL), Ferri was VP Commercial for the Oneworld (ONW) alliance.

“We expect that effective early in (Q2) we will be able to start our Joint Cooperation Agreement (JCA) with (AMX),” Ferri said. “Furthermore, during the 2nd quarter of the year, we should complete our tender offer to own up to 49% of the outstanding capital stock of Grupo Aeromexico.”

(DAL) said new officers in Seattle and for the rest of Latin America will be announced soon.

(DAL) additionally said it remains committed to Seattle, where Alaska Airlines (ASA) also has a major presence, and said it will announce flights to 7 new destinations from Seattle later this year as well as expanding service to existing destinations from Seattle.

News Item A-4: Delta Air Lines (DAL) is launching 7 nonstop destinations from Seattle in 2017: 1x-daily to General Mitchell Airport in Milwaukee from March 9; 3x-daily to Eugene Airport in Oregon from April 1; 1x-daily to Nashville from May 26; 1x-daily to Raleigh-Durham from June 8; 1x-daily to Austin from June 12; 2x-daily to Redmond, Oregon from June 12; and 1x-daily to Lihue Airport in Hawaii from December 21.

News Item A-5: Delta Air Lines (DAL) (CEO) Ed Bastian said there is a “pretty good list” of issues airlines look forward to raising with the incoming Trump administration, including making the case that Gulf airlines operating to the USA are improperly subsidized.

Speaking to analysts and reporters to discuss (DAL)’s full-year 2016 earnings, Bastian said (DAL) is eager “to present our case on Middle East airlines” to the Trump administration. (DAL)a and fellow USA majors American Airlines (AAL) and United Airlines (UAL) in 2015 accused Qatar Airways (QTA) and United Arab Emirates (UAE) carriers Emirates Airline (EAD) and Etihad Airways (EHD) of getting >$40 billion of subsidies from their government owners, providing the Gulf airlines with what the USA airlines view as an unfair advantage as the Middle East carriers expand flights to the USA.

The USA airlines have alleged the (UAE) and Qatar are in violation of "Open Skies" agreements with the USA.

But the Obama administration never took any action, appearing unwilling to disrupt relations with Gulf allies (UAE) and Qatar or go against other USA companies, such as FedEx Corporation (FED) and JetBlue Airways (JBL), which have opposed the (DAL)-(AAL)-(UAL) campaign.

Bastian sees the Trump administration, given President-elect Donald Trump’s rhetoric about trade as a candidate, as potentially more willing to press the (UAE) and Qatar on the issue. Trump will take office on January 20.

“We are competing against governments and not airlines,” Bastian said January 12, adding that (DAL) wants the USA government “to enforce trade agreements as well as to protect USA jobs.”

Bastian also cited “investment opportunities” in USA infrastructure that have been discussed by Trump as potentially leading to improvements in USA airport facilities. He also believes tax reform that may be initiated by Trump and the Republican-led Congress could benefit (DAL).

News Item A-6: "Different Plans Floated for (JFK) Airport Growth" by (ATW) Mark Nensel and Karen Walker, January 6, 2017.

All 3 of the New York metropolitan area major airports will see multi-billion dollar infrastructure investments under a proposed new plan, but the New York state governor wants to see far more invested in John F Kennedy (JFK) International Airport.

The board of commissioners for the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey has announced a $29.5 billion 10-year capital plan that would include $2.5 billion for the redevelopment of (JFK), and a new AirTrain system to serve LaGuardia Airport; $2.3 billion to support the redevelopment of Terminal A at Newark Liberty International Airport; $600 million for the redevelopment of LaGuardia’s Terminals C and D; and $1.7 billion to build a new connection linking (PATH) trains to Newark Airport’s rail station.

The Port authority operates and maintains aviation, rail, surface transportation and seaport facilities throughout the New York/New Jersey region, including the (JFK), LaGuardia and Newark airports.

The plan, which goes to public review through February 15, was announced January 6. 2 days earlier, however, New York state governor Andrew Cuomo presented a plan that would invest at least $10 billion in (JFK) alone and which would require the majority of the money to come from private investors. Cuomo’s plan, based on recommendations by an advisory panel, would also improve road access to the airport and expand rail mass transit. “Our vision plan calls for the creation of a unified, interconnected airport that changes the passenger experience and makes the airport much easier to access and navigate,” Cuomo said.

(JFK) Airport served 60 million passengers in 2016, the report said. Passenger numbers at (JFK) are expected to grow to 75 million by 2030 and 100 million by 2050. In its current state, (JFK) will reach capacity by the mid-2020s. “The need to take action at (JFK) is the result of the airport’s history of piecemeal, ad-hoc decision making,” the governor’s report said. “This legacy has produced the airport’s current condition with disconnected terminals, an inconsistent passenger experience, facilities that are quickly running out of capacity, on-airport roadways that are confusing to navigate, and an airport that is increasingly difficult to access.”

Private investment in the transformation of the airport itself could total $7 billion, the report suggests. Improvements to the airport would include: expanding taxiways; adding new flight slots; interconnecting terminals by expanding newer terminals and redeveloping/relocating older terminals; redesigning on-airport roadways into a ring road configuration; centralizing and expanding parking lots within the ring road layout with clear short-term and long-term parking options; adding fine dining, duty-free shopping, quality retail, and conference/meeting room facilities, among other amenities; and the implementation of state-of-the-art security technology, including regular reviews to update security to future global best practices such as facial recognition and video tracking.

An additional $2 billion in spending by the New York state Department of Transportation would be directed toward improving roadways leading to the airport. The report also calls for doubling the capacity of (JFK) Airport’s AirTrain connector to the New York City (MTA) subway and Long Island Railroad Jamaica Station, as well as exploring the feasibility of a one-seat rail ride between Manhattan and (JFK).

In July 2015, Governor Cuomo put forward a $4 billion plan to revitalize LaGuardia Airport, its 1st phase concentrating on the rebuilding of LaGuardia’s Central Terminal Building, a project that began in 2016.

The Port Authority’s plan commits an additional $600 million to the rebuilding of LaGuardia’s C and D Terminals, teaming with Delta Air Lines on the $4 billion project. Two thirds of the >$8 billion being used to construct new facilities at LaGuardia is paid for by the private sector.

Both JetBlue Airways (JBL), which is based in New York, and Delta (DAL) have already invested heavily in redevelopment at (JFK).

(JBL) and the Port Authority teamed to build (JFK)’s Terminal 5 specifically for JetBlue (JBL), which opened in 2008. (JBL) expanded T5 in 2014, investing >$200 million to create a new international arrivals area.

(DAL) has invested $1.4 billion on facility upgrades at (JFK)’s T2 and T4 terminals. By January 2015, (DAL) had opened 20 new gates and 7 renovated gates in T4’s Concourse B. At T2, (DAL) renovated its "Sky Club" facility and improved dining options.

Speaking about the Port Authority’s plan, which must also cover rail, tunnel and seaport facilities, Port Authority Chairman John Degnan noted, “hard choices and robust debate led to a balanced 10-year capital plan to help meet the entire region’s enormous current and future transportation infrastructure needs.”

News Item A-7: Delta Air Lines (DAL) experienced its 2nd systems outage in 6 months on January 29, triggering a ground stop and cancellation of approximately 280 flights, with additional cancellations possible for January 30.

In a 7 am (EST) statement January 30, (DAL) said “(DAL) is operating the vast majority of its flight schedule today as (DAL) recovers from a systems outage that caused departure delays and about 170 cancellations on January 29.”

(DAL)’s essential Information Technology (IT) systems went down at about 6:30 pm (EST) January 29, causing an immediate ripple effect of departure delays and cancellations throughout (DAL)’s operations. (DAL) said some flights experienced delays upon landing, particularly at (DAL)’s hub airports. A (DAL) spokesperson declined to comment on the cause of the outage.

Confusion was reported among passengers as many effects of the outage, ie delays and cancellations, were not reflected on (DAL) systems, including, the Fly Delta App, airport information screens or through (DAL)’s reservations agents.

The computer system was restored late in the evening and a ground stop was lifted, allowing flights to resume. (DAL) said “all systems were back to normal shortly after midnight Monday January 30.”

Delta (DAL) (CEO) Ed Bastian issued an apology at 4 am (EST) January 30, saying “This type of disruption is not acceptable to the (DAL) family, which prides itself on reliability and customer service.” (DAL) is waiving change fees for customers affected by the outage for rebooking through February 3.

(DAL) last experienced a system outage in August 2016, a 3-day event that resulted in approximately 1,925 flight cancellations. (DAL) later reported the outage cost (DAL) $100 million in lost revenue.

In July 2016, Southwest Airlines (SWA) had a systemwide (IT) outage that resulted in >2,000 flight cancellations and delays.

News Item A-8: "Delta, American Swap Gates at (LAX) in Ramp-up to Terminal Upgrades" by (ATW) Mark Nensel, January 31, 2017.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) swapped 4 gates with American Airlines (AAL) at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on January 31, the 1st visible element of (DAL)’s infrastructure upgrade at (LAX). (DAL) is moving temporarily to Terminal 6 (T6) gates 60 - 63; (AAL) will acquire 4 gates in T5 as part of the swap.

(DAL), (LAX) operator, Los Angeles World Airports and the city of Los Angeles co-announced in July 2016 a 7-year $1.9 billion infrastructure project to modernize, upgrade and connect (LAX)’s T2 and T3 terminals, and build a secure connector to the north side of the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT).

In addition to the new 4 new temporary gates, (DAL) will continue to operate out of 3 additional gates at T6 and 9 gates at T5.

(DAL) said it has placed additional check-in positions closer to T6 and will have 2 baggage claim positions for passengers arriving into the terminal. The underground tunnel inside the secure area will remain open for passengers with connecting flights between T5 and T6. Flights to Denver, Portland, San Francisco and Seattle will depart from T6, (DAL) said.

(DAL) plans to move out of T5 and T6 and into T2 and T3 in May this year, prior to commencement of construction.

By relocating from T5 and T6 to the T2 and T3 complex, (DAL) will consolidate operations alongside partners Aeromexico (AMX), Virgin Atlantic (VAA) and Virgin Australia (VOZ). The eventual secure connection to (TBIT) will connect (DAL) to additional partners Air France (AFA) - (KLM), Alitalia (ALI), China Eastern (CEA), and China Southern Airlines (GUN).

“Airport infrastructure is a major driver of economic growth, and Delta has experience managing major infrastructure projects around the country,” (DAL) VP Sales, West Ranjan Goswami said. “Prior to the proposed project, we will be executing a move involving 22 airlines at (LAX) to enable co-location with our partners, which is unprecedented, so we’re putting all our resources into planning, preparing, communicating and executing this move as flawlessly as possible.”

(DAL)’s upcoming construction project complements the $8.5 billion (LAX) modernization program started in 2009, which to-date has seen the renovation of (TBIT), airfield and roadway improvements and motivated airlines to invest >$2 billion in renovations to the airport’s 1, 5, 6, 7 and 8 terminals.

February 2017: News Item A-1: See attached photo of Delta Air Lines (DAL) (CEO) Ed Bastian with USA President Donald Trump who was holding a meeting with USA airline executives.

News Item A-2: Free Meals Again!
Delta Air Lines (DAL) will begin including meals at no extra cost for all main cabin seats on 12 transcontinental domestic routes this spring, reversing a longstanding trend of USA airlines not including meal service with economy (Y)-class tickets on domestic flights.

See Photo: Smoked turkey sandwich meal to be offered during daytime flights in the main cabin on 12 Delta domestic routes.

News Item A-3: Delta Air Lines (DAL) has named John Caldwell its new VP Seattle as Mike Medeiros transitions to his new role as (COO) at Aeromexico (AMX).

In this position, (DAL) said Caldwell “will continue (DAL)’s momentum and develop and achieve (DAL)’s strategic objectives for Seattle and the Pacific Northwest as (DAL) embarks on its 5th consecutive year of growth.” (DAL) said Caldwell “will also be heavily involved in (DAL)’s state and local government affairs within the region, including working with the Port of Seattle to begin construction on a world-class international arrivals facility at Sea-Tac this spring.”

Caldwell most recently served as President of Delta Vacations, a wholly owned subsidiary of Delta Air Lines (DAL).

News Item A-4: Delta Air Lines (DAL) said it will stop flying MD-88 airplanes on a scheduled basis at New York’s LaGuardia Airport, effective March 2. Instead, (DAL) said it would fly existing MD-88 routes “on a mix of quieter, more fuel-efficient Airbus A320 family aircraft, Boeing 737s and a limited number of MD-90 mainline airplanes, minimizing environmental impact at the busy airport and reducing overflight noise for millions of nearby residents.”

Delta VP New York Henry Kuykendall said, “(DAL) flights on quieter, more efficient and larger aircraft are good for the community and will also support NextGen initiatives around more fuel-efficient (GPS) routes in New York airspace, the most congested in the world.”

New York Senator Chuck Schumer said (DAL)’s fleet update at LaGuardia “is a very helpful step toward improving environmental and quality-of-life issues. Newer and quieter aircraft bring benefits not only to Delta (DAL) and the flying public, but also to the communities surrounding LaGuardia.”

(DAL) said the removal of the roughly 30 daily scheduled MD-88 departures from LaGuardia underscores its commitment to travelers flying through the primarily business-focused airport. Later this year, (DAL) service between Atlanta and LaGuardia will fly Airbus A320s and Boeing 737-900ERs, “which feature all-new, modern interiors with large, sculpted overhead bins and, on the Boeing 737-900ER, seat-back in-flight entertainment (IFE).”

News Item A-5: 2 737-932ER (31983, N872DN; 31984, N873DN), and A321-211 (7373, N317DN), ex-(F-WZMT) deliveries.

March 2017 News Item A-1: Delta Air Lines (DAL) has acquired an additional +32% of Grupo Aeromexico (AMX)’s outstanding shares for approximately $620 million, and now owns 36.2% of Aeromexico (AMX). (DAL), which already owned a 4.2% stake in Mexico City-based (AMX), acquired 228 million additional shares at MXN53 ($2.71) per share in the tender offer. (DAL) holds options to acquire another 12.8% stake in (AMX), so eventually it could own 49% of (AMX).

(DAL) and (AMX) late last year gained regulatory approval to establish an antitrust-immunized joint venture (JV) for transborder flying. Both carriers are members of the SkyTeam (STM) alliance.

(DAL) (CEO) Ed Bastian said the completion of the tender offer “is yet another milestone that strengthens the (DAL) - (AMX) relationship as we move toward implementing our joint cooperation agreement in the 2nd quarter.”

News Item A-2: (DAL) commenced flights between Minneapolis St Paul (MSP) in Minnesota and Marquette (MQT) in Michigan. Scheduled to begin on March 1, the 1st service actually took place on March 2, with the 1st flight cancelled due to the poor weather conditions at the latter airport (confirmed by data). (DAL) will offer a daily service on the 481 km sector on its 50-seat CRJ 200s. Facing no direct competition, this becomes (DAL)’s 2nd connection to Marquette, with it already welcoming 13x-weekly flights from Detroit, also flown on the same aircraft type. With this launch, (DAL) now offers 1,000 weekly one-way seats from Marquette, with the airport’s only other serving carrier being American Airlines (AAL) which offers 441 weekly seats to Chicago O’Hare.

News Item A-3: Delta Air Lines (DAL) commenced 4 new routes from 3 bases this month, 1 from Raleigh-Durham (RDU) in North Carolina, 1 from Seattle-Tacoma (SEA) in Washington, and 2 from Washington Reagan (DCA) in Virginia. Of the SkyTeam (STM) member’s new services only 1, its new daily link from Raleigh-Durham to Austin Bergstrom (AUS), will not face any direct competition. The most competed route which Delta is entering is the 1,223 km link from Reagan Airport to Orlando (MCO), a sector that is already served by 3 carriers which combined offer 86 weekly flights.

News Item A-4: Delta Air Lines (DAL) will launch daily New York (JFK) - Rio de Janeiro service starting December 21, pending USA Department of Transportation (DOT) approval.

(DAL) will operate a Boeing 767-300 featuring 35 lie-flat business (C class seats, 32 Comfort+ (PY) seats and 143 (Y) economy seats on the Rio de Janeiro route. It will be (DAL)’s 2nd daily nonstop to the city, joining (DAL)’s existing service between Rio and Atlanta.

“(DAL)’s continued route expansions demonstrate our commitment to the Brazilian market and the strength of our alliance with our Brazilian partner, (GOL),” (DAL) Director Brazil Luciano Macagno said.

With the (DAL) - (GOL) alliance, passengers will be able to transfer at Rio’s Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport (GIG) to 23 further destinations within Brazil, (DAL) said.

News Item A-5: Delta Air Lines (DAL) and Korean Air (KAL) have signed a memorandum of understanding to form an antitrust-immunized transpacific joint venture (JV).

The 2 SkyTeam (STM) alliance members (DAL) and (KAL) intend “to create a fully integrated transpacific (JV) arrangement, with both airlines sharing the costs and revenues on flights and coordinating schedules for seamless, convenient connections,” (DAL) and (KAL) said in a joint statement. The carriers’ combined network reaches 290 destinations in the Americas and >80 in Asia. The (JV) will enable (DAL) and (KAL) passengers to earn reciprocal frequent flyer benefits.

The carriers had indicated they were exploring an expanded partnership in September 2016 when (DAL) announced plans to launch daily Boeing 777-200LR flights between Atlanta and Seoul Incheon from June 3, 2017, and expand code sharing with (KAL), which already operates daily Seoul Incheon - Atlanta 777-300ER flights. “This agreement deepens our longstanding partnership with (KAL) and will provide the global access and seamless service our customers demand,” (DAL) (CEO) Ed Bastian said in a March 29 statement. "This joint venture will benefit our customers by providing more convenient connection schedules and widen their opportunities in earning [frequent flyer benefits],” (KAL) Chairman & (CEO) Yang Ho Cho said. Once the final (JV) agreement is signed, “(DAL) and (KAL) will work together to implement all aspects of the enhanced cooperation, including expanded code sharing, frequent flyer programs and joint growth in the transpacific market, with co-location at key hubs [enabling] seamless passenger and baggage transit experience,” the airlines said.

The (JV) will need to gain regulatory approval, including antitrust immunity from the USA Department of Transportation (DOT).

News Item A-6: 3 737-8EH (39608, N503CS; 39620, N775DE; 39624, N776DE) to Amarillo for painting.

April 2017: News Item A-1: Delta Air Lines (DAL) reported a 1st-quarter 2017 net profit of +$603 million, down -36% from net income of +$946 million in the prior-year period, as fuel prices rose sharply year-over-year.

(DAL) said it expects to take a $125 million hit in reduced pre-tax income in the 2nd quarter from the 4,000 flight cancellations resulting from severe thunderstorms April 5 and the subsequent problems in operational recovery over several days related to crew displacement.

“The storms that hit us [April 5] had an impact that, in my 20 years at (DAL), I’ve never seen,” (DAL) (CEO) Ed Bastian told analysts and reporters. “There was a virtual shutdown of Atlanta for the better part of a day. We had crews that were diverted. We had crew rotations that were broken. We apologize and certainly take responsibility for making this better in the future. We were literally running (DAL) hour-by-hour in terms of where crews were and getting them back to where they needed to be.”

He added, “When we have snowstorms, we typically get out of the way. We were not able to get out of the way of this. The Information Technology (IT) worked as designed. It got overwhelmed by the volume [of out-of-place crew]. The equipment worked throughout.”

(DAL) said its 1st-quarter adjusted fuel expense, which takes into account fuel hedging, increased $327 million compared to the same period in 2016, citing 52% higher market prices for fuel. (DAL)’s 1st-quarter revenue was down -1% year-over-year to $9.1 billion, while expenses increased +5% to $8.1 billion. Operating profit was $1.1 billion, down -32% from operating income $1.5 billion in the 2016 March quarter.

(DAL)’s consolidated 1st-quarter traffic rose +0.5% year-over-year to 48 billion (RPM)s on a -0.5% decrease in capacity to 57.9 billon (ASM)s, producing a load factor of 82.9% LF, down -0.8 point. Passenger yield fell -1.4% to 16.3 cents.

News Item A-2: Delta Air Lines (DAL) continued to experience residual delays through the April 8 - 9 weekend following a series of damaging storms in the Atlanta area on April 5.

Approximately 3,500 flights in total were canceled systemwide, but operations as of April 10 “are essentially normal,” according to a (DAL) spokesperson. (DAL)’s re-accommodation efforts through the weekend were hampered not only by limited seats on existing flights because of heavy bookings for USA spring break travel, but also from limited flight crew (FC) availability related to federally-mandated crew rest and duty day guidelines, which prompted additional cancellations and delays. (DAL) preemptively cancelled 275 flights on Saturday and 150 flights on Sunday. “The airline expected to operate >99% of its scheduled operations on April 10 starting the day with approximately 4 flights canceled, though a small number of residual cancellations may have been possible.”

The April 5 series of thunderstorms resulted in a nearly all-day ground stop at Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport, (DAL)'s largest and busiest hub, prompting delays and cancellations.

(DAL) Senior VP & (COO) Gil West described the storms as unprecedented for Atlanta and apologized to affected customers. “While we can’t control the weather, we understand the resulting recovery has not been ideal,” West said. West explained that on a “blue-sky day,” (DAL)’s Atlanta hub is the world’s busiest, with >150,000 passengers processed per day. “Roughly 60% of our 1,250 aircraft fleet cycles through Atlanta on any given day as they arrive from and depart to destinations around the globe. But when weather like we experienced Wednesday hits Atlanta, the resulting impact to (DAL)’s entire operation can be significant,” West said.

“When (DAL) doesn’t fly aircraft, not only do customers not get to their destination, but flight crews (FC)s don’t get to where they are scheduled to be. When this happens, unfortunately, further delays and cancellations result. And flight crews (FC)s can only be on duty for a limited time before rest periods are required by law.”

(DAL)is offering both refunds and no-cost ticket changes to customers affected during the April 5 - 9 period. Rebooked travel must begin no later than April 16.

(DAL) has seen its fair share of systemic difficulties in recent months. Most recently, (DAL) experienced a system shutdown on January 29, when an Information Technology (IT) systems outage ((DAL)’s 2nd in 6 months) triggered a ground stop and cancellation of approximately 280 flights.

News Item A-3: Airbus (EDS)' expansion into Boeing (TBC)'s home market faces a potential setback as Delta Air Lines (DAL) reviews a US$14 billion purchase of (EDS)'s 2 newest wide-body models.

(DAL), known as an influential and shrewd aircraft buyer, is studying its twin-aisle orders amid signs the long-range travel market is saturated, Ed Bastian (DAL)'s (CEO) said. While he didn't name Airbus (EDS), (DAL) has no twin-aisle orders pending with Boeing (TBC).
"We continue to see excess capacity in wide-bodies as we look to the future for the industry," Bastian said, adding that (DAL), which has orders for the Airbus A350 and A330neo, is in discussions with plane makers. "We continue to look internally as to what that means for (DAL). You could anticipate some reductions, I think, broadly over the next several years."

Word of the review intensifies concerns that demand for long-haul planes is weakening as a long jet-buying binge draws to close. The American Airlines Group last year deferred its A350 order, while United Continental Holdings (UAL) said it may swap its A350 purchase for smaller planes.

"It definitely contributes to what's been a building caution, or wall of worry around the wide-body market," said Ken Herbert, an aerospace analyst at Canaccord Genuity.

Airbus (EDS) shares traded 0.6% lower at EUR71.51 in Paris. They closed+ 0.9% higher on April 12th after Bastian's remarks, paring earlier gains of as much as +1.5%. Boeing (TBC) closed down 1.4% to US$176.05, the 2nd-biggest slide among the 30 members of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Airbus (EDS) confirmed that it is in touch with (DAL), while declining to go into detail. "It's not appropriate for us to comment on our customers' internal analysis," spokeswoman Mary Anne Greczyn said by email. "However, as a leading aircraft manufacturer, Airbus (EDS) continually engages our customers around the world to help optimize their fleet needs."

Airbus (EDS) out-dueled Boeing (TBC) for (DAL)'s 50-jet order in 2014 and is slated to begin delivering the 1st of 25 A350s later this year. They're intended to replace the Boeing 747 jumbos that once shuttled (DAL)'s passengers to Asia. (DAL) has also ordered 25 A330neos, a model that's yet to fly, as a replacement for its oldest Boeing 767s. The prospect of (DAL) postponing or cancelling the wide-body order adds to uncertainty over (EDS)'s efforts to make inroads in the USA with its next-generation models.

(AAL) last year delayed its A350 deliveries by an average 26 months and is due to take the 1st of 22 planes next year, spokesman Joshua Freed said. The planes were ordered by US Airways Group, which merged with (AAL) in 2013. (UAL) said last year it was reviewing its purchase of A350-1000s.

(DAL), too, could defer orders to a schedule that better fits its demand forecasts, or shift the mix to other models, according to aviation consultant Scott Hamilton. (DAL) may issue a request for proposals for single-aisle aircraft that would pit Boeing's 737 Max against Airbus's A321neo and will also need a mid-market planes, such as the lighter-weight regional A330 or the so-called 797 under consideration at Boeing, he said by e-mail.

"At face value, (DAL) might seem alarming," Hamilton said. "But as so often becomes the case, the 'review' may not be what it seems."

Sales of twin-aisle jets have slowed as the market absorbs a surplus after Boeing and Airbus boosted output at a 16% annual pace from 2011 through 2015, said Richard Aboulafia, an aerospace analyst at Teal Group. Late last year, Boeing announced a 2nd cut to the production rate of its 777 jetliner amid a sales drought, while A330neo orders have stalled, he said.

In December, (DAL) scrapped a longstanding order for 18 Boeing 787 Dreamliners that it inherited in its 2008 merger with Northwest Airlines. The airline said then that the decision was consistent with the need "to prudently address our wide-body aircraft needs."

May 2017: News Item A-1: "Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Boosts American Airlines, Southwest Airlines Holdings" by (ATW) Aaron Karp, May 16, 2017.

Berkshire Hathaway bought more shares of American Airlines (AAL) and Southwest Airlines (SWA) in the 2017 1st quarter. USA airlines have pointed to Berkshire’s investments in the industry as evidence of its newfound strength, citing Berkshire (CEO) Warren Buffett’s past criticism of airlines as investment vehicles.

According to a USA Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) filing, during the 1st quarter, Berkshire raised its stake in Southwest (SWA) by +10% to 47.7 million shares and in American (AAL) by +8.2% to 49.3 million shares.

It also lowered its stake in Delta Air Lines (DAL) by -8.3% to 55 million shares. The company’s investment in United Airlines (UAL), in which it holds 29 million shares, did not change from the previous quarter. Berkshire now holds stock in the 4 largest USA airlines valued at a total of $9.2 billion.

News Item A-2: USA carriers, like their global counterparts, are seeing a recent pickup in cargo revenues.

News Item A-3: Bombardier (BMB)’s pricing on its sale of 75 firm CSeries aircraft to Delta Air Lines (DAL) was “normal course” business and not improper, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft (BMB) President Fred Cromer said.

Cromer defended the CSeries program’s most significant order, which has come under attack by both Boeing (TBC) and Embraer (EMB). Boeing (TBC) has formally asked the USA government to protest Canadian government assistance to the CSeries program, and in particular alleges that Bombardier (BMB) offered the CSeries to (DAL) at an “absurdly low” $19.6 million per aircraft, well below what (TBC) described as the aircraft’s production cost of $33.2 million. (DAL)a placed a firm order for 75 CS100 aircraft, plus 50 options, in April 2016. “The (TBC) numbers are not accurate, whether we’re talking about the sales price or the production cost,” Cromer said. He did note that “early airplanes are expensive [to produce] and every manufacturer looks at the entire program” when pricing aircraft.

While (BMB) started marketing the CSeries as early as 2005, and originally intended for the aircraft to enter service in 2013, the program had endured a raft of delays and missteps when Cromer came on board in 2015 as part of a new (Bombardier management team led by President & (CEO) Alain Bellemare. Cromer said the CSeries program was effectively “reintroduced and relaunched” at the 2015 Paris Air Show and pricing on 2016 orders, including to Air Canada (ACN) and (DAL), should be viewed in that context. “We were absolutely reintroducing this aircraft,” Cromer said. “We even used the words, ‘We’re relaunching the program.’ The pricing of any aircraft at any given time in a program can be volatile.” He said (BMB) had to account for the “perceived risk” (ACN) and (DAL) were taking by ordering a new aircraft.

(TBC) and (EMB), which pushed the Brazilian government to go to the World Trade Organization over the CSeries, allege (BMB) is improperly able to sell the aircraft at market distorting prices because of the Quebec provincial government’s $1 billion investment in the CSeries program and $372.5 million/$276 million in repayable support from the Canadian federal government over 4 years for the CSeries and Global 7000 aircraft programs. That assistance violates trade rules, (TBC) and (EMB) claim. “We were very careful to make sure the investments were done in a way that was fully compliant with trade regulations,” Cromer said, adding that the arrangements with Quebec and the Canadian federal government were “carefully designed to be compliant. We’ve got all the confidence in the world that this is not going to be an issue.”

737-932ER (31989, N878DN) and A321-211 (7546, N320DN), ex-(F-WZMB) deliveries.

June 2017: "The Subsidy Irony of Anderson’s New Gig" by Karen Walker, in (ATW) Editor's Blog, June 27, 2017.

Amtrak’s pick of former Delta Air Lines (DAL) Chairman & (CEO) Richard Anderson to be its President & (CEO) provides exactly the sort of tough leadership that the woefully-inadequate USA passenger rail line needs. Anderson, who will join Amtrak July 12, certainly has the smarts and the laser-like business skills that are needed. And Amtrak’s repair needs are many (in safety, reliability, customer service and financial). As my colleague Aaron Karp once blogged, Amtrak is a perpetual money-loser despite receiving billions of dollars of government subsidies each year. And on top of the annual subsidies, the outgoing Obama administration last year announced a Department of Transportation loan of $2.45 billion dollars for Amtrak’s NE corridor (the largest such loan in the government’s history.

So here’s the irony. Anderson, the man who started all the government subsidy finger-pointing at the Gulf carriers, is about to take the helm of a heavily-government subsidized public transportation system.

“I’m passionate about building strong businesses that create the best travel experience possible for customers,” Anderson said. And hopefully, one that doesn’t bleed the taxpayer year in, year out.

July 2017: News Item A-1: Delta Air Lines (DAL) posted a +$1.2 billion net profit for the 2nd quarter of 2017, down -21% from +$1.5 billion in net income for (2Q) 2016. (DAL) reported $10.9 billion in operating revenue for the quarter, up +3.3% year-over-year (YOY).

“This was the best June quarter in (DAL)’s history. We grew our top line by +3% this quarter, the 1st (YOY) increase we’ve reported in 2 years,” (DAL) (CEO) Ed Bastian said on July 13. (DAL) reported an 18.8% operating margin for the quarter, down -4.4 points (YOY).

“The quarter could have been even better,” Bastian said, as (DAL) absorbed a -$125 million pre-tax loss from the operational disruption following severe storms that hit Atlanta in early April. “While we can’t control the weather, we can improve our recovery,” Bastian said. “We’ve accelerated technology investments and implemented process improvements for the summer that incorporate what we learned from the April event.”

(DAL) canceled 4,000 flights following the April 5 storm as (DAL) grappled with crew displacement and operational recovery issues for several subsequent days.

“The June quarter marked Delta’s return to unit revenue growth after 2-and-a-half years,” (DAL) President Glen Hauenstein said. In addition to the $261 million in passenger revenue growth, (DAL) reported a significant +11% (YOY) surge in cargo revenue during the 2nd quarter, to $183 million, the 1st positive movement in (DAL)’s cargo unit since 2014, driven by increased freight and mail volumes.

(DAL)’s 2nd-quarter expenses totaled $8.7 billion; operating profit came in at +$2 billion, down -16.3% from +$2.4 billion in (2Q) 2016.

(DAL)’s consolidated 2nd-quarter traffic rose +2.1% year-over-year to 57.6 billion (RPM)s on a -0.4% decrease in capacity to 66.2 billion (ASM)s, producing a load factor of 86.9% LF, up +1.4 points (YOY). Passenger yield was up +0.8% to 16.03 cents. (PRASM) increased +2.5% to 13.94 cents; (TRASM) increased +2.9% to 16.29 cents. Hauenstein noted “with 3 consecutive months of positive (RASM) (and it’s actually 4), we’re going to hold Ed to his deal and we will no longer be reporting our monthly revenue results.”

“While 2017 is a transition period for (DAL), we are encouraged by the improvement in unit revenues. Fuel prices are lower and this gives us increasing confidence to drive margin expansion in the back half of the year,” Bastian said. “In each of the next 3 years we are targeting operating margins in the range of 16% to 18%, (EPS) growth of +15% and $4.5 to $5.5 billion of free cash flow.”

As of June 30, (DAL) is reporting $1.8 billion in year-to-date net profit, down -26.7% from +$2.5 billion at the 2016 half-year mark. Half-year operating revenue is $19.9 billion, up +1.2% (YOY); half-year operating expenses total $16.9 billion, up +7.1% (YOY). (DAL)'s 6-month operating profit stands at +$3.1 billion, down -22.3% (YOY).

(DAL) took delivery of its 1st Airbus A350-900 on July 13, which will be placed in service on October 30 on the Detroit - Tokyo Narita route. This is the 1st of 5 of the type (DAL) will take this year. (DAL) has a total of 25 A350-900s on order. The A350-900 will feature (DAL)’s all-suite business-class (C) product.

News Item A-2: Delta Air Lines (DAL) is beefing up its Boston operation with 2 new routes, bringing the total number of destinations served from the city to 47.

From October 1, (DAL) will begin 2x-daily flights between Boston and Pittsburgh through Delta Connection carrier Endeavor Air. The new service is aimed at business travelers, with flights in each direction timed to arrive early in the morning and to depart in the evening. (DAL) is the only airline offering a 1st-class cabin on the route.

By contrast, (DAL)’s service to New Orleans is aimed at leisure travelers. The seasonal service will operate between February 10 and April 1, 2018, on Saturdays and Sundays. “(DAL) is committed to becoming Boston’s global carrier of choice, and we continue to invest in Boston with our new Pittsburgh and New Orleans service for business and leisure customers,” Delta VP Network Planning The Americas, Joe Esposito said, announcing the new service. “Boston continues to play a larger role in (DAL)’s overall network, and we will continue to invest in new service important to Bostonians.”

(DAL) operates 103 daily flights from Boston, including flights to 17 international destinations. (DAL) has announced 10 new markets from Boston this year so far, including: Tampa, Florida; Dublin; San Francisco; Buffalo, New York; and Austin, Texas.

August 2017: News Item A-1: Delta Air Lines (DAL) will begin 3x-weekly New York (JFK) - Lagos, Nigeria services from March 24, 2018. (DAL) said the new service will complement its 4x-weekly service from Atlanta to Lagos.

The new route will use an Airbus A330-200, which offers 34F lie-flat seats with direct-aisle access in Delta One, 32PY in Delta Comfort+ and 168Y seats in the main cabin.

Delta VP New York, Henry Kuykendall said the new route to the African continent “joins existing service from (JFK) to Dakar and Accra, and follows new transatlantic routes to Lisbon, Berlin and Glasgow that began this spring.”

(DAL) flies to 4 African cities: Accra, Ghana; Dakar, Senegal; and Johannesburg, South Africa; in addition to Lagos, where (DAL) will mark its 10th anniversary of service in December. “Nigeria has been a strategically important market for (DAL) over the past 10 years and is a mainstay in our African network,” Delta Senior VP Transatlantic Dwight James said. “As we look ahead to the next decade, we are improving the product offering with the A330 and increasing the number of seats from Lagos.”

News Item A-2: Delta Air Lines (DAL) has broken ground on a 37-gate terminal at New York LaGuardia Airport (LGA) that will replace 2 aging terminal facilities. The price tag on the terminal is $4 billion, $3.4 billion of which will be covered by (DAL) making the largest investment in an airport facility in (DAL)’s history.

The construction is part of a larger redevelopment of (LGA) being carried out by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which will cover $600 million of the (DAL) terminal’s cost. The Port Authority has given (DAL) a 50-year lease to manage the terminal (DAL) is building at the airport. Full completion of the upgrade to (LGA) is expected by 2021.

(DAL)’s new (LGA) terminal will feature 4 concourses. The 37 gates will be “flexibly sized” so they can accommodate the full range of aircraft in Delta’s fleet. The terminal will also have a (DAL) Sky Club lounge, more general seating than the terminals it is replacing and +30% more concessions space than the current terminals.

Delta (DAL) opened a $1.2 billion terminal at New York (JFK) International Airport in 2013.

News Item A-3: "Air France (AFA) - (KLM) & Virgin Atlantic (VAA): Culture Clash?" by (ATW) Victoria Moores, July 28, 2017.

Air France (AFA) - (KLM) pulled a surprise move, announcing plans to acquire 31% of UK long-haul carrier Virgin Atlantic (VAA), but how will the partnership play out in terms of culture and strategy?

From a strategic standpoint, the acquisition joins up a few SkyTeam (STM) alliance dots. (AFA) - (KLM) has a strong relationship with USA major Delta Air Lines (DAL), which in turn has a maximum 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic (VAA). Meanwhile, SkyTeam (STM) alliance members (DAL) and China Eastern (CEA) are each buying 10% of Air France (AFA) - (KLM).

There are definite gains to be had on both sides of the Channel. (VAA) will finally get the short-haul feed it has been craving for years, since its failed attempts to buy UK short-haul carrier bmi. Meanwhile, Air France (AFA) gets a solid London foothold to add to its Paris and Amsterdam hubs.

But do equity partnerships truly work? The "Qualiflyer Group" tried this strategy. It failed. Air Afrique (AFR) also tried it and failed.

Another equity investment story is playing out at the Etihad (EHD) Group, which has just offloaded its stake in Swiss regional Darwin Airline (flying as Etihad Regional). Meanwhile, 2 other investments: Alitalia (ALI) and airberlin (BER) continue to bleed cash, contributing to Etihad (EHD)’s -$1.87 billion net loss for 2016.

The Lufthansa (DLH) Group and the International Airlines Group (IAG)’s portfolio of airline brands seem to be better examples of industry consolidation, but these are typically full-control ventures.

How much strategic benefit do smaller (but significant) equity stakes truly bring, compared with non-equity joint ventures?

Also, how will this fit with the UK’s plans to exit the European Union (EU) (Brexit), if UK carrier Virgin Atlantic (VAA) has 79% foreign ownership (49% Delta (DAL) and 30% (AFA) - (KLM))?

Then there’s the problem of cultural fit. (AFA) - (KLM) and (VAA)’s cultures are very different. (AFA) trades on its lengthy history, exuding a certain elegance and grace. (KLM) is more in line with (VAA), with an edgy, modern and slightly rebellious personality.

But here’s the rub. Air France (AFA) and (KLM) joined forces in 2004 and (despite 13 years together) the 2 companies are still batting a serious cultural divide. How well will (AFA) mesh with (VAA)?

News Item A-4: Delta Air Lines (DAL) took delivery of its 1st A350-900 on July 13, an event celebrated by Airbus (EDS) as a major milestone for the program. After all, the aircraft was the 1st A350 delivered to a North American customer. But while (DAL) now is slowly starting to renew its wide body fleet, this delivery cannot hide the fact that the USA market has been troubling for 3 of the latest wide body programs (the A350, Boeing 787 and 777X).

September 2017: News Item A-1: Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines (DAL) canceled about 900 flights on September 11 as crosswinds from Tropical Storm Irma are expected to impact (DAL)’s hub at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL). (DAL) said the expected strong winds will exceed operating limits on select mainline and regional aircraft.

“At issue is Irma’s anticipated general north-south wind direction relative to Atlanta’s east-west runway configuration,” (DAL) said. “As is the case at all airports, Atlanta’s 5 runways are aligned with the prevailing wind, which generally blows from the east or west. Aircraft are best suited to take off and land into the wind for better performance. When the wind direction is perpendicular to the runway, it’s called a crosswind and can make landing challenging and potentially unsafe. A slight crosswind is allowable and can be safely managed, but a 40 mph or greater crosswind, as the storm is expected to bring in Atlanta, may exceed allowable limits.”

(DAL) also advised that wind shear and lightning may occur in the Atlanta region and prompt additional flight cancellations.

Airline and airport operations throughout the SE USA and the Caribbean remain in a state of recovery and assessment following Irma’s path of destruction and upheaval over the past week. St Maarten’s Princess Juliana International Airport took a direct hit September 6 when Irma was still a category 5 hurricane, and reportedly suffered catastrophic damage.

Airports in Florida were largely shuttered over the weekend, beginning Friday evening September 8. Thousands of flights to Florida and the Caribbean were canceled during the period; the total number of flights cancelled remains to be calculated.

Hurricane Irma shifted course as it moved from Cuba toward Florida September 9 to 10. Instead of a direct USA hit on Miami, the storm moved over the Florida Keys and up the state’s Gulf coast, impacting Fort Myers and Tampa directly, as hurricane-force winds and rain battered the entire state. As of 11 am September 11, the now downgraded tropical storm is moving into SW Georgia, but its maximum sustained winds of about 65 mph extend outward up to 415 miles from the storm center (from Tallahassee, Florida in the west to Charleston, South Carolina in the east).

Meanwhile, at least 8 major airlines have announced flight cancellations September 11 as airports in the impacted regions assess infrastructure damage and evaluate resuming operations. Several cancellations are extended through September 13.

Besides (DAL), (LCC)s including Las Vegas-based Allegiant Air (WJE), Denver-based Frontier Airlines (FRO) and Fort Lauderdale-based Spirit Airlines (SPR) have all canceled flights September 11. Alaska Airlines (ASA) also canceled September 11 flights, as well as New York-based JetBlue (JBL) (which canceled about 520 flights September 10 to 11 and an additional 730 flights from September 11 to 13), South America’s (LATAM) Airlines (LAN)/(TPR), Dallas-based Southwest Airlines (SWA), and Mexican (LCC) Volaris (VLS).

Dallas/Fort Worth-based American Airlines (AAL), Aeromexico (AMX), and Chicago-based United (UAL) have issued travel alerts regarding affected airports, as well as travel change fee waivers, but have not specified cancellations.

(DAL) is planning to restart flights the afternoon/evening of September 11 at Miami International Airport (MIA); Fort Lauderdale (FLL); West Palm Beach (PBI); Melbourne (MLB); Orlando (MCO); Jacksonville (JAX); with tentative plans for September 12 resumption of service at Key West (EYW); Fort Myers (RSW); Tampa (TPA). (DAL)’s resumption of service to Caribbean airports in St Maarten (SXM), St Thomas (STT) and Nassau, Bahamas (NAS) is pending infrastructure assessment.

Several airlines are helping in the post-hurricane humanitarian effort. Delta (DAL) on September 11 operated a flight from (ATL) to St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands, which took a direct hit and is still mostly cut off, delivering recovery supplies and carrying out 150 USA citizens to Detroit, including those with medical needs.

(DAL) said the Boeing 757 was loaded with items for St Thomas airport, which is still closed to scheduled flights, including (TSA) supplies, satellite phones, batteries and phone chargers. Water, dry goods and non-perishable items were also included.

News Item A-2: Delta Air Lines (DAL) operated its final Tokyo Narita to Honolulu flight with a Boeing 747, and plans to retire the 747 fleet by the end of 2017.

News Item A-3: Beginning May 16, 2018, (DAL) will offer daily Detroit (DTW) to Paris Charles de Gaulle service. From May 24, (DAL) will launch 5x-weekly New York (JFK) to Ponta Delgada to Azores and 3x-weekly New York (JFK) to Lagos, Nigeria. From May 24 to September 4, 2018, (DAL) will operate daily, Atlanta - Lisbon, Portugal Boeing 767 service. (DAL) will begin 3x-weekly Los Angeles (LAX) to Paris Charles de Gaulle and 4x-weekly (LAX) to Amsterdam Schiphol Boeing 777-200LR service from June 16, 2018.

News Item A-4: The USA will impose a duty of almost 220% on Bombardier (BMB) CSeries imports if a parallel price-dumping investigation finds subsidies on the narrow body jet ordered by (DAL) in April 2016 threaten to materially damage Boeing (TBC). The duty is expected to be in place before deliveries to (DAL) begin in April.

“The US Department of Commerce today affirmed that (BMB) has taken massive illegal subsidies in violation of existing trade law,” (TBC) said after a September 26 preliminary ruling by the Commerce Department. “Early next month, Commerce is expected to confirm the magnitude of the illegal dumping and announce additional duties.”

Boeing (TBC) claims the CSeries was sold to (DAL) for <$20 million, well below the $33 million price of production—figures (BMB) and (DAL) dispute. (TBC) sought a duty of 160%, but Commerce has assessed a subsidy rate of 219.3%. “We strongly disagree with the Commerce Department’s preliminary decision,” (BMB) said. “The magnitude of the proposed duty is absurd and divorced from the reality about the financing of multibillion-dollar aircraft programs. USA trade laws were never intended to be used in this manner.”

Boeing (TBC) alleged the CS100 price secured by (DAL) endangers the future of the 737 MAX 7, the smallest version of the MAX family, although (TBC) acknowledges it did not offer the airplane to meet (DAL)’s requirement for a 100 to 110-seat airplane.

This rapid, USA-only action contrasts with the long-running battle over Airbus (EDS) and Boeing (TBC) subsidies, which has been ongoing at the World Trade Organization (WTO) since 2005. If the USA imposes the countervailing duty on CSeries, Canada is expected to take its case to the (WTO).

“The USA values its relationships with Canada, but even our closest allies must play by the rules,” USA Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said. “Commerce’s preliminary determinations almost always rule in favor of the USA complainant,” Canadian Foreign Affairs minister Chrystia Freeland said. “Canada simply disagrees with the anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations. This is clearly aimed at eliminating [the CSeries] from the USA market.”

UK Prime Minister Theresa May said on Twitter that she was “bitterly disappointed” by the Commerce decision. Wings for the CSeries are produced in Northern Ireland and the UK provided repayable launch aid for the aircraft alongside the governments of Canada and Quebec.

In addition to the parallel price-dumping and countervailing duty, investigations in the USA by the Commerce Department and International Trade Commission, Canada faces a (WTO) dispute filed earlier this year by Brazil and Embraer (EMB) over subsidies for Bombardier (BMB) and the CSeries.

“If Commerce makes an affirmative final determination, and the USA [ITC] makes an affirmative final decision that imports of aircraft from Canada threaten material injury to the domestic industry, Commerce will issue a [countervailing duty] order,” the Commerce Department stated.

If the order proceeds, USA customs will be instructed to collect cash deposits from importers of CSeries aircraft. (DAL) has not commented on the preliminary decision and (BMB) has declined to discuss what other options it may have if the duty is imposed.

October 2017: News Item A-1: "Delta Takes $120 million Hit from Hurricane Irma; Lowers (3Q) Margin" by Mark Nensel, (ATW) Plus, October 3, 2017.

Hurricane Irma cost Delta Air Lines (DAL) $120 million in lost revenue, leading (DAL) to lower its 3rd-quarter operating margin expectations by about one percentage point, to between 15.5% and 16.5%, (DAL) said October 3. Irma was the 2nd of 3 major hurricanes to severely affect the USA mainland and the Caribbean to date in 2017; the storm knocked out or limited airline passenger operations throughout Florida September 8 to 11.

News Item A-2: "Delta Acknowledges ‘Unsustainable’ 3Q Unit Cost Growth Rate" by Aaron Karp (ATW) Plus, October 11, 2017.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) is targeting its unit cost performance as a key area where improvement is needed, acknowledging its 3rd-quarter 4.8% year-over-year (YOY) (CASM) ex-fuel growth rate cannot be sustained long term. (DAL)’s 2017 3rd-quarter net profit dropped -6% year-over-year (YOY) to $1.2 billion as lost revenue from Hurricane Irma and rising costs (particularly labor expenditures stemming from a new pilot (FC) contract) drove down bottom-line earnings.

News Item A-3: "China Eastern (CEA) and Delta (DAL) Complete Air France - KLM Buy-in" by (ATW) Victoria Moores, October 5, 2017.

SkyTeam (STM) Alliance members Air France (AFA) - (KLM), Delta Air Lines (DAL) and China Eastern Airlines (CEA) have completed a series of share transactions aimed at strengthening their strategic partnership.

Under the agreement, which was originally announced July 27, (CEA) and (DAL) are each taking a 10% stake in (AFA) - (KLM), which will in turn acquire 31% of UK-based long-haul carrier Virgin Atlantic (VAA). “Each of (CEA) and (DAL) now holds 10% of (AFA) - (KLM)’s share capital and has consequently 1 director representing it at (AFA) - (KLM)’s board of directors,” (AFA) said.

>75 million new (AFA) - (KLM) shares have been admitted to the Euronext Paris and Amsterdam stock exchanges, injecting €751 million/($893 million) into (AFA) - (KLM). “This operation is an integral part of the "Trust Together" project, allowing (AFA) - (KLM) to regain the offensive, to reinforce its commercial integration with its principal partners and to continue improving its financial structure,” (AFA) - (KLM) said.

News Item A-4: The USA government’s duty on imported Bombardier (BMB) CSeries airliners would increase to almost 300% after a 2nd ruling issued by the USA Commerce Department on October 6th. In its 2nd ruling on Boeing (TBC)’s dispute against (BMB) over the sale of CSeries aircraft to Delta Air Lines (DAL), Commerce proposes imposing a price-dumping duty of almost 80% on each aircraft imported. This would be on top of the proposed almost 220% countervailing duty on CSeries imports that the Commerce Department announced initially.

(DAL) (CEO) Ed Bastian said (DAL) will not pay tariffs on the Bombardier (BMB) CSeries and acknowledged the brewing trade dispute between the USA and Canada over the aircraft may delay its delivery to (DAL). (DAL) has 75 CS100s on firm order and is scheduled to take delivery of its 1st in the spring of 2018. (DAL)’s order, which also includes options for 50 more CSeries aircraft, led Boeing (TBC) to file a complaint with the USA Commerce Department.

News Item A-5: North American airlines are facing headwinds in 2017 that are lowering operating margins compared to 2015 and 2016, but air travel demand in the region remains strong and the overall industry outlook remains stable, according to Fitch Ratings. In a new report issued October 23, Fitch analysts said higher wages, higher jet fuel prices and “intense competition” are leading to “weaker operating margins and deterioration in credit metrics for North American carriers.

News Item A-6: Delta Air Lines (DAL) is exploring making Aeromexico (AMX) a “2nd-tier” member of the (DAL) - Air France (AFA) - (KLM) - Alitalia (ALI) transatlantic joint venture (JV), according to (DAL) (CEO) Ed Bastian.

(DAL) and Aeromexico (AMX) launched an antitrust-immunized transborder (JV) in May 2017. (DAL) owns 36.2% of (AMX). (DAL) is also part of 2 antitrust-immunized transatlantic (JV)s: 1 with (AFA) - (KLM) and (ALI) and another with Virgin Atlantic (VAA) ((DAL) owns 49% of Virgin Atlantic (VAA)). (DAL) is seeking to form a new (DAL) - (AFA) - (KLM) & (VAA) (JV) following a 10% stake purchase in (AFA) - (KLM).

The transborder and transatlantic (JV)s create the odd circumstance of (AMX) (which is in full partnership with (DAL) on USA to Mexico flying) competing against (DAL)’s transatlantic partners on Mexico to Europe flying. “We have an opportunity now that we’re in an ownership position at (AMX) for them to take advantage of the transatlantic (JV) flows that exist today. Right now they compete against the European partners.”

Bastian said (DAL) is “looking at a way to bring” (AMX) into a “2nd-tier membership” in the (DAL) - (AFA) - (KLM) - (ALI) transatlantic (JV). “We’re working with our European partners as well as (AMX) to try to figure out a way to do that,” he said. “We do see some nice growth opportunities between Mexico and Europe.”

Bastian called the (DAL) - (AMX) (JV) “a great success” so far. “We’re growing our traffic into Mexico at a double-digit clip and (AMX) is growing their traffic into the USA at a double-digit clip,” he said, adding that the (DAL) - (AMX) (JV) is expected to continue to grow “in a significant way.”

November 2017: News Item A-1: As in-flight connectivity provider Gogo continues the rollout of its latest satellite-based in-flight internet technology, it is also working to upgrade its air-to-ground system with faster speeds.

Gogo said it logged a successful test flight equipped with its latest air-to-ground in-flight internet offering, (ATG-NG). It uses a network designed to provide faster speeds to customers flying throughout North America on regional and business aircraft, and will be available next year.

The test was performed on Gogo’s own aircraft, spokeswoman Meredith Payette told (ATW) sister publication Aviation Daily. The company expects the upgrade will provide an experience similar to its latest satellite-based product, "2Ku," and deliver peak speeds of >100 Mbps per aircraft via a new antenna and modem. It is too early to tell how quickly each device will be reached, she noted.

Gogo has focused on ramping up (2Ku) installations this year. 14 carriers have committed to outfitting >1,900 aircraft with the technology, including Delta Air Lines (DAL), Alaska Airlines (ASA) and (LATAM) Airlines Brazil (TPR). (2Ku) had been installed on >320 aircraft as of October 31, Gogo reported in its 3rd-quarter earnings update. Gogo installed (2Ku) on 76 aircraft in October alone.

“We are on target to reach our guidance of 450 to 550 (2Ku) installations for the year,” (CEO) Michael Small told investors during a November 2 earnings call. About 1 3rd of the commercial North American fleet will be connected with (2Ku) by the end of 2018, he added.

Small noted that Gogo is changing its strategy as higher-bandwidth technology takes to the skies, focusing on increasing engagement throughout the aircraft, instead of primarily on driving yield via business travelers.

“Quite simply, we’re switching from maximizing yield (the business traveler segment) to a strategy that engages the entire aircraft, and I’m very pleased with how that’s going,” he said.

Take rates for Gogo’s technology are expected to increase as higher bandwidth improves the customer experience, Small noted. In the commercial North American market, this figure rose to 7.5% year-over-year from 6.5%. This is in part due to an expanded partnership with T-Mobile, and programs to offer free messaging through web apps on Delta (DAL).

Gogo’s 3rd-quarter net loss widened 36% year-over-year to $45.3 million. Revenues increased +17% year-over-year to $172.9 million.

December 2017: News Item A-1: Delta Air Lines (DAL) and Canada’s WestJet (WJI) have signed a preliminary Memo Of Understanding (MOU) to form a joint venture (JV) that will include coordinated schedules and pricing on USA to Canada transborder flights.

(DAL) and (WJI) already code share, but the (JV) will lead to expanded code sharing and “seamless connections on the airlines’ extensive networks in the USA and Canada.”

(WJI) President & (CEO) Gregg Saretsky said the 2 carriers will have “fully reciprocal” frequent flyer program benefits under the (JV).
(DAL) and (WJI) plan to finalize the terms of the (JV) agreement in the 1st half of 2018 and aim to launch the (JV) in the 1st half of 2019. The (JV) requires the approval of both airlines’ boards and regulatory clearance from the USA and Canada. Given that pricing will be coordinated, the carriers will need to gain antitrust immunity from both countries’ governments.

“We anticipate that the agreement will be reviewed by USA and Canadian regulatory authorities,” (DAL) said. “On the US side, this includes the Department of Transportation.”

(DAL) President International & Executive VP Global Sales Steve Sear said the carriers’ combined transborder network “captures 95% of demand between the 2 countries.”

The announcement of the proposed (JV) across the northern USA border comes 7 months after (DAL) launched a USA - Mexico transborder (JV) with Aeromexico (AMX). Sear noted that a (DAL) - (WJI) (JV) would be (DAL)’s 8th cross-border agreement with another airline that features a (JV) or an equity stake, or both.

Citing Aeromexico (AMX) and Air France (AFA) - (KLM), both of which are partly owned by (DAL) and have antitrust-immunized (JV)s with (DAL), Saretsky said a (DAL) - (WJI) (JV) will “open doors for [WJI] to play with those partners.”

(DAL) and (WJI) began interlining in 2011 and code sharing in 2012. Their cooperation caused a planned extensive code sharing accord between (WJI) and Southwest Airlines (SWA) to be terminated before it was implemented. (SWA), which had wanted to partner with (WJI) to extend its reach to Canada, said (WJI)’s plans with (DAL) were “inconsistent” with the (WJI) - (SWA) deal.

The (DAL) - (WJI) (JV) is slated launch around the same time the 1st of (WJI)’s 10 Boeing 787-9s is scheduled to be delivered in 2019. Both the addition of 787s and the (JV) with Delta mark key milestones for (WJI) as “we morph into a longer-haul international carrier,” Saretsky said.

News Item A-2: "(NAFTA) Airlines" by Aaron Karp in AirKarp, December 7, 2017.

“A big part of our mission here is making the world a smaller and smaller and smaller place” Delta Air Lines (CEO) Ed Bastian, October 18, 2017. This quote from Bastian, uttered as he fielded questions from reporters in Atlanta to witness the public debut of (DAL)’s 1st Airbus A350-900 in mid-October, reverberated after (DAL) and WestJet (WJI) announced their preliminary agreement to form a USA - Canada transborder joint venture. Coming just 7 months after (DAL) and Aeromexico (AMX) kicked off a transborder (JV) on the USA’s southern border, a (DAL) - (WJI) tie-up could lead to the creation of a de facto trans-North American airline with an extensive network spanning the continent.

(WJI) (CEO) Gregg Saretsky has already signaled an interest in using the prospective (DAL) - (WJI) (JV) as a door to cooperation with (AMX) (and other (DAL) global partners, for that matter). (AMX) is 36%-owned by (DAL), which effectively added Mexico City, Monterrey and Guadalajara to its North American hub network of Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York (JFK), Salt Lake City and Seattle, when it launched the USA - Mexico transborder (JV). (WJI), with its roots as a point-to-point (LCC), is just starting to develop a hub-and-spoke network fueled in part by feeder traffic from its (WJI) Encore regional subsidiary.

If the (WJI) - (DAL) (JV) launches in 2019 as planned, (DAL) will at least add (WJI)-base Calgary to its hub network. But (WJI), Canada’s 2nd-biggest airline, which will start taking delivery of Boeing 787-9s in 2019 and has its eyes on transpacific flights to China, surely will continue to build its presence across Canada, including in Vancouver and Toronto.

From an air transport perspective, the Mexico - USA and USA - Canada borders are largely artificial. Were it not for ownership and control restrictions, an “Air North America” would already exist and treat Canada, the USA and Mexico as a single market. (DAL) is pushing in this direction.

The combination of antitrust-immunized (JV)s across both USA borders — with airport facilities co-located and costs and revenue pooled — creates a potentially powerful network that touches not just North America’s major cities, but gives (DAL) and its partners access to passengers in small markets in all 3 countries. Those passengers, in turn, get access to an immense global network. You won’t have to live in Atlanta or Mexico City or Toronto to, with perhaps just 1 connection, get to a (DAL) A350 headed for Seoul or an (AMX) 777 headed for Madrid or a (WJI) 787 headed for Shanghai.

Expect talks to quickly heat up again to revive the Air Canada (ACN) - United Airlines (UAL) transborder (JV) idea the carriers scrapped in 2012 after regulators, particularly in Ottawa, required too many concessions. The Canadian government has signaled it will start looking at airline antitrust-immunity cases with a broader “public interest” perspective and not nit-pick route-for-route, as it did with (ACN) - (UAL) earlier this decade.

Bastian said the (DAL) - (AMX) (JV) has super-charged growth for both carriers on transborder flying. “We’re growing our traffic into Mexico at a double-digit clip and (AMX) is growing their traffic into the USA at a double-digit clip,” he said, adding that the (JV) is expected to continue to grow “in a significant way.” Imagine the potential of adding another (JV) traversing the USA - Canada border to the equation.

News Item A-3: Delta Air Lines (DAL canceled 1,375 flights December 8 to 9 as an early winter storm brought over 2 inches of snow to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), (DAL)’s largest hub. (DAL) said the snowfall over the weekend nearly equaled the Atlanta region’s full-year average annual total of snow accumulation. The storm, which had earlier impacted SE Texas and much of the USA deep south, continued up the east coast Saturday December 9, causing delays at airports in the mid-Atlantic, New York and Boston, which reverberated to domestic and international flights transiting through the affected airports. Aircraft de-icing requirements were enacted at the airports in the storm’s path all day Saturday. (DAL) said its operations at (ATL) fully stabilized Saturday. By Sunday December 10, operations largely returned to normal at east coast airports as the storm moved on.

* Delta Air Lines moved to restore operations Monday after a complete power outage at its base hub, Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport (ATL), forced the airline to cancel about 1,300 flights December 17 and 18.

According to electric utility Georgia Power, a December 17 fire in an underground facility “caused extensive damage,” including to substations serving (ATL). Despite “many redundant systems” in place to preserve power to the airport, (ATL) went dark from about 1 pm December 17 to 12 am December 18, an 11-hour blackout that forced the (FAA) to ground all air traffic to/from (ATL). About 1,200 total flights were canceled December 17, most of which were (DAL) flights.

Airports Council International ranked (ATL) as the world’s busiest airport in 2016 in terms of passengers handled. It handled >104 million passengers in 2016.

While (DAL) Systems played no part in the episode, the (ATL) blackout likely will be costly for (DAL). Its domestic and global networks were impacted by the shutdown of its main hub and (DAL) offered hotel reimbursement to customers stranded in Atlanta. It is also providing a temporary flight change-fee waiver for passengers flying to, from or transiting through Atlanta.

The blackout occurred just 10 days after a winter storm in (ATL) forced (DAL) to cancel nearly 1,400 flights over 2 days. “(DAL) canceled about 300 flights as it worked to recover from a power outage at the (ATL) airport that shut down the facility for much of Sunday. Nearly 1,000 (DAL) flights were canceled on Sunday following the power outage, which impacted all airlines operating in Atlanta.”

Another 100 non-(DAL) flights were canceled December 18. Delays at the airport were expected, and (DAL) encouraged passengers to arrive as early as possible, noting trains that ferry passengers among (ATL)’s terminals were still not operational Monday morning. (ATL) said the trains started running again at 10:15 am Monday.

Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed offered “my sincere apologies to the thousands of passengers whose day has been disrupted” in a Sunday night press conference.

The (ATL) blackout marked the 2nd straight year (DAL) has been severely impacted by a power outage. (DAL) lost about $100 million in revenue in 2016 because of an August system crash that led to 2,300 canceled flights over 3 days. The system failure was caused by a power outage at (DAL)’s Atlanta headquarters, followed by key systems not switching over to redundant backup power.

(DAL) spent $200 million on a backup system to prevent a repeat. But the December 17 fire and power outage appear to be related to systems over which (DAL) has no direct control.

Former USA Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx was among passengers who were stuck on a number of aircraft on the (ATL) tarmac that could not deplane because of the lack of electricity in the airport. On Twitter, he said the (DAL) aircraft he was aboard sat on the tarmac and did not deplane for 5 hours on Sunday. “Total and abject failure here,” Foxx posted on Twitter while aboard the aircraft, adding, “There is no excuse for lack of workable redundant power source. NONE!”

* Follow-up:

Delta Air Lines (DAL) (CEO) Ed Bastian estimated the 11-hour power blackout at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) on December 17 cost (DAL) between $25 and $50 million, a (DAL) spokesperson confirmed on December 21.

(DAL) is planning to “have conversations with Georgia Power and (ATL) on reimbursement.” (DAL), which operates its largest hub at (ATL), canceled 1,400 flights between December 17 and 18 as the airport (and thousands of passengers, airline crews, airport personnel and hundreds of flights world wide) struggled to cope with a complete power outage at the world’s busiest airport, at the start of the 2017 to 2018 holiday travel season.

Georgia Power, the region’s electric utility provider, said a fire in an underground facility caused extensive damage, including to substations serving (ATL). (ATL) went dark from about 1 pm December 17 to 12 am December 18, forcing the (FAA) to ground all air traffic to/from (ATL). (ATL) is owned and managed by the city of Atlanta.

In comments reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Bastian said the blackout “was a very difficult experience. And it was shocking, candidly, that it took so long to get the power back on. I don’t know whose responsibility it is between the airport and Georgia Power, but we’re going to have conversations with both of them.”

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, incoming Atlanta Mayor-elect Keisha Lance Bottoms and Georgia Power (CEO) Paul Bowers have all expressed intentions to meet with (DAL) to sort out responsibility for the incident and avoid a future repeat, according to the Journal-Constitution. “We need to have a full postmortem as to what happened and fully understand what everyone could have done better,” Bastian told the Journal-Constitution. “I told Paul [Bowers] that we need to make certain that we learn from this, that we never experience this either here in Atlanta or any of the other big airports.”

News Item A-4: Delta Air Lines (DAL) launched 10 routes just before Christmas, with 7 commencing on December 21 and a further 3 starting 2 days later on December 23. The shortest of the 10 sectors was the 771 km Orlando (MCO) to Birmingham (BHM) route, while the longest was the 7,723 km New York JFK (JFK) to Rio de Janiero Galaeo (GIG) airport pair. The average sector length of new airport pairs was 3,606 km. The weekly frequencies for some of the (DAL) operations are for their 1st week of operation. Some of these new routes began for the Christmas period and will resume once again at the end of February.

Routes as follows:
Boston (BOS) to Miami (MIA) A319 1x- vs American (AAL) 14x-;
Las Vegas (LAS) to Honolulu (HNL) 757 7x- vs Hawaiian (HWI) 18x-;
Minneapolis St Paul (MSP) to Aruba (AUA) 737-800 1x- vs Sun Country 1x
New York (JFK) to Rio de Janeiro (GIG) 767-400 6x- vs (AAL) 7x-;
to St Kitts (SKB) 757 1x- vs (aal) 1x-;
Orlando (MCO) to Birmingham (BHM) CRJ700 6x- vs (SWA) 19x-;
Salt Lake City (SLC) to Kahulei (OGG) 767-300 6x-;
to Milwaukee (MKE) CRJ900 7x-;
to Tampa (TPA) 737-800 7x-;
Seattle-Tacoma (SEA) to Lihue (LIH) 757 1x-; vs (AAL) 1x.

News Item A-5: "Best Laid Plans" by Aaron Karp ( in AirKarp, December 19, 2017.

In August 2016, a power surge shut down Delta Air Lines (DAL)’s data center—and backup systems did not switch on as they were supposed to. The result was (DAL)’s global computer network crashing, forcing the cancellation of 2,300 flights and costing (DAL) $100 million in lost revenue. The system crash was particularly hurtful for (DAL), which has made reliability a central component of its brand. “This isn’t who we are,” (CEO) Ed Bastian said in a 1 of several apology videos (DAL) posted online in the aftermath.

(DAL), determined not to have a repeat, decided in October 2016 to invest $200 million in a new data center that would have a “live” backup running that would immediately and seamlessly take over if (DAL)’s main system went down again. “We’ve got a new technology center up,” Bastian told reporters visiting Atlanta in October 2017 for (DAL)'s public debut of its 1st Airbus A350-900. The new data center opened in September.

What happened in August 2016 “won’t happen again,” Bastian said. “It can’t happen again. We’ve got a live backup that’s up and running. A $200 million investment made that come to life from a standstill position 12 months ago.”

* And then…

(DAL)’s operations at its base hub, Atlanta Hartsfield (ATL), ground to a complete halt on December 17 (and there was nothing (DAL) could do about it. Electric utility Georgia Power experienced a ruinous fire in an underground facility that damaged, among other equipment, substations serving (ATL). Georgia Power said it has “many redundant systems” in place to keep electricity flowing to (ATL). But none of those systems worked. (ATL) went dark around 1 pm and electricity wasn’t restored until midnight (an 11-hour blackout at the airport that handled more passengers than any other airport in the world in 2016).

(DAL) had to cancel about 1,300 flights over 2 days. It had to pay for hotel rooms for stranded passengers. It waived flight-change fees for any passenger flying to, from or through (ATL). Passengers, including former USA Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, were stuck on (DAL) aircraft on the tarmac for hours. Many passengers wound up spending Sunday night in (ATL) terminals. (DAL)’s global network was disrupted. I don’t know if the (ATL) blackout will cost (DAL) $100 million, but it’s not hard to imagine a figure in that neighborhood.

(DAL) did everything right after its August 2016 system crash. It invested heavily to build a new backup system, and got it up and running in under a year after making the decision to build it. And none of that mattered on Sunday. (DAL) has no control over Georgia Power’s systems, but as is now plainly obvious, it depends on those systems to operate its main hub.

The blackout occurred just 10 days after (DAL) had to cancel around 1,400 flights over 2 days because of a late autumn snow storm in Atlanta. That almost never happens. But it did in December 2017.

I bring all this up to note something that has struck me over and over again as I’ve covered the airline business over the last 18 years. Running an airline is hard. That’s not to say airlines haven’t made, and won’t continue to make, mistakes. As Warren Buffett (a recent enthusiastic investor in USA airlines after years of warning against buying stock in the industry) has wryly noted, airlines had a bad 1st century. “Everyone has a bad century now and again,” he quipped in a (CNBC) interview earlier this year. USA airlines, in particular, made many poor decisions over multiple decades, leading to a wave of Chapter 11 bankruptcy restructurings.

The USA airline industry has done a lot better in recent years. “The quality of the business we’re running today, not just (DAL), it’s our competitors too, is unlike ever before,” Bastian said recently.

But airlines are still enormously affected by factors over which they have no control, something that will likely never change. It’s a complicated business even when you take care of your own details and get everything you can control right. On many days, however, that is not good enough. Someone else’s disaster quickly becomes your disaster. That’s what happened to (DAL) on Sunday. It spent the money and did the work to make sure a systems crash sparked by a power problem wouldn’t bring its operations grounding to a halt again. But all of its gates and facilities at its main hub went dark anyway.

News Item A-6: Delta TechOps reached a long-term agreement with Pratt & Whitney (PRW) to provide Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) services for (PW1100G)s (A320neo) and (PW1500G)s (CSeries); the deal calls for >5,000 shop visits.

News Item A-7: Delta Air Lines (DAL) has placed a firm order for 100 Airbus A321neo aircraft, ending speculation on what was perhaps the most heated aircraft order campaign waged between Airbus (EDS) and Boeing (TBC) in recent months.

The order, which is valued at around $12.7 billion at list prices, also marks a major win for Pratt & Whitney (PRW), which has been selected by (DAL) to provide (PW1100G) geared turbofan (GTF) engines to power the aircraft. (DAL)’s A320ceo family aircraft are powered by (CFM) International (CFM56) engines.

News Item A-8: "Delta’s Boeing 747 Makes Stop at Everett Birthplace on its Farewell Tour" By Dominic Gates Seattle Times Aerospace Reporter December 18, 2017.

Delta Airlines (DAL) finally retired the most recognizable Boeing passenger airplane in the sky: the 747 jumbo jet. The last remaining USA operator, (DAL), sent 1 of the few remaining jets in its 747 fleet home on December 18 to its birthplace (the Boeing plant in Everett, where the 747 1st rolled out, just shy of 50 years ago on September 30, 1968) on a special charter farewell tour of the country.

The 747 arrived at Paine Field from Detroit carrying (DAL) employees and "SkyMiles" customers who bid on seats for the tour. A crowd of Boeing employees who worked on the 747 program were there to be part of the goodbye event for a jet that, from the 1970s, opened up international travel to millions of people.

After the stop at Paine Field, the airplane flies the short trip down to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The tour wraps up with stops in Atlanta on December 18 and Minneapolis-St. Paul on December 19.

After United Airlines (UAL) retired its 747s in November, (DAL) became the last USA airline flying the passenger model of the 747. (DAL) will retire the last 4 airplanes in its 747 fleet by year end. (DAL)’s final scheduled 747 flight will be Seoul to Detroit on December 20. However, you’ll still see passenger 747s flown by big international carriers landing at Sea-Tac, including those flying for British Airways (BAB) and Korean Air (KAL).

Lufthansa (DLH) is flying the newest, largest model, the 747-8, on its Seattle to Frankfurt route. In addition, cargo airlines including (UPS) and Atlas Air (TLS) will continue to fly freighter models of the 747 for many more years. Altogether, Boeing (TBC) has delivered 1,540 of the jumbo jets. The unfilled order book for the new 747-8 is just 14 planes, of which only 1 is a passenger jet.

Local 747 lovers and Seahawks (NFC) football fans can also look for a (DAL) charter flight set to leave Sea-Tac on December 21 or 22. (DAL), the official airline of the Seahawks, normally ferries the team around in a Boeing 767. But for the trip to Dallas for the Christmas Eve game against the Dallas Cowboys, (DAL) is using a 747.

News Item A-9: "Boeing, Bombardier Clash over Tariffs at Trade Hearing" by John McCormick and Andrew Mayeda, Bloomberg News, December 18, 2017.

Boeing (TBC) and Canada’s Bombardier (BMB) squared off December 18 in a case that’s putting profits and diplomatic ties on the line. In a daylong hearing before the USAa International Trade Commission, Kevin McAllister, the Head of Boeing’s Commercial Airplanes (BCA) division, argued that Bombardier (BMB)’s sale of its CSeries jets at what he said are below fair-market prices poses an existential threat to Boeing’s 737 MAX 7. “Our 737 Max 7 is at extreme risk,” McAllister told the trade panel. “If you don’t level the playing field now, it will be too late.”

Boeing (TBC)’s push to have tariffs imposed on sales of the CSeries threatens to block Delta Air Lines (DAL) from taking delivery of the 75 CSeries jets it ordered in 2016.

But Greg May, (DAL)'s Senior VP Supply Chain Management & Fleet Strategy said Boeing (TBC)’s filing of the complaint is “absurd.”
“Boeing did not lose this sale to Bombardier (BMB),” May told the panel. “When we chose to add the CS100 aircraft to our fleet, (TBC) simply did not and does not have the right-sized aircraft.”

And Ross Mitchell, VP Commercial Operations at (BMB), said (DAL) was looking for a plane size that Boeing didn’t have. He said (BMB) gave (DAL) low pricing because it was an early adopter of the CSeries in the USA. Boeing “could not offer an airplane that met (DAL)’s needs,” he said. “There could not have been any lost sale to (DAL).”

The (ITC), a quasi-judicial USA federal body that is expected to issue a final ruling late next month, heard arguments on whether American (AAL) industry was harmed by the Bombardier CSeries sale to (DAL). Boeing alleges (BMB) can undercut offerings on the USA market because of subsidies in Canada.

The Boeing MAX 7 is the smallest of Boeing’s upgraded 737 airplanes. It can carry a similar passenger load to the larger of 2 CSeries models, the CS300. (DAL) ordered the smaller CS100 model.

Boeing won the 1st round in this trade fight with (BMB) when the USA Commerce Department in early October sided with Boeing in a preliminary ruling, ordering tariffs of about 300%. The (ITC) process runs in parallel and will decide if the tariffs become permanent.

The case became more complex in mid-October when Boeing (TBC) rival Airbus (EDS) stepped in, committing to buy a majority stake in the CSeries program and to set up a 2nd production line in Mobile, Alabama, to assemble CSeries planes for USA carriers, including (DAL).

Boeing argues that this move is merely a ploy to circumvent the tariffs. (BMB) responded at the hearing December 18 that the joint venture with Airbus (EDS) is important to the CSeries program’s survival. The (ITC) ruling is critical to (BMB)’s medium-term profitability. Depending on the outcome of this case, it is ready to start deliveries to (DAL) next year. But (DAL) has vowed not to pay the 300% tariff.

Bombardier (BMB) executives testified that sales conversations with other USA carriers have essentially frozen since Boeing (TBC) filed its complaint following the Delta (DAL) order.

Canada’s ambassador to the USA David MacNaughton, testified that a ruling in favor of (TBC) would disrupt supply chains in the aerospace industry and cost American jobs, because a significant portion of the CSeries is made in the USA.

Boeing’s McAllister said (BMB) offered its CSeries at “used-airplane prices,” putting pressure on competitors to slash prices. “Customer demand for reduced prices is greater than ever,” he said. “The harm is real right now.”

While President Donald Trump is unlikely to intervene in the case, the dispute is a test of his pledge to enforce USA trade laws more strictly, while encouraging foreign investment. The case has bruised USA relations with Canada and the UK, which also builds part of the plane. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this month canceled an order of Boeing fighter jets in retaliation.

The British government has warned Boeing it could lose UK defense contracts as well. Prime Minister Theresa May has said she was “bitterly disappointed” by the tariffs.

News Item A-10: "Delta Puts A350 at Center of Long-haul Customer Service Transformation" by (ATW)Online, December 22, 2017 Aaron Karp.

For all the strides the USA major carriers have made over the last several years (dramatically turning around their financial performance and improving operationally) USA carriers still conspicuously lag globally in premium service on long-haul international flights. There is often a gap between the long-haul business-class products aboard the top airlines in Asia and the Middle East, versus those offered by USA carriers.

January 2018: News Item A-1: Delta Air Lines (DAL) believes it can overcome a +30% year-over-year (YOY) increase in fuel prices by growing revenue and controlling non-fuel costs in 2018, executives said. The assessment came as (DAL) reported a 2017 net profit of +$3.6 billion, down -18% from net income of +$4.4 billion in 2016. 4th-quarter net income dropped -8% (YOY) to $572 million. (DAL) pointed to a breakthrough in 2017 on unit revenue growth, reporting (YOY) (RASM) growth of +3% for the full year to 16.22 cents.

News Item A-2: "The Open Skies ‘Big Deal’ That Isn’t" by Karen Walker ( in (ATW) Editor's Blog January 30, 2018.

American (AAL), Delta (DAL) and United (UAL) still have little to show for the millions of dollars they’ve spent on publicity campaigns and legal work aimed at curtailing the growth of Emirates (EAD), Etihad (EHD) and Qatar Airways (QTA).

While the USA airline (CEO)s and (ALPA) have issued press statements akin to victory claims, the reality is that the new USA - Qatar “understandings on civil aviation” pact, announced this month by USA Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, changes nothing about the "Open Skies" agreement between the 2 countries or Qatar Airways (QTA)’s operations to the USA.

To summarize, in return for not renegotiating the "Open Skies" deal, the Qatari government has agreed that (QTA) will release an audited financial statement within a year and assured Washington that the Doha-based airline has “no current plans” to operate 5th freedom flights to the USA.

How useful that audited statement will be to the USA carriers is anybody’s guess, but there seems to be a wide margin for interpretation of how to deliver that concession. And (QTA) does not operate 5th freedom flights to the USA (although it could do so under the "Open Skies" agreement, if it wished), so nothing changes there and the Qatari government’s assurance on this is even vaguer than the financial transparency pledge.

Tillerson’s statement was also cloaked in diplomatic assurances, emphasizing that Qatar was “a strong partner and a longtime friend of the USA,” with whom the USA is keen to deepen its strategic ties and cooperation in areas that include trade, security and counterterrorism.

The most important part of today’s statement, however, is what wasn’t mentioned: the (UAE), Emirates (EAD) and Etihad (EHD). The USA is apparently hopeful of reaching the same type of amicable handshake with the (UAE), which is unquestionably as important a strategic partner as Qatar. But the (UAE) is in a diplomatic standoff with Qatar, so there’s no reason to believe that where Qatar goes, so will the (UAE). Even more problematic, Emirates (EAD) (the world's largest international airline) does operate 5th freedom flights (via Italy and Greece) to the USA. Would a USA “civil aviation understanding” with the (UAE) require (EAD) to give those up?

Even if the (UAE) and (EAD) were to make such a concession, would they do so while still permitting USA cargo carriers to operate 5th freedom flights out of Dubai?

But let’s hypothesize that an agreement is forged with the (UAE) similar to Qatar’s. What, in reality, have (AAL), (DAL) and (UAL) achieved for their money? The "Open Skies" agreements will remain intact (a good thing, in this editor’s view); the Gulf carriers will maintain their current direct schedules to the USA; and, if they wish and if slots are available, those airlines can continue to expand their USA destination networks.

Meanwhile, the consolidated USA majors will continue to control some 80% of the USA domestic market (into which foreign carriers, including the Gulf carriers, cannot venture because of USA cabotage laws) and will maintain their dominant, anti-trust protected positions in the transatlantic market with their European partners, Air France (AFA) - (KLM), British Airways (BAB), Lufthansa (DLH) and Virgin Atlantic (VAA).

3 years on, with millions of dollars and a lot of rhetoric spent, (AAL), (DAL) and (UAL) seem to have achieved only 1 thing: securing the status quo.

February 2018: News Item A: "Delta to Revive Cincinnati With New, Upgraded Routes" by María Corina Roldan for "Airways."

Delta Air Lines (DAL) has announced some exciting news for Cincinnati (CVG) in 2018 after a long period of drastic cuts in what used to be 1 of (DAL)’s principal hubs.

(DAL) once operated >650 flights per day out of (CVG). In 2005, (DAL) initiated a major reduction of its schedule, at the same time when the airport opened a brand-new, $240 million runway. As (DAL) fled to its new, major hubs in New York, Detroit and Minneapolis (following its merger with Northwest Airlines (NWA) (CVG) suffered a major reduction in traffic. (DAL) began operating smaller regional jets, making the airport a shadow of its former self.

* New Flights to Austin, Phoenix, and Upgraded Seattle.

According to (DAL), however, new flights to Austin (AUS) and Phoenix (PHX) will be launched, as well as the seasonal flight to Seattle will be upgraded to year-round. Moreover, 15 markets will upgrade capacity.
“We are proud to be Cincinnati’s No 1 global airline,” said Eric Phillips, Senior VP Pricing & Revenue Management and (DAL)’s Cincinnati Market Executive.

The service to Austin is expected to start on May 1, and Phoenix on November 4. “With these additions, customers in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky will have more choices to go to the top business and leisure destinations that are important to them, and we look forward to continuing this growth,” Phillips added.

(DAL) offers a First Class (F) cabin on 78% of all Cincinnati flights with 82 peak-day departures. Also, mainline departures have increased +30% more, while departures on single-class 50-seat regional jets have declined by >25%. Additionally, (DAL)’s seasonal service to Seattle will become a year-round operation by March 2, based on strong demand, as well as the Baltimore route that will add a 3rd frequency starting on May 7.

* Increased Capacity, New Markets.

According to (DAL), in the past 2 years, (DAL)’s capacity increased +12% via new markets, added frequencies and introduced product improvements. However, (DAL) is still upgrading capacity in 15 markets out of (CVG):

* In December, Denver service will be updated from Boeing 717s to larger MD-90s, responding to customer demand and providing >40% more seats.
* By May 1, service to Fort Myers, Florida will be upgraded to a 110-seat Boeing 717, up from 76-seat regional jets.
* Select flights to Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Raleigh-Durham and Las Vegas will see added seat capacity.
* In August, service to Tampa will retain Boeing 717 equipment instead of a seasonal downgauge to a 76-seat regional jet.
* And by April, (DAL) will improve its Saturday schedule in Chicago O’Hare, and then expand Saturday flying in Baltimore, Boston, Washington Reagan National, Raleigh Durham and select Florida markets in June.

Over these improvements, Candace McGraw, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) (CEO), said, “(CVG) is pleased to see (DAL) grow its business here. (DAL) experienced local (CVG) passenger growth of >10% in 2017 and has increased their passenger volume at (CVG) for 27 consecutive months.” “The addition of these new markets combined with schedule enhancements to our most popular destinations will help continue that trend and continue to make (CVG) the airport of choice in the Tri-State region,” she continued.

* Schedule for (AUS), (PHX):

Beginning May 1, daily (except Saturday) service to and from Austin (AUS) will operate as follows:

Departs Arrives Aircraft
(CVG) at 9:50 am (AUS) at 11:25 am by CRJ-700
(AUS) at 11:55 am (CVG) at 3:25 pm by CRJ-700

Beginning November 4, daily service to and from Phoenix (PHX) will operate as follows:

Departs Arrives Aircraft
(CVG) at 7:30 am (PHX) at 9:30 am by 737-800
(PHX) at 5:00 pm (CVG) at 11:05 pm by 737-800

(DAL) will operate 82 peak-day departures to 36 destinations by November 2018, including the nonstop service to Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG), operated in conjunction with joint venture partner Air France (AFA) - (KLM). Cancun and Toronto service round out (DAL)’s international offerings from (CVG).

News Item A-2: "Delta Air Lines Employees Are Getting Another US$1.1 Billion Reward" by Benjamin Zhang, "Business Insider" February 14, 2018.

For the 4th year in a row, Delta Air Lines (DAL) employees have earned >US$1 billion in profit sharing. (DAL) announced that its 80,000 employees will receive US$1.1 billion for their exemplary work in 2017. "This is the 4th year in a row that (DAL)'s profit sharing has topped US$1 billion (a milestone no company in history has ever achieved," (DAL)'s (CEO) Ed Bastian said. "(DAL) people are the reason for our success and Valentine's Day is our favorite day each year as we celebrate the incredible results our people have delivered."

(DAL) employees received US$1.1 billion in 2015, US$1.5 billion in 2016, and another US$1.1 billion in 2017. (DAL) has paid out >US$5 billion in profit sharing over the past half decade.

In January, (DAL) reported US$3.6 billion in profits for 2017, down -18% from the US$4.4 billion (DAL) made in 2016. According to (DAL), total annual compensation at (DAL) has increased by +80% since 2008. This includes a +6% raise in base pay in 2017 and a +18.5% raise in 2015.

(DAL) isn't the only airline sharing the wealth with its employees. United Airlines (UAL) employees earned US$349 million in profit sharing for 2017. American Airlines (AAL) staff earned US$241 million. (SWA) employees earned US$543 million. While Alaska Airlines (ASA) staff (including Virgin America (VUS) and Horizon Air) will get a US$118 million annual performance bonus.

News Item A-3: Delta Cargo has expanded its "Pharma 4" program, bringing the shipment method for room-temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals and biotechnology products to +8 global destinations.
With the addition of Beijing (PEK), Bogota (BOG), Frankfurt (FRA), Hong Kong (HKG), Sao Paulo (GRU), Seoul (ICN), Shanghai (PVG) and Sydney (SYD), (DAL)’s network of Pharma stations extends to 49 global locations.

Via partner airlines Air France (AFA) - (KLM), Delta (DAL) Cargo also delivers Pharma shipments to (IATA) Center of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) Pharma logistics (certified facilities in Europe, including Amsterdam (AMS), Brussels (BRU), Dusseldorf (DUS), Milan (MXP), Paris (CDG) and Rome (FCO)).

Delta (DAL) Cargo’s operation at its Atlanta hub gained (CEIV)-approval in July 2017, the 1st USA airline to receive the certification. (DAL)’s ground-handling partner in Hong Kong has also received (CEIV) certification.

Beyond the 8 newly designated stations, additional Pharma 4 locations worldwide include: Atlanta (ATL), Barcelona (BCN), Berlin (TXL), Boston (BOS), Buenos Aires (EZE), Dublin (DUB), London (LHR), Madrid (MAD), Minneapolis (MSP), New York (JFK), Rio de Janeiro (GIG), Santiago (SCL), Singapore (SIN), Stuttgart (STR), Tel Aviv (TLV), Tokyo Haneda (HND), Tokyo Narita (NRT) and Zurich (ZRH).

(IATA)’s (CEIV) program has certified >160 companies world wide for pharmaceutical cargo handling, including carriers Air Express Cargo, Amerijet International Airlines (AMJ), (ANA), (CAL) Cargo Airlines (CRJ), Cathay Pacific (CAT), (DHL), Finnair (FIN), (LATAM) Cargo (LCO), Lufthansa (DLH), (SAS) Cargo, Singapore Airlines (SIA) Cargo and Turkish (THY) Cargo, among others.

March 2018: News Item A-1: "Delta (CEO) Defends Removing (NRA) Discount" by Mark Nensel (, March 2, 2018.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) (CEO) Ed Bastian defended (DAL)’s recent removal of a group discount for National Rifle Association (NRA) members, telling Delta employees in a March 2 memo “our decision was not made for economic gain and our values are not for sale.”

Bastian released the memo a day after the Georgia state legislature passed a tax bill in which a fuel tax exemption for (DAL) (which reportedly would have saved (DAL) approximately $40 million per year) had been excised from the legislation by pro-(NRA) Georgia lawmakers as a protest against the state’s largest private employer.

The controversy stemmed from divergent political activism in the USA following a February mass shooting at a Florida high school in which 17 people were killed.

Bastian explained that on February 24, (DAL) rescinded a one-time group travel discount for the (NRA)’s annual meeting, and asked the (NRA) to remove the Delta name and logo from the (NRA)’s website. “The decision followed the (NRA)’s controversial statements after the recent school shootings in Florida,” Bastian said. “Our discounted travel benefit for (NRA) members could be seen as (DAL) implicitly endorsing the (NRA). That is not the case.”

After the (DAL) decision was announced, disagreeing Georgia lawmakers, including the state’s lieutenant governor, zeroed in on the fuel tax exemption element of the state’s imminent tax legislation. “While (DAL)’s intent was to remain neutral, some elected officials in Georgia tied our decision to a pending jet fuel tax exemption, threatening to eliminate it unless we reversed course,” Bastian said.

Bastian admitted the decision created controversy at (DAL). “Our people and our customers have a wide range of views on how to increase safety in our schools and public places, and we are not taking sides,” Bastian said. “Our objective in removing any implied affiliation with the (NRA) was to remove (DAL) from this debate. We are supporters of the 2nd Amendment, just as we embrace the entire Constitution of the USA.” Bastian indicated the airline was in the process of a review to end group discounts “for any group of a politically divisive nature.”

As the controversy swirled in Georgia during the week, other USA states (including direct pitches from the governors of Connecticut and Virginia) offered themselves as a possible new (DAL) home base. Bastian, however, demurred. “None of this changes the fact that our home is in Atlanta and we are proud and honored to locate our headquarters here,” Bastian said. “I have tremendous respect and admiration for [Georgia] Governor Nathan Deal, and thank him for the work he has done on the jet fuel exemption. He is a great friend to (DAL). I know this action by the state legislature troubled him as it does all of us.” Deal signed the tax bill into law on March 2.

Chicago-based United Airlines also alerted the (NRA) on February 24 that (UAL) would no longer offer a discounted rate to the (NRA) annual meeting and, like Delta (DAL), asked to have United’s information removed from the (NRA) website. The same day, Dallas/Ft Worth-based American Airlines (AAL) tweeted “to clarify questions we have received (AAL) does not offer discounted group travel rates to the (NRA).”

Other USA airlines to-date have been publicly silent on the matter.

* "Delta (CEO) Takes the High Road" by Karen Walker ( in (ATW) Editor's Blog, March 2, 2018.

(DAL) has withdrawn its discount offer for members of the USA National Rifle Association (NRA) following the mass shooting in February at a Florida school that left 17 students and staff dead.

(DAL) was not alone among large USA companies that ended their (NRA) discounts and distanced themselves from the powerful pro-gun lobbying organization. Others who took similar steps include car rental firms, banks, insurance companies and another major airline, (UAL) ((AAL) made clear it never offered a discount program).

But (DAL)’s decision has been more costly. Lawmakers in its home state of Georgia retaliated by threatening to withdraw a jet fuel tax exemption that would save (DAL) millions of dollars unless (DAL) restores the (NRA) discount.

(DAL) (CEO) Ed Bastian isn’t backing down. In a memo to employees he posted on (DAL)’s website March 2, he made clear that he is taking the high road. “Our decision was not made for economic gain and our values are not for sale,” he wrote. He added that (DAL) was in the process of a review “to end group discounts for any group of a politically divisive nature”.

A cynic could argue that those companies that cut ties with the (NRA) are betting any loss of sales will be more than made up by those who support their decision and will especially be appreciated by the younger people who are their future customer base.

But I don’t see in Bastian’s memo anything other than courageous leadership and determination to do the right thing. He acknowledges that among (DAL)’s employees and customers, there is a wide range of views on the issue. “We are not taking sides. Our objective in removing any implied affiliation with the (NRA) was to remove (DAL) from this debate,” he said.

That’s not, of course, how (NRA) supporters or the Georgia lawmakers regard (DAL)’s decision.

But what the lawmakers are doing highlights the recurring problem that post-deregulation USA airlines must contend with; airlines are still regarded as “state-owned” entities. So lawmakers believe they can dictate what products airlines offer (seat pitch), how those products are sold (ancillary fees) and now, apparently, which organizations are offered discounts. Meanwhile, they slap on high taxes and fees, but don’t believe it “fair” for airlines to separate those fees (as other service industries are allowed to) so that customers can see how much of their airfare goes to the government.

The Georgia lawmakers’ action is not just shockingly vindictive. It shows appalling disregard for a company that is a huge jobs and economic driver for their state and which, at the end of the day, is a “customer” they are elected to serve. Not the other way round.

News Item A-2: "Aeromexico’s New Fare Structure Includes Basic Economy" by Mark Nensel (, March 5, 2018.

The Delta (DAL) - Aeromexico (AMX) transborder joint venture (JV) began offering ultra-low-cost fares March 5 as (AMX) launched its “branded fares” concept and Delta Air Lines (DAL) touted the increasing range of basic economy fares on what is now >50% of (DAL)’s USA to Mexico flights.

(DAL) had already offered basic economy fares on flights to Cancun, Puerto Vallarta and Cozumel; the new route expansion includes several new Guadalajara and Mexico City flights, (DAL) said, adding it expects to have basic economy available on its entire global network by the end of 2018.

(AMX) said its new fare structure will be available on domestic flights in Mexico, as well as flights to and from the USA and Canada. (AMX) executives have said the new branded fares structure will appeal to flyers seeking bundled services that Mexican (LCC) competitors Interjet (AAE) and Volaris (VLS) do not offer.

Beyond basic fare, (AMX)’s new fare structure includes 5 progressively more value-added offerings: classic, flexible, (AM) Plus, comfort and premier.

(DAL) and (AMX) launched a (JV) in May 2017, which focused on utilizing the hubs of both carriers to provide passengers flying between the USA and Mexico with connecting options. (DAL) has hubs in Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis-St Paul, New York (both LaGuardia and (JFK)), Salt Lake City and Seattle. (AMX) has hubs in Mexico City, Monterrey and Guadalajara.

(DAL) 1st introduced its basic economy fares (which involves a customer being willing to be seated anywhere on the aircraft, with no flight itinerary changes, no-checked baggage, no adjacent seating for passengers traveling together, among other restrictions) in 2012.

(DAL) was the 1st major USA airline to introduce the basic economy fare concept. Last October, while discussing the fare option in an analyst’s call, (DAL) President Glen Hauenstein said “the success of that product isn’t how many people buy it, but how many people don’t buy it and choose another product.”

News Item A-3: "(DAL) New Uniforms."

* Luxury designer Zac Posen has created new uniforms for (DAL) 60,000 staff around the world.
* The new work wear is currently being fitted to staff around the globe and will be worn in service from May 29.
* Posen spent time researching his designs by working as a flight attendant (CA) and gate agent with (DAL).
* He also added purple into the new uniforms and created a brand new color for (DAL) called 'passport plum.'

(DAL) has revealed its new uniforms designed by "Project Runway" star Zac Posen. Instead of just designing for flight attendants (CA), Posen worked on clothing for employees across the company, from baggage handlers to gate agents.

Posen spent the last 3 years working on designs for (DAL) employee uniforms. (DAL)'s iconic red and blue were combined to make a snazzy new purple. He designs luxury ballgowns and has dressed a string of Hollywood stars, as well as former first lady Michelle Obama.

(DAL) is changing its employee work wear for the 1st time in 10 years, and after 3 years in the making. To design the new uniforms, Posen, who has dressed Naomi Campbell, Beyonce and Jennifer Lopez among others, spent time working with the airline (as a flight attendant (CA), gate agent and in the Sky Club concierge) to gauge how practical the outfits should be. He then worked with >1,000 (DAL) staff, who tested the items to identify any issues. >165 changes were made before the designs were finalized.

The new uniforms have seen (DAL)'s traditional red, white and blue infused with new hues, which have been dubbed 'passport plum' (purple), 'cruising cardinal' (red) and 'ground speed graphite' (grey). The outfits for female flight attendants (CA) and customer service agents include a V-neck dress, peplum sweater, ottoman skirt suit and a swing jacket.

For men, the pieces include a grey 3-piece suit, a crew neck sweater and a widget printed tie. Meanwhile staff working on the airport ramp or in the Tech Ops division will be given a mid-layer sweater, a jacket and rapid dry polo shirts. Fittings for the new uniforms have started in 14 cities across the USA as well as at (DAL)'s European hubs in London, Paris and Amsterdam. Staff will begin to wear the new uniforms on May 29 at all of (DAL)'s locations.

Posen said: 'We wanted (DAL) employees to look glamorous on the job without sacrificing functionality and style. 'I worked alongside employees to understand how they interact with the clothes they wear and developed a look that empowers and excites, because we want (DAL)’s global workforce to exude the confidence and thoughtfulness that reflects (DAL)’s brand.'

(DAL)'s (CEO) Ed Bastian added: 'The world’s best employees deserve the best uniforms and this new collection is classically influenced, yet modern. 'Zac and the (DAL) team worked closely with our people to create timeless and fashionable pieces that reflect the thoughtful and innovative spirit of (DAL).'

Fashion expert and blogger Simon Glazin told MailOnline Travel that he is impressed with the new uniforms, especially the colors. He explained: "He just dressed a whole host of stars for the Oscars red carpet, but it's clear that Zac Posen's talents aren't confined to just big stunning gowns. It's reported that Zac actually spent time on lots of (DAL) flights, even serving people food and drinks, to really research what would make the perfect uniform. It turns out super structured dresses (a signature of his) and smart tailoring, something the designer has turned to of late, is the way to go. And that Passport Plum Pantone color (not official!) is a nice departure (mind the pun) from the (DAL) red, although the 2 colors compliment each other amazingly. More than anything though, I imagine the people wearing the uniforms feel fabulous in them, testament to Posen's incredible design artistry.'

While Hannah Eichler, a Senior Stylist with UK "High Street" brand Oasis, told MailOnline Travel: 'Following in the footsteps of Christian Lacroix and Vivienne Westwood, designer and Project Runway judge Zac Posen is the latest to join the mile high club (sartorially speaking of course)! Off-set in this season’s hottest hue, purple, as predicted by Pantone Color Institute and having been seen all over the spring/summer runways, the uniforms feature sleek gold buttons and punchy red trims. Not forgetting that obligatory neck tie. Waistcoats and asymmetric details are a departure from the frumpy skirt suits usually provided for female attendants (CA), whilst the Passport Plum theme ties in with the men's sleek suits with modern shirting, ties and pocket squares that wouldn’t look out of place at a wedding!'

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News Item A-4: (DAL) will launch Cleveland (CLE) to Salt Lake City (SLC) Airbus A319 service from July 8.

Delta Connection carrier Endeavor Air will begin 6x-weekly Chattanooga, Tennessee to New York LaGuardia Bombardier CRJ900 service from July 9.

News Item A-5: (DAL) continues to express strong interest in shaping Boeing’s new mid-market airplane (NMA) (797?). (DAL) (CEO) Ed Bastian told attendees at a JP Morgan investor conference on March 13 that (DAL) continues to express strong interest in shaping Boeing’s (NMA) and told attendees that Boeing’s (NMA) could play a significant role in Delta’s future fleet, and (DAL) is eager to play a major role in shaping the (NMA)’s design.

(DAL) has 80 [Boeing] 767s that will be coming up on retirement that the (NMA) could act as the replacement airplane.

News Item A-6: Delta Air Lines (DAL) will begin daily Boston to Las Vegas Boeing 737-800 service on October 1; and daily Salt Lake City to El Paso Bombardier CRJ-900 service on October 1.

News Item A-7: Delta Air Lines (DAL) and Qatar Airways (QTA) both introduced Airbus A350-900 XWB aircraft to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) over the March 24 to 25 weekend.

Early on March 24, (DAL) Flight 27 became the 1st A350-900 to depart from (ATL), lifting off at 12:35 am for Seoul/Incheon (ICN), South Korea. The return flight from Seoul touched down at (ATL) almost 19 hours later, at 7:03 pm.

(QTA)’s 1st A350 flight to (ATL) came March 25, as (QTA) Flight 755 from Doha touched down at 4:47 pm.

For (QTA), the A350-900 replaces its Boeing 777-300ERs on the Atlanta route, upping the passenger comfort quotient with an improved business (C) class, but also decreasing capacity, as the A350-900 seats a maximum 325 passengers versus the 777-300ER’s maximum 396. (QTA)’s A350 seats 283 passengers, with 26C business-class seats in a 1-2-1 configuration and 247Y economy seats in a 3-3-3 configuration. Conversely, (QTA)’s 777-300ERs carry 358 passengers with 42C business class seats in a 2-2-2 configuration and 316Y economy seats in a largely 3-4-3 configuration.

(QTA) began flying its Doha to Atlanta route in June 2016, 4 months after (DAL) ceased flying its Atlanta to Dubai route amidst the then-heated controversy around the USA legacy airlines’ (American Airlines (AAL), (DAL) and United Airlines (UAL)) campaign to persuade the USA government to take action against alleged “billions of dollars in illegal subsidies from Qatar to Qatar Airways (QTA) and from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Emirates Airline (EAD) and Etihad Airways (EHD),” a claim the 3 Gulf carriers denied.

Glen Hauenstein, then-incoming (DAL) President, said in an April 2016 conference call that (DAL) did not think (QTA)’s Doha to Atlanta route would be successful.

On January 30, 2018, the Qatari government required state-owned (QTA) to release an audited financial statement within a year, and assured the USA government that (QTA) had no current plans to operate 5th freedom flights to the USA. An “understanding” was reached between the 2 countries that the USA would not seek to reopen the "Open Skies" accord for negotiations, a development that brought some praise from (AAL), (DAL), (UAL) and USA airline labor groups, and calmed tensions, at least where Qatar was concerned.

Atlanta is the 5th USA city to which (QTA) directly flies its A350 XWBs, in addition to Boston, Miami, New York and Philadelphia. At the end of February, (QTA) took delivery of the 1st A350-1000, which began flights on (QTA)’s Doha to London route in early March.

News Item A-8: "Korea Gives Go Ahead for Korean - Delta Joint Venture (JV)" by Adrian Schofield, (ATW) Plus, March 29, 2018.

South Korean authorities have approved a joint venture (JV) between Korean Air (KAL) and Delta Air Lines (DAL), clearing the way for an expanded partnership of the 2 SkyTeam (STM) alliance carriers, but approval comes with some restrictions. The 2 carriers gained permission from the USA Department of Transportation in November and were waiting for clearance from Korea’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MLIT).

April 2018: News Item A-1: "Delta $547 Million (1Q) Profit: Strong Revenue vs Fuel, Weather Costs" by Mark Nensel ATW Plus, April 12, 2018.

A surge in cargo, loyalty program and premium fare up-sell revenue drove Delta Air Lines (DAL)’s 1st-quarter 2018 operating revenue into quarterly record territory, with nearly $10 billion in (GAAP) revenue, up +9.5% year-over-year (YOY). (DAL)'s net income for the quarter, however, dipped -2.5% to +$547 million, compared to +$561 million for the 2017 March quarter. (DAL) remains on track to take about 60 new airplane deliveries in 2018, including its 1st Bombardier (BMB) C Series.

News Item A-2: Delta Air Lines (DAL) promoted VP Network Planning - Americas Joe Esposito to Senior VP Network Planning, effective July 1.

News Item A-3: Former (FAA) Administrator Michael Huerta has joined Delta Air Lines (DAL)’s board of directors. The long-time transportation executive left the (FAA) in January after serving a 5-year term as its top official. Huerta also was Deputy Administrator in 2010 and 2011 and then took the role of Acting Administrator prior to being appointed.

His experience includes serving as the Executive Director at the Port of San Francisco and Commissioner of New York City’s Department of Ports, International Trade and Commerce, as well as holding several senior positions within the USA Department of Transportation. He also was Managing Director of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City.

“Michael’s deep aviation and broader transportation industry experience will be a great asset to Delta (DAL),” said Frank Blake, (DAL)’s non-executive Chairman of the board.

Huerta was recently appointed as senior advisor to Macquarie Capital.

May 2018: News Item A-1: Delta Air Lines (DAL) will launch 4x-daily Boston to Philadelphia Bombardier CRJ900 (Delta Connection’s Endeavor Air) service from October 1.

News Item A-2: "Delta, Air France-KLM and Virgin Atlantic Expand Transatlantic Agreement" by David Casey, Routes Online, May 16 2018.

Air France (AFA) - (KLM), Delta Air Lines (DAL) and Virgin Atlantic (VAA) have signed “definitive agreements” to pave the way for their expanded transatlantic joint venture (JV).

The 3 1st announced the deal last July, which will result in (DAL) taking a 10% investment in (AFA) - (KLM) for €375 million and (AFA) - (KLM) acquiring a 31% stake in Virgin Atlantic (VAA) from the Virgin Group for £220 million.

The Virgin Group will now have a 20% stake in Virgin Atlantic (VAA), while (DAL) will retain its 49% share.

Additionally, (DAL), (AFA) - (KLM) and (VAA) will launch a combined long-term (JV) to offer customers “the most comprehensive transatlantic route network” as they try to fight back against low-cost carriers (LCC)s. The airlines said the agreement sets out the governance, as well as the commercial and operational terms of the expanded transatlantic (JV).

They added they would now “coordinate efforts to secure the appropriate regulatory approvals.”

“The airlines’ expanded (JV) will become the preferred choice for customers travelling across the Atlantic offering the most comprehensive route network, convenient flight schedules, competitive fares and reciprocal frequent flyer benefits, including the ability to earn and redeem miles across all carriers.”

“Customers will also benefit from the co-location of facilities at key hub airports to improve connectivity and access to each carrier’s airport lounges for premium passengers.”

The deal comes as (AFA) - (KLM) named Frédéric Gagey the group’s Chief Financial Officer, as its interim (CEO) to replace the outgoing Jean-Marc Janaillac. In addition, a management committee is being set up comprising Gagey, (AFA) (CEO) Franck Terner and (KLM) (CEO) Pieter Elbers.

Janaillac announced his resignation earlier this month after French staff voted against a pay proposal.

News Item A-3: "Delta Air Lines to Relaunch Nonstop USA to Mumbai, India Flights in 2019" by (ATW) Mark Nensel (, May 24, 2018.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) plans to resume nonstop flights between the USA and Mumbai, India in 2019.

(DAL) cited the recent "Open Skies" agreements between the USA and governments of (UAE) and Qatar as “the framework to move forward with service to India, a market long impacted by government-subsidized Middle East airlines.” (DAL) did not reveal which of its USA hubs would serve the route, saying full schedule details will come later this year.

The relaunch of the route will come a decade after (DAL) ended its previous USA to Mumbai service, which flew from Hartsfield-Atlanta (ATL) and New York (JFK) international airports.

(DAL) said it had been forced to exit the market after “subsidized state-owned airlines made service economically unviable.” Gulf carriers’ hubs are strategically positioned to offer frequent connections to India and Asia.

United Airlines (UAL) is the only USA carrier now offering nonstop flights between the USA and India, serving Delhi and Mumbai from New York-Liberty International Airport (EWR) in Newark, New Jersey.

(DAL)’s move to reopen India service comes after an apparent settlement of the 3-year battle pitting USA carriers American Airlines (AAL), (DAL) and (UAL) against the major Gulf carriers Qatar Airways (QTA), (EHD) and Emirates Airline (EAD), in which the USA carriers accused the Gulf carriers of breaching "Open Skies" agreements because of their alleged reliance on government subsidies.

In January, the government of Qatar agreed to open the financial books of its flag carrier and refrain from operating 5th freedom flights to the USA. And in May, the USA and the (UAE) announced the 2 major carriers (EAD) and (EHD) would offer complete financial transparency, while not necessarily committing to halting further 5th freedom flights.

(DAL) (CEO) Ed Bastian said the new flights fit in with (DAL)’s vision to expand its international reach and thanked USA President Donald Trump “for taking real action to enforce our "Open Skies" trade deals, which made this new service possible.”

Additionally, (DAL) said it intends to expand its code share agreement with Mumbai-based Jet Airways (JPL) to enable connections to other destinations within India, subject to government approvals.

News Item A-4: Delta’s New Cabin Attendant (CA) Uniforms are Finally Flying Around the World" May 29, 2018.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) is marking a new chapter in its history by introducing new “high-fashioned” (CA) uniforms designed by Zac Posen through its 64,000 employees across the world. “This collection makes a strong brand statement, elevating (DAL) from the look of a traditional USA carrier and introducing glamour and sophistication, while offering the ease of machine-washable care for (DAL)’s always on-the-go employees.”

Since 2016, New York fashion designer Zac Posen has worked closely with brands "Lands’ End," and "Travel Pro" to fulfill (DAL)’s goal and offer high-quality products.

June 2018: News Item A-1: Delta Air Lines (DAL) expanded its transpacific partnership with Korean Air (KAL) on June 14 as (DAL) announced a new nonstop route between Seattle-Tacoma International (SEA) and Osaka, Japan’s Kansai International (KIX) starting in 2019.

(DAL) will code share the flight with (KAL) as part of the joint venture (JV) partnership launched between the airlines in May. (DAL) plans to fly the route with a Boeing 767-300ER equipped with 25 lie-flat seats in Delta One, 29 “comfort plus” seats and 171 main cabin seats.

Concurrent with the Osaka route announcement, (DAL) said it had “made the difficult business decision” to end its nonstop Seattle to Hong Kong flights, with the last flight out of Hong Kong set for October 4. (DAL) service between the 2 cities will continue, but will be offered via Seoul-Incheon (ICN) on Korean Air (KAL).

The new Osaka route follows on (DAL)’s plan to launch nonstop flights in 2019 between Minneapolis/St Paul International (MSP) and (ICN); as with Osaka, specific schedules will be released later. The (MSP) to (ICN) flights will take advantage of the (DAL) - (KAL) (JV), as the 2 SkyTeam (STM) alliance founding member airlines are co-located in the newly opened Terminal 2 at (ICN). The new Minneapolis route complements 3 existing USA to Seoul nonstop routes (Seattle, Detroit and Atlanta). (DAL) said it will utilize a “newly refreshed” Boeing 777-200ER on the (MSP) to (ICN) route, with 28 Delta One suites including a full height door, 48 premium select cabin seats and 220 main cabin seats.

(DAL) - (KAL) code sharing ramped up following the (JV) partnership announcement. According to (DAL), 132 (DAL)-operated flights from Seattle, Atlanta, Las Vegas, New York, San Francisco, Honolulu, Chicago and Dallas were coded with (KAL) flight numbers in May, adding to 164 existing (KAL) code share markets on (DAL) in North America from (DAL) hubs in Atlanta, Los Angeles and New York (JFK).

In June so far, 66 additional markets from Detroit, Portland, Seattle and Atlanta have become North American code shares, and (KAL)’s code was added to 5 (DAL)-operated flights from Japan to the same USA airports. The new additions expand on 36 existing code share routes with Asia.

News Item A-2: "Delta (CEO) said Don’t Overbuild the ‘797’; States Skepticism on Hypersonic Airliner" by Karen Walker (, June 28, 2018.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) (CEO) Ed Bastian reaffirmed his interest in the Boeing new mid-market airplane (NMA), which he dubbed the 797, but is far less certain of the need for another potential new airliner that Boeing unveiled this week, a Mach 5 hypersonic airplane.

During a fireside chat at the National Press Club in Washington DC June 27, Bastian was asked about both airplanes. On the (NMA), Bastian repeated what he has said at investor conferences, saying (DAL) has had discussions with Boeing (TBC) about potentially being a launch customer. “We are not in decision-making types of stage; it’s still in the discussion phase,” he said. “But when we look at our fleet, we need a successor to our 767s as well as our 757s. The majority of those will retire in the next decade and we would like to see some of the new airplane technologies that have been created being brought into the market segment for the 797. “I think Boeing wants to get a feel for the market place. To launch a new airplane is extremely expensive.”

Asked what (DAL) would most be looking for, Bastian quipped “the cheapest price possible," but he also noted it needed the right balance of range and capacity. “We don’t want to over build,” he said.

Earlier this week, Boeing unveiled a concept vehicle for a Mach 5 airliner capable of crossing the Atlantic in 2 hours, or the Pacific in 3. But Bastian was skeptical of the market for such an airplane.

“There will be a market segment that will desire it, but the question is what is the size of that segment and what’s the premium it will be prepared to pay for it?” he said.

Bastian added that democratization of the global air transport industry was one of its “great successes,” enabling people who previously could not have afforded to fly to enjoy airline travel.
“For myself, I am a proponent of making [air travel] easy to access to more people rather than spending a lot of money for a premium market.”

News Item A-3: Delta Air Lines (DAL) has ordered 20 Bombardier CRJ900 regional jets, becoming the launch customer for the Canadian manufacturer’s new Atmosphère cabin for the CRJ. The June 20 deal is valued at $961 million at list prices. The aircraft, which will be delivered late this year through 2020, will replace older regional jets operated by Delta Connection operators. The Atmosphère product includes wheel-first roller-bag overhead bin capacity, and a larger lavatory.

July 2018: News Item A-1: Delta (2Q) Net Profit Down -14% on Higher Fuel Prices" by Aaron Karp, (ATW) Plus, July 12, 2018.

A strong demand environment enabled Delta Air Lines (DAL) to somewhat mitigate surging fuel prices to post a +$1.03 billion net profit for the 2nd quarter. That was still down -14% from net income of +$1.19 billion in the 2017 2nd quarter, an indication of the toll fuel costs took despite (DAL) generating record revenue in the quarter.

“We delivered solid earnings for the June quarter despite higher fuel costs,” (CFO) Paul Jacobson said.

News Item A-2: "Delta, WestJet Finalize Transborder (JV)" by Aaron Karp,(ATW) Plus, July 20, 2018.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) and WestJet (WJI) have signed a definitive agreement to form an antitrust-immunized transborder joint venture (JV), finalizing the details of a proposed partnership announced in late 2017 via the signing of an (MOU). The (JV) would mark (DAL)’s 8th cross-border agreement with another airline that features a (JV) or an equity stake or both.

News Item A-3: Delta Air Lines (DAL) will launch Seattle to Osaka Boeing 767-300ER service via Korean Air (KAL) partnership April 1, 2019.

News Item A-4: 737-932ER (32006, N901DN), Babcock & Brown (BBB) leased, and 2 A321-231s (8316, N358DN; 8332, N354DN), deliveries.

August 2018: News Item A-1: Delta Air Lines (DAL) will begin 2x-daily New York (JFK) to Nassau (Bahamas) Airbus A320 service from October 1; daily (JFK) to Kingston (Jamaica) Boeing 737-800 service from December 20; weekly (JFK) to Antigua (ANU) 737-800 service from December 22; and weekly (JFK) to Port-au-Prince (Haiti) 737-800 service from December 22.

News Item A-2: "Delta Unveils New Engine Repair Shop" by James Pozzi (ATW), August 30, 2018.

The Delta Air Lines (DAL) Atlanta-based facility will service new-generation Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent) engines.

(DAL) has opened its new 127,000 sq ft engine repair facility close to Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport where its Delta TechOps unit will service new-generation Rolls-Royce engines.

The hangar will repair engine types including the (Trent XWB) and (Trent 1000) on airplanes operated by (DAL) as well as 3rd-party airplane operators. The 1st engine induction is scheduled for next month from Virgin Atlantic (VAA), which is sending a (Trent 1000) to Atlanta for repair work.

To accommodate the new engine shop, (DAL) said it converted several hangar bays at the TechOps facility into a workshop area encompassing engine assembly and disassembly space, along with areas for kitting parts, shop materials and supplies, a life-limited parts center of excellence, and an area for repair and support.

Delta TechOps signed up as an authorized maintenance center in (RRC)’s aftermarket network in October 2015. Under the agreement signed nearly 3 years ago, Delta TechOps provides engine services for the (Trent XWB), (Trent 1000) and (Trent 7000), in addition to the (BR715) engine found on regional and corporate jets.

The airline maintenance provider has made a string of other Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) investments at its Atlanta base, including a 27,000 sq ft hot section repair shop enabling it to perform turbine section component repairs in-house, an additive manufacturing center focusing on the emerging technology and a new engine test cell scheduled to begin operating in December. Once functioning, (DAL) said the test cell will be the world’s largest with capabilities for 150,000 lbs thrust.

September 2018: News Item A-1: "9-11 We Shall Not Forget."

See above Photo and Map: - -
DAL-9-11 We Shall Not Forget.jbg and -A.jpg


Here is an amazing story from a flight attendant (CA) on Delta Flight 15, written following 9-11:

On the morning of Tuesday, September 11, we were about 5 hours out of Frankfurt, flying over the North Atlantic .

All of a sudden the curtains parted and I was told to go to the cockpit, immediately, to see the captain. As soon as I got there I noticed that the flight crew had that "All Business" look on their faces. The captain handed me a printed message. It was from Delta's main office in Atlanta and simply read, "All airways over the Continental USA are closed to commercial air traffic. Land (ASAP) at the nearest airport. Advise your destination."

No one said a word about what this could mean. We knew it was a serious situation and we needed to find terra firma quickly. The captain determined that the nearest airport was 400 miles behind us in Gander, Newfoundland.

He requested approval for a route change from the Canadian traffic controller and approval was granted immediately (no questions asked). We found out later, of course, why there was no hesitation in approving our request.

While the flight crew (FC) prepared the airplane for landing, another message arrived from Atlanta telling us about some terrorist activity in the New York area. A few minutes later, word came in about the hijackings.

We decided to LIE to the passengers while we were still in the air. We told them the plane had a simple instrument problem and that we needed to land at the nearest airport in Gander, Newfoundland to have it checked out. We promised to give more information after landing in Gander (There was much grumbling among the passengers, but that's nothing new! 40 minutes later, we landed in Gander. Local time at Gander was 12:30 pm (and that's 11:00 am (EST)).

There were already about 20 other airplanes on the ground from all over the world that had taken this detour on their way to the USA.

After we parked on the ramp, the captain made the following announcement: "Ladies and gentlemen, you must be wondering if all these airplanes around us have the same instrument problem as we have. The reality is that we are here for another reason."

Then he went on to explain the little bit we knew about the situation in the USA. There were loud gasps and stares of disbelief. The captain informed passengers that Ground control in Gander told us to stay put.

The Canadian Government was in charge of our situation and no one was allowed to get off the airplane. No one on the ground was allowed to come near any of the airplanes. Only airport police would come around periodically, look us over and go on to the next airplane.

In the next hour or so more planes landed and Gander ended up with 53 airplanes from all over the world, 27 of which were USA commercial jets. Meanwhile, bits of news started to come in over the airplane radio and for the 1st time we learned that airplanes were flown into the World Trade Center in New York and into the Pentagon in DC.

People were trying to use their cell phones, but were unable to connect due to a different cell system in Canada. Some did get through, but were only able to get to the Canadian operator who would tell them that the lines to the USA were either blocked or jammed.

Sometime in the evening, the news filtered to us that the World Trade Center buildings had collapsed and that a 4th hijacking had resulted in a crash. By now the passengers were emotionally and physically exhausted, not to mention frightened, but everyone stayed amazingly calm. We had only to look out the window at the 52 other stranded airplanes to realize that we were not the only ones in this predicament.

We had been told earlier that they would be allowing people off the planes one plane at a time. At 6 pm, Gander airport told us that our turn to deplane would be 11 am the next morning. Passengers were not happy, but they simply resigned themselves to this news without much noise and started to prepare themselves to spend the night on the airplane.

Gander had promised us medical attention, if needed, water, and lavatory servicing. And they were true to their word. Fortunately, we had no medical situations to worry about. We did have a young lady who was 33 weeks into her pregnancy. We took REALLY good care of her. The night passed without incident despite the uncomfortable sleeping arrangements.

About 10:30 on the morning of the 12th a convoy of school buses showed up. We got off the plane and were taken to the terminal where we went through Immigration and Customs and then had to register with the Red Cross. After that we (the crew) were separated from the passengers and were taken in vans to a small hotel. We had no idea where our passengers were going. We learned from the Red Cross that the town of Gander has a population of 10,400 people and they had about 10,500 passengers to take care of from all the airplanes that were forced into Gander!

We were told to just relax at the hotel and we would be contacted when the USA airports opened again, but not to expect that call for a while. We found out the total scope of the terror attack back home only after getting to our hotel and turning on the TV, 24 hours after it all started.

Meanwhile, we had lots of time on our hands and found that the people of Gander were extremely friendly. They started calling us the "plane people." We enjoyed their hospitality, explored the town of Gander and ended up having a pretty good time.

2 days later, we got that call and were taken back to the Gander airport. Back on the plane, we were reunited with the passengers and found out what they had been doing for the past 2 days.

What we found out was incredible . . . . .

Gander and all the surrounding communities (within about a 75 Km radius) had closed all high schools, meeting halls, lodges, and any other large gathering places. They converted all these facilities to mass lodging areas for all the stranded travelers. Some had cots set up, some had mats with sleeping bags and pillows set up. ALL the high school students were required to volunteer their time to take care of the "guests."

Our 218 passengers ended up in a town called Lewisporte, about 45 km from Gander, where they were put up in a high school. If any women wanted to be in a women-only facility, that was arranged. Families were kept together. All the elderly passengers were taken to private homes.

Remember that young pregnant lady? She was put up in a private home right across the street from a 24-hour Urgent Care facility. There was a dentist on call and both male and female nurses remained with the crowd for the duration.

Phone calls and e-mails to the USA and around the world were available to everyone once a day. During the day, passengers were offered "Excursion" trips. Some people went on boat cruises of the lakes and harbors. Some went for hikes in the local forests.

Local bakeries stayed open to make fresh bread for the guests. Food was prepared by all the residents and brought to the schools. People were driven to restaurants of their choice and offered wonderful meals. Everyone was given tokens for local laundry mats to wash their clothes, since luggage was still on the airplane.

In other words, every single need was met for those stranded travelers. Passengers were crying while telling us these stories. Finally, when they were told that USA airports had reopened, they were delivered to the airport right on time and without a single passenger missing or late. The local Red Cross had all the information about the whereabouts of each and every passenger and knew which plane they needed to be on and when all the planes were leaving. They coordinated everything beautifully. It was absolutely incredible.

When passengers came on board, it was like they had been on a cruise. Everyone knew each other by name. They were swapping stories of their stay, impressing each other with who had the better time. Our flight back to Atlanta looked like a chartered party flight. The crew just stayed out of their way. It was mind-boggling.

Passengers had totally bonded and were calling each other by their 1st names, exchanging phone numbers, addresses and email addresses.

And then a very unusual thing happened.

1 of our passengers approached me and asked if he could make an announcement over the (PA) system. We never, ever allow that. But this time was different. I said "of course" and handed him the mike. He picked up the (PA) and reminded everyone about what they had just gone through in the last few days. He reminded them of the hospitality they had received at the hands of total strangers.

He continued by saying that he would like to do something in return for the good folks of Lewisporte. "He said he was going to set up a Trust Fund under the name of "DELTA 15" (our flight number). The purpose of the trust fund was to provide college scholarships for the high school students of Lewisporte.

He asked for donations of any amount from his fellow travelers. When the paper with donations got back to us with the amounts, names, phone numbers and addresses, the total was for >$14,000!

"The gentleman, an (MD) from Virginia, promised to match the donations and to start the administrative work on the scholarship. He also said that he would forward this proposal to Delta Corporate and ask them to donate as well.

As I write this account, the trust fund is at >$1.5 million and has assisted 134 students in college education.

"I just wanted to share this story because we need good stories right now. It gives me a little bit of hope to know that some people in a faraway place were kind to some strangers who literally dropped in on them. It reminds me how much good there is in the world."

"In spite of all the rotten things we see going on in today's world, this story confirms that there are still a lot of good people in the world and when things get bad, they will come forward.

* This is one of those stories that need to be shared. Please do so.*

News Item A-2: Delta Air Lines (DAL) is entering the next phase of its exploration into running an energy business. (DAL) and its Monroe Energy subsidiary hired Barclays & Jeffries to look at opportunities to form a joint venture (JV) with the Trainer, Pennsylvania refinery it purchased for $150 million in 2012. The (JV) seeks to further enhance the benefits that the refinery provides to (DAL)'s fuel operation.

(DAL) bought the refinery in 2012 to secure a steady source of discounted jet fuel. Last March, (DAL) reportedly hired consultant firm Baker & O’Brien Inc to help it figure out the impact on jet fuel prices if it were to close or sell the refinery.

(DAL) said it would retain an ownership stake in the Trainer Refinery in any potential (JV), and ensure that it maintains current levels of jet fuel production, while a strategic partner would focus on gasoline, diesel fuel and other products made in the refining process.

“The Trainer Refinery brings nearly $300 million in annual value to (DAL) and we will continue to ensure this competitive advantage remains for our customers, employees and shareholders,” said Paul Jacobson, (DAL)’s (CFO). “After several years of ownership, it is natural for (DAL) to seek other opportunities that might exist to optimize the benefits to (DAL) and maximize the value of other aspects of the refinery for a potential (JV) partner.”

News Item A-4: (DAL) reported another record-breaking operating month, carrying 18.3 million customers across its global network in August. (DAL) detailed its monthly traffic results showing a 4% (YOY) increase in passenger's boarded, up from its previous August high of 17.6 million last year. Much of the bump came in domestic travel, with decreases in occupancy for flights to Latin America and the Pacific. (DAL) reported last month that (DAL) hit its highest-ever traffic month, with 18.3 million passengers in July.

Through August of 2018, (DAL) has transported nearly 130 million passengers, which is nearly +3% higher than in 2017.

Despite the lofty numbers, it's unlikely that (DAL) will have completely smooth flying ahead as hurricane season approaches.

News Item A-4: (DAL) said it's operation and meteorology teams are closely monitoring tropical storm "Gordon," which was expected to intensify into a Category 1 Hurricane. (DAL) proactively delayed flights in Gulfport, Mississipi and Mobile, Alabama.

The storm never became a hurricane but has reportedly been responsible for at least one death just west of the Alabama to Mississippi border.

The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said early last month that the 2018 hurricane season was shaping up to be "below-normal." That includes 13 named storms (0 to 2 hurricanes of Category 3 strength or higher, predicted for the season). Hurricane Irma "took" a bite out of (DAL)'s bottom line last September, costing (DAL) approximately $120 million.

October 2018: News Item A-1: Delta Air Lines (DAL) stock fell -3.4% on October 2nd after (DAL) said it took a -$30 million hit from Hurricane Florence and is paying more for fuel.

(DAL) said the 3rd quarter revenue for every seat flown 1 mile rose between +4% and +5%, a sign of rising prices. It said the extra revenue will help "partially offset" a 35% increase in spot fuel prices in the past year.

News Item A-2: Delta Air Lines (DAL) posted an adjusted 3rd-quarter (3Q) pre-tax income of $1.6 billion, down -6% or -$95 million year-over-year (YOY), as revenue-generation and cost-control measures helped (DAL) absorb most of a +$655 million increase in fuel costs. (DAL) posted record quarterly adjusted operating revenues of $11.8 billion, up +$912 million YOY. Adjusted total unit revenues were up +4.3%, to 16.25 cents. Unit costs remained flat at 9.62 cents.

News Item A-3: Delta Air Lines (DAL) will begin daily Boston, USA to Edinburgh, Scotland Boeing 757 service from May 23, 2019.

News Item A-4: Delta Air Lines (DAL)'s 1st A220-100 took off on its 1st flight from Mirabel airport, Québec, at 02:02 pm local time. The aircraft was crewed by A220 program test pilots (FC). During the successful 2 hour and 53 minutes flight, the (FC) checked the aircraft's main systems and landed back in Mirabel at 04:55 pm.

The flight took place a few days after the aircraft rolled out of the paint shop. Next, the aircraft will continue with pre-delivery testing and assembly, as elements of its state-of-the-art interior come together at the A220 assembly line. (DAL)'s 1st A220 is scheduled to begin service in early 2019.

(DAL) will be the 1st USA airline to operate the A220 (at the same time becoming the 4th A220 operator, after Swiss International Air Lines (CSR), airBaltic (BAU), and Korean Air (KAL). (DAL) is the largest A220-100 customer, with a firm order for 75 aircraft.

The A220-100 delivers improved fuel efficiency. It brings together state-of-the-art aerodynamics, advanced materials and Pratt & Whitney (PRW)'s latest-generation (PW1500G) geared turbofan engines to offer at least -20% lower fuel burn per seat compared to previous generation aircraft. With an order book of >400 aircraft to date, the A220 can compete in the 100- to 150-seat aircraft market, estimated to represent at least 7,000 aircraft over the next 20 years.

News Item A-5: Delta Air Lines (DAL) took delivery of its 1st Airbus A220-100 at the Mirabel delivery center in Quebec, Canada. (DAL), the 1st USA operator to operate the type, has 75 on firm order.

(DAL) will debut its A220-100s on flights to Boston Logan International (BOS) and Dallas/Fort Worth International (DFW) out of its New York LaGuardia (LGA) hub starting January 31, 2019.

(DAL) will steadily roll the newest narrow bodies out on other USA domestic large-hub-to-large-hub routes throughout the summer. (DAL)’s initial A220 rolled out in mid-September and made its 1st flight on October 6.

(DAL) (CEO) Ed Bastian said (DAL) has “big plans for our A220 fleet and are confident that (DAL) customers and Delta people alike will be delighted with the in-flight experience provided by this thoroughly modern and efficient aircraft.” The aircraft, formerly the Bombardier (BMB) CSeries 100, was rebranded the A220-100 in July after Airbus (EDS) took control of the CSeries program.

Next year, (DAL) will become the 1st USA airline to operate the new Airbus A330neo.

See 1st Delivery A220-100:

News Item A-6: Airbus (EDS) has a (DAL) contract to provide Skywise predictive maintenance services for about 400 A320s and A330s; data is collected from aircraft via new (FOMAX) exchangers.

News Item A-7: Delta TechOps launched authorized (Trent) engine maintenance with induction of (Trent 1000) module at new 127,000 sq ft facility (converted several large hangar bays) at Atlanta; it plans by the end of 2018 to open test cell to handle engines of 150,000 lb. thrust.

November 2018: "Delta Buys More A330neos, Delays A350 Deliveries" by
Karen Walker ((ATW) Plus), November 16, 2018.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) has placed a new order for 10 Airbus A330neos, increasing its total order for the wide body to 35, while further deferring delivery of 10 A350XWBs that were previously delayed. (DAL)'s new order is for the larger A330-900, the same variant it previously bought. The more fuel-efficient, Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent 7000)-powered aircraft accommodates 287 seats in a typical 3-class layout with a range of 7,200 nm.

* Delta Air Lines Behind Anonymous A330neo Order

(DAL) previously had 25 of each type of plane on order but now (DAL) wants to overlook their long-haul expansion. “The A330-900 is going to be an important addition to (DAL)’s fleet,” said Ed Bastian, Delta’s (CEO). “Airbus (EDS) has infused this next generation of the successful A330 family with new technology and features providing advanced levels of comfort for our passengers and significant operating cost reductions that will make our airline stronger in the decades to come.”

“Expanding our A330neo order not only ensures that (DAL)’s near-to-medium-term wide body needs are taken care of but also drives our strategic, measured international growth,” said Gil West, (DAL)’s Chief Operating Officer (COO).

“Operational efficiency and an exceptional passenger experience are core to (DAL)’s successful recipe, and it speaks volumes that they have chosen the A330-900,” said Christian Scherer, Airbus’ Chief Commercial Officer (CCO). “(DAL) has been endorsing the Airbus wide-body family from the outset by committing to both the A330 and the A350. We are listening to our customers and proud to be in the position to flexibly respond to their fleet requirements for more A330s and equally appreciate the ongoing commitment for more A350s as part of their long-term growth strategy.”

The A330neo is powered by Rolls-Royce’s (RRC) new (Trent 7000) engine, which offers fuel savings. But it has suffered delays as the (RRC) focuses on fixing extensive problems on a similar model that powers the Boeing 787.

December 2018: See Delta Air Lines/Seattle Seahawks Ad video:


Click below for photos:
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DAL-A321 - 2014-05
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DAL-A330-300 - 2013-09
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DAL-E190 - 2015-12.jpg

December 2018:

61 717-2BD (BR715) (5005-55004, /99 N940AT; 5006-55005, /99 N942AT "ESPRIT DE CORPS;" 5007-55006, /99 N943AT; 5008-55007, /99 N944AT; 5009-55008, /99 N945AT; 501O-55009, /99 N946AT, 5021-55013, /00 N951AT; 5027-55014, /00 N952AT, 55026, N965AT, 2015-05; 5136-55045, /04 N893AT; 5139-55047, /05 N895AT; 5143-55049, /05 N899AT; 5144-55050, /05 N922AT; 5148-55051, /05 N923AT, 5150-55052, /05 N983AT; 55058, N936AT; 55072, N930AT, 2015-05; 5155-55098, /06 N938AT; 5156-55099, /06 N939AT), AVBORNE MAINTENANCE, ALL 60 717 AIRPLANES TRANSFERRED FROM AIRTRAN AIRWAYS (CQT). 55064, 55067, TO (EIS) (2016-03). 12C, 105Y.

2 717-22A (BR715) (5074-55127, /01 N603AT; 5079-55128, /01 N604AT), (TBC) LEASED 2004-03. BOTH TRANSFERRED FROM (CQT). 12C, 105Y.

4 717-23S (BR715) (5065-55068, /01 N988AT; 5085-55152, /01 N989AT; 5088-55134, /01 N990AT; 5090-55135, /01 N991AT), (PEB) LEASED. (ALL 4 TRANSFERRED FROM (CQT). 12C, 105Y.

12 717-231 (BR715) (5017-55058, /00 N936AT; 5019-55069, /00 N9356AT; 5022-55070, /00N934AT; 5024-55071, /00 N933AT; 5025-55072, /00 N930AT; 5028-55073, /00 N932AT; 5032-55075, /00 N929AT, 2003-09; 5035-55076, /00 N928AT; 5038-55077, /00 N927AT; 5039-55078, /00 N926AT; 5042-55079, /00 N925AT; 5043-55080, /00 N924AT). TRANSFERRED FROM (CQT). 12C, 105Y.

10 717-231 (BR715) (5046-55082, /00 N921AT, 2003-03; 5049-55083, /01 N921AT; 5052-55084, /01 N919AT, 2003-01; 5055-55085, /01N815AT; 5056-55086, /01 N910AT; 5060-55087, /01 N906AT, 2003-03; 5063-55088, /01 N987AT 2003-01; 5067-55089, N986AT 2003-02; 5068-55090, /01 N985AT; 5075-55091, /01 N937AT), (TBC) LEASED. TRANSFERRED FROM (CQT). 12C, 105Y.

0 727-232 (JT8D), 119 SOLD TO (P&W) 1999-03. ALL RETIRED 2003-04.

0 737-200 (JT8D-15A HK) (991-23073, /83 N301DL; 1068-23105, /84 N344DL), 21774 WFU 2001-10 MOJAVE. 23103 REMOVED FROM STORAGE 2003-05. 23098 2003-09. 23186 2003-10. 23187 2003-11. 23091; 23098; 23185; RETURNED TO SERVICE 2004-05. 23184 RTS 2004-10. 23604; 23607; WFU 2005-03. 23079; WFU VICTORVILLE 2005-09. 23084; 23085; 23087; 23088; SOLD TO JETRAN 2005-09. 23608; 23609; SOLD TO JETGLOBAL 2005-10. 23089; 23090; RETURNED 2005-11. 23076; WFU AT VICTORVILLE 2006-02. 23093; 23094; SOLD TO JETGLOBAL 2006-02. 23104; 23105; 23604; 23605; 23606; RETURNED 2006-02. 23073; 23082; WFU AT VICTORVILLE 2006-04. 23517; 23518; RETURNED LESSOR 2006-06. 23082; RETURNED TO LESSOR 2006-07. 23096; WFU AT VICTORVILLE. 23074, N302DL; 23078, N306DL; WFU AT MOJAVE 2006-08. 23083; RETURNED 2006-08. 23075; 23077; 23080; 23081; 23086; 23091; 23101; 23184; 23185; WFU AT VICTORVILLE 2006-09. 8F, 92Y.

0 737-300 (CFM56-3). 23345 RETURNED 2005-05. 23259; 23345; 23376; RETURNED, LEASED TO (ASW) 2005-07. 23970; RETURNED, LEASED TO (CNJ) 2006-01. 23971 RETURNED, LEASED (KGD) 2006-01. 23181; 23182; 23596; 23599; RETURNED US BANK 2006-02 23442; 23597; RETURNED 2006-02. 23435; 23438; 24852; WFU AT VICTORVILLE 2009-05. 28F, 120Y.

0 737-3B7 (CFM56-3B2) (1007-22951, /84 N951WP; 1339-23378, /87 N952WP), EX-(WPA), (GEH) LEASED. RETURNED, LEASED TO (ASW) 2005-07. 8F, 120Y.

10 737-732 (CFM56-7B) (2758-29633, N306DQ, 2009-01; 2767-29679, N307DQ, 2009-01; 3022-29656, N308DE, 2009-09; 3031-29634, N309DE, 2009-09; 3058-29665, N310DE, 2009-10).

3 737-8BK (CFM56-7B) (2247-29642, 2007-04; 2231-29644, 2007-04; 2355-29660, 2007-08), (TCI) LEASED.

4 737-8EH (CFM56-7B) (39608, N503CS), EX-(PH-GUW); 39620, N775DE, 39624, N776DE) (GECAS) LEASED 2017-02, TO BE RE-REGISTERED (N773DE & N774DE); (39632, N773DE), EX-(PR-GXO), (GECAS) LEASED 2017-02 FERRIED TO SAN SALVADOR FOR WORK PRIOR TO ENTRY INTO SERVICE.

0 737-8FZ (CFM56-7B) (2615-29678, 2008-05; 2853-29682, 2009-04; 2888-29680, 2009-04; 3051-29637, 2009-10; 3060-29664, 2009-10; 3113-29663, 2009-12; 3140-29674, 2010-01; 3215-31713, 2010-03; 3237-31717, 2010-04; 3280-29649, 2010-05), ALL 10 737'S SOLD TO (BBB).

73 + 27 ORDERS 737-8HX (CFM56-7B26) (115-29619, /98 N371DA; 118-29620, /98 N372DA; 123-12962, /98 N373DA; 128-29622, /98 N374DA; 145-29623, /98 N375DA), 29670; 29671; 30826; SOLD TO ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND 2005-05. 29670 LEASED TO (FIH); 29671; & 30826; LEASED TO (FUA) 2005-06. 29635; SOLD TO (TCI) 2007-07; LEASED TO (SCA). 29673; SOLD TO (TCI) 2007-09. 29675; SOLD TO (TCI) 2007-10. 28676; SOLD TO (TCI) 2007-11. 29681, SOLD TO (CGP) 2008-01, LEASED TO (SKM); 29685; SOLD TO (TCI) 2007-12. 29649; SOLD TO (GCP) 2008-02. 29684; SOLD TO (CGP) 2008-03, LEASED TO (SNS). 29647; SOLD TO (CGP) 2009-04. 29654; ST (CGP) 2009-09. 3259-29686; SOLD TO (ACG) 2010-05. 16F, 138Y.

2 737-8KN (CFM56-7B) (3197-29636, DELIVERED 2010-03 & SOLD TO (BBB)), 3270-31716, DELIVERED 2010-05 & SOLD TO (BBB)).

0 737-8K2 (CFM56-7B) (2583-29650, 2534-29651), SOLD TO (BBB), LEASED TO (TAV). 16F, 138Y.

0 737-8K2 (CFM56-7B) (2946-29677), SOLD TO AVIATION CAPITAL GROUP (CGP). 16F, 138Y.

0 737-8V3 (CFM56-7B) (3151-29667), DELIVERED & SOLD TO AVIATION CAPITAL GROUP 2010-03.

2 737-832 (CFM56-7B) (30373, N386DA; 30823, N3772H; 30825, N3773D), EX-(N3772H & N3773D) 2010-07.

0 737-89P (CFM56-7B) (3083-29661, 2009-11; 3121-29652, 2009-12), ALL SOLD TO AMERICAN CAPITAL GROUP.

20 ORDERS 737-932ER:

88 +54 ORDERS 737-932ER (CFM56-7BE) (N801DZ, 2013-09 - - SEE PHOTO - "DAL-737-900ER - 2013-09; 4704-31915, /13 N809DN "SPIRIT OF SEATTLE;" 31974, N864DN 2016-08; 31975, N863DN, 2016-08; 31981, N870DN, 2017-01; 31982, N871DN, 2017-01), WITH WINGLETS.

13 737-932ER (CFM56-7BE) (31936, N825DN, 2014-08; 31937, N826DN, 2014-08; 31951, N840DN, 2015-05; 32959, N848DN, 2015-11; 31960, N849DN, 2015-11; 31966, N855DN; 2016-03; 31967, N856DN, 2016-03; 31983, N872DN, 2017-02; 31984, N873DN, 2017-02; 31989, N878DN 2017-05; 31990, N879DN, 2017-06; 32006, N901DN, 2018-07), (TCI) LEASED, WITH WINGLETS.


00 747-451 (PW4056) (721-23819, /89 N664US "THE SPIRIT OF BEIJING;" 804-24225, /90 N670US "THE ALLIANCE SPIRIT;" 1206-26477, /99 N671NW "CITY OF DETROIT," 1223-30267, /99 N672NW "SPIRIT OF ASIA;" (1226-30268, /99 N673US "SPIRIT OF TOKYO;" 1232-30269, /99 N674US "CITY OF SHANGHAI"), 23720; 23818; WFU AT MARANA 2005-10. 23818; 30267; 30268; WFU AT MARANA 2006-01. 23819; RETURNED TO SERVICE 2006-01. 30267; 30268; RTS 2006-05. SEE 2015-06 - - ACCDT - N664US. 65C, 338Y.

0 747-451 (PW4056) (1297-33001, /02 N675NW "SPIRIT OF THE NORTHWEST PEOPLE;" 1303-33002, /02 N676NW). 65C, 338Y.

0 747-451 (1206-26477, N671US) WFU AT MARANA 2010-04.

0 747-451 (N665US), EX-(NWA) 2008-12.

5 757-2Q8 (PW2037) (744-21625, N707TW; 741-28163, N704X; 743-28165, N706TW; 744-21625, N707TW; 754-28168, N709TW), EX-(AAL)/(TWA), (ILF) LEASED 2007-09.

10 757-2Q8ER (PW2037) (25624, N624AG, 2012-07; 736-27620, N703TW, 2007-07; 760-27624, N712TW, 2007-10; 744-27625, N707TW, 2007-06; 732-28162, N702TW, 2007-07; 741-28163, N704X; 743-28165, N706TW, 2007-08; 754-28168, N709TW, 2007-07; 757-28169, N710TW, 2007-10; 764-28173, N713TW), EX-(TWA)/(AAL), (ILF) 7 YEAR LEASED. 22C, 146Y.


7 757-231 (PW2037) (742-28479, N705TW, 2008-01; 758-28481, N711ZX, 2008-01; 854-28485, N717TW, 2008-02; 869-28486, N718TW, 2007-12; 874-29954, N721TW, 2007-11; 893-29385*, N722TW, 2007-12; 907-29378, N723TW, 2007-12), EX-(AAL)/(TWA), (ILF) & (PSS) LEASED. *29385; WITH WINGLETS AND IN "SKYTEAM" LIVERY 2011-10. 22F, 146Y.

109 757-232 (PW2037) (892-30187, /99 N6701 "SOARING SPIRIT" WITH "SALT LAKE 2002"), 4 (ETOPS) EQUIPPED. 48 WET-LEASED TO (SGD). ALL RETURNED. 22910; SOLD TO (CCA) 2007-09. 22813; WFU AT VICTORVILLE 2008-04. 22814; 22818; PARTED OUT TO (AAR) 2008-12. 22819; & 24217; WFU AT VICTORVILLE 2008-12; 23996; 2009-01. 27532; STORED VICTORVILLE 2009-04. 22823; STORED MARANA 6/09; 22912; STORED MARANA 7/09. 24420; & 24421; STORED MARANA 2009-09. 22907; 2009-10. (22819, N612DL; 22823, N616DL; 24420, N658DL; 24392 RETURSED TO SERVICE 2015-11; 24422, N660DL) REMOVED FROM STORAGE 2009-10. 24972; WFU AT MARANA 2009-11. 22912; 24972; RTS 2010-06 AFTER STORAGE. 22908; RTS 2010-07. 29724; N692DL; RTS 2012-01. 24389 RTS 2016-03. 199Y.

5 757-251 (26483, N536US; 26487, N540US; 26489, N540US), 2010-07. 23616; RETURNED TO SERVICE AFTER STORAGE 2010-10. 24263, N532US; RTS 2012-01.

5 757-26D (33959, N346BC; 33960, N393BC; 33961, N821DX; 33966, N822DX; 33967, N338BC), 2015-05 & 2016-03.

16 757-351 (N586NW - 2017-09; N593NW - SEE PHOTO 2015-04).

0 767-232 (CF6-80A) (83-22227, /84 N115DA), 22218 RETURNED TO SERVICE 2004-07. 22226 RETURNED TO SERVICE 2004-08. 11 SOLD TO (ABX) 2005-09. 22220 WFU 2005-09. 22213; SOLD TO (ABX) 2006-01. 22219; 22221; RETURNED (GEF) 2006-02, SOLD TO (ABX). 22217; SOLD TO (ABX) 2006-04. 22223; SOLD TO (ABX) 2006-07. 22215; SOLD TO (ABX) 2007-02. 22226 SOLD TO (ABX) 2007-03. 18F, 186Y.

2 767-3P6ER (389-25241, N154DL; 406-25354, N156DL), WITH WINGLETS.

22 767-332 (CF6-80C2) (751-27584, /99 N144DA), 23275; 23276; 23277; 23278; SOLD TO (HWI) 2006-02. 23437; RETURNED 2007-09. 23436; RETURNED 2007-10. 23279; LEASED TO (RYN) 2007-10. 24775; 24981; 24982; WFU AT VICTORVILLE 2008-09. 23435; 23438; 24852; WFU AT VICTORVILLE 2009-05. 25145; WFU 2009-10. 24076, N126DL WFU AT MARANA 2017-01. 24F, 228Y.

49 767-332ER (PW4060) (697-28458, /98 N1201P; N178DZ, 2017-09). 24775; WFU AT VICTORVILLE 2008-08. 27962; 28451; WFU AT MARANA 2009-11. 28451 RETURNED TO SERVICE 2009-12. 24803; WFU AT MARANA 2010-01. 27962; RETURNED TO SERVICE AFTER STORAGE 2010-06. (ETOPS). 28450; RETURNED TO SERVICE 2010-09. 48C, 147Y.


1 767-332ER (CF6-80C2B6/B7) (735-29694, /99 N1602). 48C, 147Y.

1 767-332ER (CF6-80C2B6) (30388, N1607B, 2017-08). 48C, 147Y.

3 767-3P6ER (CF6-80C2B4) (339-24984, /90 N152DL; 340-24985, /90 N153DL), EX-(GUL). 48C, 147Y.

21 +2/21 ORDERS /R25 767-432ER (CF6-80C2B7F) (758-29703, /99 N825MH; 773-29705, /99 N827MH; 810-29706 N833MH, 2016-07; N845MH "NATIONAL CANCER RESEARCH FOUNDATION" ON FUSELAGE BELOW NOSE DOOR - SEE PHOTO 2018-03; 855-29714, N841MH "AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY" 2018-05), 36F, 251Y.

1 777-200 (TRENT 892):

8 +12 ORDERS 777-232ER (TRENT 892) (202-29951, /99 N860DA; 207-29952, /99 N861DA) (249-29736, /99 N864DA, "SOARING SPIRIT"). 52C, 225Y.

10 777-232LR WORLDLINER (GE90) (697-29740, /08 N701DN "THE DELTA SPIRIT" 2008-02; 704-29741, N702DN, 2008-03; 772-29739, N704DK, 2009-03; 773-29752, N705DN, 2009-03; 776-30440, N706DN, 2009-04; 767-32222, N703DN, 2009-03; 781-39091, N707DN, 2009-04; 789-39254, N708DN, 2009-06; 854-40559, N709DN, 2010-03; 857-40569, N710DN, 2010-03), LAUNCH CUSTOMER. 276 PAX, INCLUDING 43 "BUSINESS ELITE" CLASS.

18 ORDERS (2020-02) 787-8:

0 MD-82 (49384, N490DN; 49604, N493DN; 49728, N492DN; 53005, N489DN; 53314, N482DN) WITHDRAWN FROM SERVICE 2017-02.

51 MD-90-30.

0 MD-11F (48502, N380BC; 48503, N382BC; 48504, N383BC; 48766, N460BC; 48780, N545BC; 48758, N546BC), 2016-09.

100 MD-88 (JT8D-219) (2059-53423, /93 N920DE), 49532; SCRAPPED 2009-02. 14F, 128Y.

40 MD-90-30 (V2525-D5) (2161-53396, /96 N916DN; 53457, N932DN; 53460, N935DN; 53544, N931DN; 53458, N930DN, 2015-12; 53531, N961DN; 53549, N929DN, 2015-12; 2163-53552, N917DN, 2009-06; 2200-53583, N921DN, 2010-02; 53585, N923DN, 2010-06; 53587, N925DN, 2010-07; 53588, N926DH, 2010-08), 12F, 138Y.

9 MD-90-30 (53352, N937DN, 2012-07; 53354, N946DN; 53523, N953DN; 53524, N954DN; 53556, N942DN; 53558, N944DN; 53560, N952DN), EX-(JA8062), EX-(JAL).

1 MD-90-30 (V2525-D5) (53459, N929DN), EX-(SAS), EX-(OH-BLC) 2010-12. 166Y.

2 MD-90-30 (V2525-D5) (2143-53523, N953DN; 2170-53526, N956DN), EX-(GUN) 2011-01. 166Y.

0 MD-11 (PW4460) (622-48624, /98 N815DE), 510-48476 WFU AT (BFG) 2003-02. 48474 LST (WLD) 2003-04. WILL RETIRE REMAINING 3 BY END OF 2003. 48480 WFU GOODYEAR 2003-05. 48601 WFU GOODYEAR 2003-08. 48600 WFU 2003-12. 48475 LEASED TO (WLD) 2004-02. 8 SOLD TO (FED) 2004-09. 48478 SOLD TO (FED) 2005-06. 48477; SOLD TO (UPS) 2006-02. 50C, 219Y.

57 A319-114 (CFM56-5A5) (1058, /99 N301NB, "CITY OF DULUTH;" 1149, N310NB; 1164, N311NB; 1186, N313NB; 1191, N314NB; 1167, N312NB; 1324, /00 N317NB; 1325, /00 N318NB; 2464, N374NB, 2005-05; 2474, N375NB, 2005-05). 1186 W/O 2003-01. 2039 DAMAGED 2005-05. 2641, N377NB. 1071; 1090; 1091; 1126; 1129; 1131; WFU AT MARANA 2005-10. 2618, N376NB, 2005-12; 2641, N377NB, 2005-12). 10 SOLD TO (SBR) 2006-07. 1071; 1090; 1126; 1129; & 1131; RETURNED 2006-05. 1078; 1164; 1167; RETURNED 2006-06. 1819; 1870; 2028; SOLD TO (GEF), LEASED TO (SBR) 2007-06. 2369; 2474; SOLD TO (GEF) 2007-06. 2373; 2464; 2618; 2641; SOLD TO (GEF) 2007-07. 16F, 108Y.

1 +74 ORDERS A220-100 (PW1500G) 2018-10.

19 A320-211 (CFM56-5A1) (281 STORED MARANA 2003-04; 306 2003-09). 060; 106; 107; 118; 121; 318; 319; 329; WFU AT MARANA 2005-10. 106; 107; WFU AT MARANA 2006-02. 032; 060; 106; & 107; SCRAPPED 2006-08. 031; 034; 040; 041; SCRAPPED BY (AUB) 2008-12. 16F, 132Y.

42 +3 ORDERS A320-212 (CFM56-5A3) (339 STORED AT MARANA 2003-04), 400; RETURNED (DEA), LEASED TO (NOU) 2006-04. 400; RETURNED 2006-03. 16F, 132Y.

8 +22 ORDERS A321-211ceo (CFM56) (6923, N301DV; 7233 A308DN; 7268, A309DN; 7327, N316DN, 2017-01; 7373, N317DN, 2017-02; 7546, N320DN, 2017-05; 7592, N321DH, 2017-06; 7707, N322DN, 2017-06; 7765, N324DX), ex-(D-AVZL, D-AZAW, D-AYAG, F-WZMB & F-WZMT) 2016-03, 2016-08, 2017-02.



12 +81 ORDERS A330-223 (PW4168A) (609, N851NW, 2004-07; 614, N852NW, 2004-08; 618; 620, N854NW 2004-09; 621, N855NW 2004-10; 623; 631, N856NW 2004-10; 633, N857NW 2004-11; 641; 662; 663, N809NW; 669; 718, N858NW, 2006-01; 722, N859NW, 2006-02; 778, N860NW, 2006-09; 784, N812NW, 2006-10; 796, N861NW, 2006-11), 32C; 211Y.

2 +8 ORDERS A330-302 (CF6-80E1) (1627, N822NW, 2016-06; 1769, N830NW, 2017-01, SEE PHOTO - - "DAL-2015-05 - 1ST A330-300 242-TONNE (MTOW)."

2 A330-302 (1679, N825NW, N858NW), EX-(F-WWTR) 2015-11.

29 A330-323X (PW4168A) (524, /03 N801NW; 533, /03 N802NW, 2003-07; 542, /03 N803NW; 549, /03 N804NW; 552, N805NW; 578, /03 N806NW; 588, 2004-06 N807NW; 591, 2004-04 N808NW; 663, N809NW, 2005-05; 674, N810NW, 2005-06; 690, N811NW, 2005-12; 778; 784, N812NW, 2006-10; 796; 799, N813NW, 2006-12; 806, N814NW, 2007-01; 817, N815NW, 2007-02; 821, N865NW, 2007-10; 827, N816NW, 2007-04; 843, N817NW, 2007-06; 857, N818NW, 2007-08; 858, N819NW, 2007-09; 865, N820NW, 2007-09). 4 CANCELED. 549 INTO HEAVY CHECK 2010-01. 552; RETURNED TO SERVICE 2010-01. 34C, 264Y.

35 ORDERS (2019-02) A330-900neo (TRENT 7000), 287 SEATS: 3 CLASS:

2 +23 ORDERS A350-900 XWB (TRENT XWB) (115, N501DN, 2015-08; N502DN, 2017-09), 32 DELTA ONE SUITES; 48 PREMIUM SELECT; 226 ECONOMY.


75/50 (2018-04) ORDERS BOMBARDIER CS100 (PW1500G):

00 ORDERS (2016-10) E190, 98 PAX: (1x2) F, (2x2) Y, 20 ORDERS CANCELED.

1 E190-100AR (024, 028) STILL PARKED AT MARANA 2016-08.


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DAL-1-Ed Bastian - R-2017-08.jpg
DAL-1-Ed Bastian with President Trump-2017-02.jpg