Due to softening demand and the global economic slowdown, Delta Air Lines said it plans to decrease system-wide capacity, for both Delta and Northwest, during 2009. This action comes as a result of the global economic recession and weaker demand for air travel, Delta said. The system-wide 2009 capacity will be down 6-8 percent year over year. Domestic capacity will be down 8-10 percent and international capacity will be down approximately 3-5 percent. These numbers include the full impact of previously announced 2008 capacity reductions.
In a letter to employees from CEO Richard Anderson and President Edward H. Bastian, Delta said it must take the necessary steps to adjust its business and make certain seat capacity meets customer demand.
“These economic hurdles are difficult, and we remain committed to building our company on a durable financial foundation with industry-leading liquidity,” the statement reads. “Even with the economic recession, we are achieving significant benefits from our merger and will continue to do so. The merger has allowed us to develop growth opportunities as we connect the networks to create new revenue streams neither airline could have achieved independently. We will continue to follow the Flight Plan to invest in and further diversify our international network in the Pacific, Africa, India and the Middle East to help mitigate the risk from specific regional economies. We will remain focused on, and continue to adapt to, the rapidly changing global economy to better align supply with demand.”
The Delta executives said that in spite of fuel at record levels earlier this year and now the unfolding economic recession that Delta has a solid cash balance, best-in-class cost per available seat mile (CASM) and superior operational performance.