Delta Air Lines
Boeing 777-232ER N867DA
shot from the Steve Hill collection. This 777 is on short finals into
International Airport in December of
2003. Although physically similar to the 767-400ER,
the 777 is
actually quite a bit larger and has longer range. Seating up to
440 is possible (although I would not like
to journey long distances on one so
configured). Since first putting the 777 into service in
has run into a financing crunch (see below)
and has had to defer the deliveries of some aircraft. As of
early 2006 there are
only 8 of these handsome machines in service (with 5 on order).
Delta Air Lines
filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September 2005.
This was the first time
in the 76
year old history of the company that it was forced to do this.
The Board of Directors voted to
so file in the the "best interests of
the company". At the time of the filing, Delta had $20.5 billion
$10 billion of
which had accumulated since January, 2001. There was talk of
merging with Northwest
Airlines but that appears to have
come to nought. An announcement was made outlining the
of the company, targeting an additional $3 billion per
year in cost reductions by 2007. Part of this includes
altering its network structure by
"right-sizing" hubs and increasing point-to-point routes. Other
slated to come from debt relief, lease
and facility savings, and fleet modifications. Non-union workers'
salaries will be reduced by a minimum
of 9% across the board, with a 15% reduction for executive officers
and a 25% pay cut for CEO Gerald
Grinstein. The company plans to reduce domestic capacity by up to
20% while growing the more
profitable international route capacity by 25%. New routes in
Atlanta to Moscow, Edinburgh, Tel Aviv, Nice, Dusseldorf, Copenhagen
and Venice and New
York to Budapest, Dublin and
Manchester, England . Based on these new initiatives, Delta
return to profitability within two
years based on a crude oil price model of $66 per barrel, in contrast to
other bankrupt carriers'
restructuring models based on $55 per barrel. The saga continues.