Delta to investors: capacity to be cut

Yesterday, Delta CEO Richard Anderson and President Edward H. Bastian sent a memo to its 70,000 employees announcing passenger capacity cuts. Distributed with the subject line, “Responding to a Worsening Economy,” the memo outlines Delta’s proposed changes that were planned for announcement at an investor conference later the same day.

According to the memo, “In just the few months since we last announced capacity reductions, revenues have weakened, particularly in international markets. Once again, we must move quickly to adjust our capacity and stay in front of demand changes.” So, Delta is getting to trim international passenger capacity by an additional 10 percent – starting in September 2009. Flights across the Atlantic will get hit by 11 percent to 13 percent, with those across the Pacific losing 12 percent to 14 percent beginning this winter.

These cuts come on top of a previous announcement to reduce system-wide passenger capacity by 6 percent to 8 percent by December 2009. Nonetheless, capacity may be up slightly by December, as Delta takes advantage of “targeted growth opportunities through new routes and increased frequencies.”