Delta Air Trims 2002, 2003 Fleet Plans
ATLANTA (Reuters) - Delta Air Lines(NYSE:DAL - news) on Thursday trimmed its fleet growth plans for this year and 2003 to counter the weak economy and slump in demand that battered the aviation industry after the Sept. 11 attacks.
Delta, the nation's third-largest airline, said it would take delivery of 13 new aircraft over this year and 2003, but would defer delivery of 39 aircraft out of 52 planned deliveries over that time. Deliveries of deferred aircraft have been moved to 2004 and beyond.
The airline also said it plans to accelerate retirement of its entire fleet of 50 Boeing(NYSE:BA - news) 727 aircraft from early 2005 to late 2003.
Most U.S. airlines have reduced capacity by deferring orders and parking older planes as they struggle to match fleets to the weaker demand for travel.
Delta, which buys jetliners exclusively from Boeing Co.(BA.N), took delivery of 38 Boeing aircraft in 2001, including 27 narrowbody 737 aircraft. The airline has firm orders for another 74 Boeing jets, including 65 737 aircraft.
Delta shares were down 69 cents, or 2.32 percent, to $29.01 during Thursday afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange (news - web sites).
Photo © Scott Leazenby