Thursday, February 19, 2009

More Cuts at Delta, Part of 'Massive Downsizing' by Airlines

Get ready for more news like this:

Delta Air Lines, currently assimilating the operations of Northwest Airlines, which it acquired last year, said it's giving buyouts to 2,100 workers who have applied, and may eliminate even more jobs. Last year, Delta cut 4,000 jobs. (It currently has 70,000 employees, including the Northwest work force).

As part of what it called a "massive downsizing" underway throughout the domestic airline industry, Delta indicated that it might also make further reductions in seat capacity. Last year, Delta reduced its capacity by 11 percent (with most of the cuts hitting domestic routes) and said in December that it planned a further 6-8 percent reduction this year. Toay's announcement indicates that the cuts might go even deeper.

Too many reporters chronically parrot the incremental palaver they get dropped into their tin cups from from their main sources, airline front offices. Here's my prediction: By the end of this year, our domestic air-travel system will be 20 to 25 percent smaller that it was two years ago. That means fewer options, more connections to get there, fewer flights, higher fares, planes more packed full than ever, lousier customer service -- and a big public outcry about the deterioration of our national air transportation system and the utter lack of preparation our government has demonstrated so far.

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4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Also of note...
It is my understanding that the "infrastructure investments" incorporated into the nearly $800B spending plan, provide NO additional investment in technology, reliability, capacity, and safety enhancements for the aviation industry. The FAA, Airlines, and General Aviation have been clamoring for enhancement funding for years.

Be prepared for aviation woes to remain a frequent flyer in the headlines!

Anonymous said...

Also of note...
It is my understanding that the "infrastructure investments" incorporated into the nearly $800B spending plan, provide NO additional investment in technology, reliability, capacity, and safety enhancements for the aviation industry. The FAA, Airlines, and General Aviation have been clamoring for enhancement funding for years.

Be prepared for aviation woes to remain a frequent flyer in the headlines!

Steve Filson said...

Joe, I'm really amazed that no one has commented on any of the last few posts. You are really hitting some very important facts about the industry but where are the readers?
For myself, long working inside the industry, it's refreshing to finally see these topics addressed outside of usual union versus management dialogue. ALPA and other labor representation has been saying these things about fatique and pay for years but the media and public have largely dismissed it as labor whining.
Thank you for your posts.

ChefNick said...

Joe,

I also agree that no one seems to be checking in here. You have one of the most cogent web logs on this subject, and I am not ANYTHING to do with any airline industry past being an airline brat.

But I for one am glad you're doing it, and your posts are really not going unregarded, at least in this general direction.