From USA Today's great 'Today in the Sky' airline blog ... this also isn't good news for LA, but is likely to have far less of an impact on DL than WDW.
BTW, Delta was the Official Airline of WDW for a decade starting in 1989.
<<LAX, Orlando hard hit as Delta is latest to detail cuts
Delta has joined the parade of carriers announcing job and flight cuts as it tries to cope with the meteoric rise of fuel costs. The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) writes Delta "expects to reduce domestic capacity by 13% in the second half of this year, compared with the 10% reduction it announced in March . International capacity is expected to grow 15% to 17% in 2008, in line with previous guidance, with Delta adding 20 international routes.' The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (free registration) adds the company "expects to generate $200 million in annual savings from the voluntary retirements and separations of more than 4,000 employees."
Delta officials also say they expect fuel costs are expected to jump by about $4 billion this year, though the Wall Street Journal says "those fuel increases will be partially offset by about $1 billion in hedging gains, with benefits expected in future years." Bloomberg News adds "Delta said it has hedged 22% of its 2009 fuel needs, and 5% for 2010." Delta also detailed some of the additional routes it will drop as it cuts capacity. The Dallas Morning News (free registration) says the carrier's cuts "would focus on routes where the flights don't start or end in one of Delta's connecting hubs.'
Of Delta's markets slated for cuts, the Orlando Sentinel notes "the ax will fall particularly heavy in Orlando." Delta says it will drop routes between Orlando and Nashville; Key West; Raleigh-Durham; Birmingham; Columbus, Ohio; Lexington, Ky.; New Orleans; Panama City, Fla.; Richmond, Va.; Louisville and Knoxville. Bob Cortelyou, Delta's senior vice president of network planning, tells the Sentinel that Orlando and Delta's other "secondary markets" have become difficult to keep viable, especially if there's a lot of service on 50-seat regional jets and a high proportion of leisure travelers.
"High fuel prices and regional jets are like oil and water -- they don't necessarily mix," Cortelyou tells the Sentinel. "You only have 50 seats to play with. If you can't get a good fare with 50 seats and if you don't get enough people to pay a high enough fare, you just can't make the plane work." But Orlando is not alone in feeling the weight of Delta's cuts. The Los Angeles Times (free registration) writes Delta "plans to slash about 13% of its flights at Los Angeles International Airport, including nonstop service to Boston, Hartford, Conn., and Columbus, Ohio, according to a national flight database."
The Times adds Delta's "latest cuts would be the deepest so far at LAX, which had managed to escape the brunt of an industrywide move to ground flights as a way to cope with escalating fuel prices. Delta is the fourth-largest carrier at the airport." The paper also says Delta's cuts "would in effect end the Atlanta-based carrier's plans to expand at LAX and make the largest airport in Southern California one of its major hubs.">>