Delta will implement the largest capacity cut in its history
as cancellations are exceeding new bookings for travel over the next four
A 40% capacity cut will last for the “next few months,” CEO
Ed Bastian said in a letter to employees Friday. Up to 300 aircraft will be
A sizeable portion of the cuts will come from Europe.
Bastian said Delta will eliminate flying to continental Europe for 30 days as
the U.S. ban on travel from the continent is ongoing. Service to London, which
isn’t subject to the ban, will continue.
“The speed of the demand fall-off is unlike anything we’ve
seen -- and we’ve seen a lot in our business,” Bastian wrote.
To counter the collapse, Delta will defer new aircraft
deliveries, reduce capital expenditures by at least $2 billion for the year and
substantially reduce the use of contractors and consultants. The carrier has
also frozen hiring and is offering unpaid leave to employees.
“We’ll be making more critical decisions in the days to
come,” Bastian said. “The situation is fluid and likely to be getting even
He added that Delta is better positioned to weather a
massive downturn than it has ever been.
“We will get through this, and taking strong, decisive
action now will ensure that we are properly positioned to recover our business
when customers start to travel again,” he wrote.