ATLANTA, Dec. 19, 2007 – Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) is pleased with some of the recommendations presented today to President Bush by the Department of Transportation (DOT) for easing congestion and reducing delays at New York’s three major airports to ensure that growing demand for air travel in the region can be met. The airline commends the FAA for its willingness to work toward implementing the 77 short-term capacity improvement recommendations supplied by the New York Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC).
“Secretary Peters and the DOT took a step in the right direction today, and it is clear the DOT has taken to heart some of the suggestions made by Delta and the rest of the industry, including appointing a czar who is accountable to all constituents, and opening up military airspace,” said Delta CEO Richard Anderson. “We urge the FAA to move aggressively to increase capacity in the New York airspace.
“Delta has worked cooperatively with the FAA to reduce voluntarily its 2008 summer schedule during the peak period by nearly 20 percent. We are doing everything possible to make the flight experience of our customers a simple and worry-free one, but the FAA and DOT must respect our efforts to address delays in the New York area through schedule reductions and ensure that new entrant carriers are not allowed to add new flights in the congested period, resulting in the same extensive delays we experienced last summer.
“To preserve the benefit derived from these sacrifices and ensure that future growth does not bring a return of congestion and delays, we urge the Administration to implement fully the Worldwide Scheduling Guidelines. This internationally recognized, market-based solution is used at more than 230 airports around the world and will prevent a return of congestion while respecting the investments made by U.S. carriers at JFK,” Anderson said. “We call upon the Administration to follow the near-unanimous recommendation of the New York ARC and implement this system as soon as possible.”
While Delta applauds the DOT’s suggestions for improving capacity, Delta has grave concerns about the DOT’s proposal to impose auctions to allocate new capacity in the New York airports.
“Not only are auctions illegal, but they will do nothing to eliminate congestion. Moreover, carriers such as Delta that have substantially reduced their schedules should have their flights restored before DOT sells new capacity to the highest bidder,” Anderson said.
Delta Air Lines operates service to more worldwide destinations than any airline with Delta and Delta Connection flights to 324 destinations in 58 countries. Since 2005, Delta has added more international capacity than any other major U.S. airline and is the leader across the Atlantic with flights to 36 trans-Atlantic markets. To Latin America and the Caribbean, Delta offers more than 650 weekly flights to 61 destinations. Delta's marketing alliances also allow customers to earn and redeem SkyMiles on nearly 15,000 flights offered by SkyTeam and other partners. Delta is a founding member of SkyTeam, a global airline alliance that provides customers with extensive worldwide destinations, flights and services. Including its SkyTeam and worldwide codeshare partners, Delta offers flights to 489 worldwide destinations in 106 countries. Customers can check in for flights, print boarding passes and check flight status at delta.com.