Delta, Air France Slash Trans-Atlantic Capacity

Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) and trans-Atlantic joint venture partner Air France KLM announced on Thursday they would cut capacity this fall between Europe, the U.S. and Canada by 7% to 9% to manage expenses amid climbing jet fuel prices.

The airlines will reduce frequency on selected routes during the fall and winter seasons, while cutting back on the trans-Atlantic fleet and introducing seasonable flying to warm weather destinations.

“With the most established joint venture across the Atlantic, we are in a unique position to collaborate with our JV partners to make full use of our combined fleet and networks to generate healthy returns and consistently serve our customers,” Perry Cantarutti, Delta’s senior vice president of Europe, Middle East and Africa, said in a statement.

With more than 260 daily trans-Atlantic flights and a fleet of 144 aircraft, the venture between Air France, Alitalia and Delta has offered competitive fares structured around seven main hubs, including Amsterdam, Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis, New York-JFK, Paris-CDG and Rome Fiumicino. The venture also offers flights to more than 500 other destinations in the U.S. and Europe.

Airlines across the globe have been forced to contract and raise fares to deal with the volatile price of oil, but Delta seems to have been particularly hit.

Delta earlier this month warned U.S. employees that it would have to take more permanent measures to deal with sharply rising operating expenses, and said it would offer early retirement and buyout packages to the majority of its 80,000 employees in the country.