Delta focuses on cargo

DELTA Airlines, despite a dramatic fall in global air cargo demand, is to bolster its cargo operations. Following the merger between Delta and Northwest in October 2008, the new airline will reduce its passenger capacity by 20 per cent by the end of 2009.

Delta’s third quarter cargo revenue for 2008 was US$162 million, a year-on-year improvement of 35 per cent.

This year, Delta will develop a raft of new routes to Africa, Asia and Australia – all destinations with strong cargo opportunities.

“If you look at the revenue profiles on flights like Detroit to London or Detroit to Amsterdam, the cargo revenue provides a lot of the margin on that trip,” said Neel Shah, Delta’s vice president of cargo.

With falling passenger demand as well as cargo, a focus on bellyhold cargo looks set to be the compromise that Delta and other carriers will be aiming at to keep operating at optimal efficiency.

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