Delta emerges from Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Delta's new logo
Image: Delta Air Lines.
A Delta Air Lines Boeing 767 displaying Delta's previous livery design
Image: Juergen Lehle.

Delta Air Lines emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy Monday, following a 19-month restructuring that left it with 6,000 fewer employees, US$3 billion less in annual costs, and a different mix of international and domestic routes.

While cutting back on domestic service, Delta has expanded into "over 60 new international routes," according to its website. It is not known exactly what domestic service was cut or by how much to achieve the cost savings that allowed it to expand internationally.

Delta has faced pressure from low-fare airlines domestically and is hoping to benefit from the higher profit margins on international flights, which have not yet felt the same competitive pressure.

To reflect the airline's new international focus, Delta unveiled a new logo Monday, with an updated Web site launched the following day. They are also in the process of re-painting their airplanes with a new livery, a process that could take up to four years.

As of Monday Delta's shares were trading on a "when issued" basis at just above $20, giving it a market value of over US$8 billion, second only to Southwest Airlines among United States carriers. Shares are expected to begin trading Thursday, May 3.