Delta announces further Atlantic and Pacific capacity cuts

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Delta Air Lines will cut capacity over the Atlantic by five percentage points and in the Pacific by one to two percentage points during the fourth quarter, president Ed Bastian told the Bank of America Merrill Lynch global transportation conference in Boston.

The airline now expects to reduce total capacity by 3% to 4% this year compared to 2011, he said.

Delta had previously outlined a 2% to 3% capacity reduction in 2012.

The Pacific reductions will mostly come from down-gauging aircraft on certain routes and selectively reducing flying in certain intra-Asia markets, said Bastian.

Delta returned its seven frequencies for the Atlanta to Shanghai-Pudong route to the US Department of Transportation earlier this month and has filed a request to delay the resumption of its Tokyo-Narita to Guangzhou flight until 1 June 2013 with the agency.

He did not comment on whether the Atlantic reductions would come from down-gauging aircraft or reduced flying.

The fourth quarter reductions are in line with Bastian's comments that Delta would more aggressively manage seasonal capacity in December 2011.