Flight International online news 10:30GMT: Delta Air Lines is to close low-fare unit Song in May 2006 as part of its court protected restructuring.
The move will end a three year experiment by the US major, which had attempted to combat low-cost competition on the east coast with its own one-class low-fare offering.
Starting in May, Song’s 48 Boeing 757-200s will be upgraded from the current one-class 199-seat configuration to a two-class cabin. Delta says this will include a 26-seat first-class, but is not detailing the reduction in economy-class capacity.
All 48 aircraft will also be repainted in Delta’s standard livery. The changes will be completed by the end of 2006, says Delta.
The carrier will also reconfigure at least 50 more aircraft with this all-leather, two-class cabin. Song’s current inflight entertainment system, which includes 24 live television and 10 on-demand video channels, games and music, will also be installed across the fleet.
Although the Song brand will disappear from May, Delta is calling this new fleet its “Song service”.
This fleet of about 100 aircraft will be deployed across Delta’s domestic network. This, says Delta, will allow the carrier to redeploy widebody aircraft currently operating on domestic routes to higher yield, higher utilization international markets.
Kieran Daly says British carriers have made this sort of plan work, but not US majors. Read his blog .
Source: Flight International