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Posted: 10/21/2004 4:52:23 AM EDT
I'm not going to turn this into a bashing thread, but I am going to post some things after this article.

DAL in CBS marketwatch

Delta Q3 loss more than triples
Carrier loses $646 million; cash on hand is $1.45 billion
By Padraic Cassidy, CBS MarketWatch.com
Last Update: 5:16 PM ET Oct. 20, 2004
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NEW YORK (CBS.MW) -- Delta Air Lines made another plea for pushing through a $1 billion cost-savings plan Wednesday as it reported a huge loss from operations.

Delta's (DAL: news, chart, profile) net loss widened to $646 million, or $5.16 per share, compared with $164 million or $1.36 per share in the third quarter of 2003.

Delta reported $3.87 billion in revenue, up from $3.66 billion in revenue in the third quarter of 2003.

The results moved the Atlanta based airline closer to bankruptcy as the company confirmed it held just $1.45 billion in cash as of Sept. 30, a critically low level.

"Last month we outlined the key elements of Delta's transformation plan, which targets $1 billion in annual pilot cost savings, as well as participation from Delta's other stakeholders," said Gerald Grinstein, Delta's chief executive officer, in a statement. "As Delta's financial situation continues to deteriorate, time is of the essence."

The stock fell 6 cents to $2.93.

The carrier said record fuel prices and weak domestic passenger traffic also led to the poorer results.

The average analyst estimate was for a loss of $4.38 per share from $3.83 billion in revenue.

September's load factor was 77.7 percent, an increase of one percentage from September 2003.

Shares of Delta lost 12 cents Tuesday to close at $2.99

I'm an Aviation Maintenance Technician at Delta Air Lines.
Now when I was hired on, our promise from managment was "Top Pay for Top Performance". Now that is no more. We are still considered the top performers in the airline industry, performing the same ammount of maintenance as other comparable airlines, but with 30% less people. My pension has disappeared. I have seen my health insurance costs rise over 300% in the past three years alone. I am taking a 10% pay cut in January, with a possible layoff in the next 18 months or so. I am non union, that is why I chose to work for DAL instead of any other airline. I understand that we need to help the company come along, but I have gotten to the point of praying for DAL to go into Chapter 11. Here's a few reasons why. Upper managment inked an agreement for a bankruptcy protected pension plan for 35 top execs, two weeks after they trashed the non-contract employee pension. We were streched thin when I transferred to the Dept I am in now, and are being told that our work load is going to increase, while head count is going to be reduced. I have seen mechanics get moved to another department, with the promise of being able to go back, and after they moved, an unconfirmed rumor has started that their job classification will change, and they will not get the chance to come back, and on top of that they will lose over 50% of their pay on top of the 10% cut.

The whole time I am watching this happen to my own company, I keep hearing we're waiting on the pilots and the airline to negotiate cuts. I don't see how the math that they put out adds up and I don't think the pilot cuts will be enough. Sadly it is looking like Delta will become another or . Both were bought out by Delta in the late 80's/early 90's.

BTW I just needed to rant a bit. I wish I was in a position to just say fuck it, quit, and move on, but sadly I am not.

Link Posted: 10/21/2004 5:01:14 AM EDT
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 5:06:47 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/21/2004 5:07:03 AM EDT by badeffect10]
I hate to hear that. Best of luck to you. Its amazing how quick all those promises that were made in the beginning get tossed out the door at their convenience.
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 5:12:52 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/21/2004 5:14:30 AM EDT by thelibertarian]
Sorry man, but Delta has got to go down. I know it's your job, but the airlines need to be taught the lesson that serving the customer should take priority over getting favorable treatment from the government. Otherwise, even more people are going to be out of work soon.

I blame Delta management, but I also blame the feds for giving those loan guarantees which only served to increase the eventual pain and suffering of all. The creation of the TSA is a big drag on the profitability of air travel, it is something that never should have been allowed to happen. Now, with high oil prices, you have the straw that will break the camel's back. All because of government interference in the marketplace. Instead of fighting it with every fiber in their being, the management took the pussy route and played along, thinking that they could use it as leveralge to get big handouts and favorable restrictions on competition. Sorry guys, but whenever you deal with the bull, you get the horn.

The good news is that if you are good at your job, someone else will probably hire you.

Sorry if this is now a bashing thread...but hey, they reneged on all of their promises to you.
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 5:18:41 AM EDT
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 5:19:31 AM EDT
I feel for ya brother! 19 years in aviation maintenance, I spent the last 4-1/2 years with United Express to get laid off this past July. Here is a link I read this morning about the industry.

Airline workers make backup plans for future jobs
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 5:26:37 AM EDT
Delta's business model is based on conditions that existed during airline regulation. That is ancient history.

There are airlines that are making money right now. Delta will have to scrap probably 65% of what it has now in terms of equipment, hubs, routes, and (sorry) employees.

Then come back as a strong, low cost regional offering the south east US the best and cheapest service around.

There really are too many chiefs in the big brick buildings overlooking the runways, and they are trying to save money by getting rid of the "indians" who are actually doing the work.

The corporate culture there refuses to make the change, chapter 11 will give them enough time to bail and find a buyer. NO business can post quarterly losses time after time likd the big D has and remain in business.

BTW, STS is still paying $20/hr,has openings in Macon at the old Zantop facility.
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 5:32:05 AM EDT
I thought Comair was a fantastic airline until Delta bought it and fucked it up.

I've got a bunch of friends who work at CVG who are in the exact same boat. The consolation is that public companies rarely (if ever) just evaporate. There will always be some entity there fixing and flying planes. Hang on tight and be the last man standing. Maybe you'll get some cool stock options in the new company for hanging on.

Then again, the guy who bails early gets to pick from the job market before it's flooded with the inevitable procrastinaters who hang on until the last minute.
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 5:35:07 AM EDT
Unfortunately, according to some, there is too much capacity, too many routes, too many hubs, etc, to sustain the number of airlines we have now. Obviously 9/11 didn't help, but there were a few airlines with less than rosy futures even before that. Without any .gov bailout, the future doesn't look good for Eastern OR US Air.

I know what it's like to worry about your future...so I can certainly empathize with you....but there's not much else to say...you're kinda in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 6:17:33 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/21/2004 6:30:38 AM EDT by DeltaAir423]

Originally Posted By Fenian:
Without any .gov bailout, the future doesn't look good for Eastern OR US Air.

Eastern disappeared in the late 80's, when the CEO basically closed the doors and liquidated everything because the pilots and ALPA refused to give up any concessions. The next day there were several Eastern pilots standing outside Atlanta airport holding up signs that said "We Won!!!"

TheLibertarian: I agree customer service needs to be ranked high, but I believe safety should be ranked even higher. Only through safety, can I achieve great customer service. A few years ago the FAA pulled a suprise inspection on an Evergreen Air Cargo 747. The items that they found wrong would give anyone the willies, and this was a CARGO bird. Evergreen has virtualy no in house maintenance. Most of their work was done by a contract company. I have worked the contractor route, and unfortunatley, due to my ethics about my job, I would never work for a contract company again. There are hangars in Mexico popping up, and getting buy just enough to get their FAA certification for a repair station, so they can start doing work on United States carrier aircraft. Several airlines are looking at contracting out all of their heavy maintenance, and frankly I would not fly on a carrier that contracts any signifigant part of maintenance.

Lemme put it this way, if I provide you with a jet that has a safety concern, HOW THE FUCK AM I PROVIDING GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE?!?!?!?!?!?!? I bet that $40 ticket your paid for is looking pretty good when the ground is coming up at 300 mph.
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 7:52:17 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/21/2004 7:53:45 AM EDT by 71-Hour_Achmed]
IMHO United is the outfit that really screwed the pooch. UAL got bought out by the unions, which promptly jacked up salaries to ridiculous levels. Then all the union dickheads at the other airlines started demanding "industry-leading contracts" (leading the industry where? into bankruptcy?) to jack their pay up even higher.

The airline industry was already sliding down the slippery slope long before Sept. 11th. I think the only solution is the eventual buyout of the huge carriers like United, Delta, NWA, and so on by small, competitive airlines like Southwest and JetBlue.

I'd like to see SWA go for a mixed fleet -- get some 777's for intercontinental travel routes, feeding their domestic 737 lines. United's 777's would look good in Southwest's desert paint scheme. They could do half a dozen U.S.->London routes and ally with RyanAir for the connections on the other side.

ETA: Isn't Evergreen Air better known as EVA Air? If so, they're the safer of the two Taiwanese carriers. China Air (CAL) has a horrible reputation over here.
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 7:58:06 AM EDT
You forgot one Delta bought out....

Link Posted: 10/21/2004 9:40:08 AM EDT
Evergreen is the outfit that has the big airliner boneyard in Marana AZ,on of the few places if you tresspass,you will be shot on sight.They also have a big container operation going
I think its a damned shame about Delta's troubles,(my dad flew for Delta for 33 years,DC-6-7,CV-880,DC-9,and retiring on the 727,flying the old Pan Am routes) Its damned near tough to compete against SWA,(I worked for Comair for 6 years, its a bitch trying to turn an RJ in 15-20 min.) BTW,SWA will NEVER aquire another A/C type or fly Int'l,that would go against their whole business model,they luv those 737s.
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 10:02:26 AM EDT
The creditors are in too deep to let the majors tank; that's what keeps them floating with muti-tens of millions of dollar losses each quarter.

The entire airline industry has a dumb ass business model and it won't get fixed until they start charging a fair price for the costs. American Airlines started the current mess with "Super Saver" fares under Crandall in an attempt to drive out competition.

The FAA and federal regulation doesn't help.
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