Delta Plans to Cut Back International Flying

ATLANTA (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS) -

Delta Air Lines plans to cut international flying by 3 percent this winter, saying the strong dollar is creating “currency headwinds” overseas.

The cuts will include a 15 to 20 percent reduction in Japan flights; a 15 percent cut to Brazil; a 15 to 20 percent cut to Africa, India and the Middle East; and suspension of service to Moscow for winter, Atlanta-based Delta said. The cuts are focused on markets most affected by the strong dollar and where oil-price declines have affected demand, the airline said.

Delta still plans to increase domestic flying by 2 percent, resulting in flat flight capacity overall for the fourth quarter ending in December.

The company made the announcement as it reported $746 million in net income for the first quarter, and said it had a record pre-tax March quarter profit. Although fuel prices are lower, Delta’s results included $1.1 billion in settled hedge losses on advance fuel contracts. Delta also said its scheduled flight capacity increased 5 percent in the first quarter, but it removed 2 percentage points of that capacity due to winter storms. Its passenger traffic increased 3.6 percent.