Northwest and Delta on Strike: What About Cargo?

For the time being, shippers using these combination carriers for moving cargo will have to reassure themselves that flights to selected destinations are still moving. They probably will be, as now four of the nation’s top six legacy carriers are restructuring under Chapter 11 protection.

Covered in the Delta filing are the airline, its low-fare subsidiary, Song and regional affiliate, Comair. When the airline emerges from bankruptcy, it will look significantly different if its present plans are followed. Delta intends to reconfigure its fleet, deploying smaller aircraft on many of its routes and will “right-size” its hub operations.

The airline assures shippers that there will be no changes in its cargo shipping policies and procedures and that there will be no changes in Delta Air Logistics operations and there will be no changes in its alliance membership with SkyTeam Cargo.

Fuel costs, pension payments and a mechanics strike are reasons given for the Northwest filing. The airline intends to shrink in size, returning aircraft to those from whom it has been leasing them. The company says that when its restructuring is completed it will not look “materially different, but will be somewhat smaller.”

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