Delta Air Lines to trim capacity on trans-Atlantic routes

ATLANTA, Thu May 17, 2012 – Delta Air Lines will cut capacity on trans-Atlantic routes 5 percent after Labor Day, airline President Ed Bastian said on Thursday.

Speaking on a webcast of a Merrill Lynch transportation conference, Bastian said the company’s total full-year capacity — the number of seats it sells — will be down 3 percent to 4 percent. The second-largest U.S. airline had previously said it would cut its 2012 capacity 2 percent to 3 percent.

The airline industry has been battered in recent years by soaring fuel costs. Carriers fought back in 2008 with steep capacity cuts on unprofitable routes to help trim costs and bolster fare prices.

Delta last month said it would buy an oil refinery to save money on fuel.