Delta flies into new airline era

first_imgDelta’s board also will be looking for a new CEO to replace Grinstein, 74, who has said he plans to step down once his successor is appointed. Delta entered Chapter 11 on Sept. 14, 2005, amid high fuel prices and the burdens of high labor and pension expenses. Delta significantly reduced its labor and pension costs while under court protection. As of March 31, the company had 52,260 full-time employees, according to a regulatory filing Friday. The figure includes subsidiary Comair. The bankruptcy process has been expensive for Delta, which has run up more than $127.9 million in bills for fees and expenses for its lawyers, consultants and advisers through the end of January. It could spend tens of millions more once the final fee and expense requests are dealt with. Delta underwent a lot of changes while in bankruptcy, which, along with cost cuts, included improving aircraft cabins and expanding international service. The carrier also defeated a hostile takeover bid by Tempe, Ariz.-based US Airways Group Inc. US Airways withdrew its $9.8 billion bid after Delta’s unsecured creditors committee in January endorsed Delta’s reorganization plan.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “This is an amazing day for an extraordinary company, which has reclaimed its heritage and has emerged from Chapter 11 as a fierce, determined and well-capitalized competitor,” Huebner said. Delta has set aside $10 million for its rebranding effort, which could also include a new advertising campaign. Now that Delta is out of bankruptcy, executives at Delta will consider shedding Comair, a Delta subsidiary that provides regional service for the airline. Comair also emerged from bankruptcy on Monday after nearly two years of restructuring in which the regional airline cut jobs and other costs. Delta’s outgoing chief executive, Gerald Grinstein, said last week he did not expect any “immediate action” on Erlanger, Ky.-based Comair since Delta has a new board of directors. Even so, some analysts expect Delta to make a quick decision. ATLANTA – Delta Air Lines Inc. emerged from bankruptcy protection Monday as an independent carrier after surviving a hostile takeover bid during a 19 -month reorganization that saw it eliminate jobs, cut costs, restructure its fleet and focus more on international flying. A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge in New York had set 9 a.m. EDT as the time the Atlanta-based airline could exit from Chapter 11 by closing on a $2.5 billion loan that would allow it to pay back lenders who gave Delta money to help it operate while in bankruptcy. Delta’s chief bankruptcy lawyer, Marshall Huebner, said in a 10:21 a.m. e-mail to The Associated Press that the wire transfers for the loans were completed. Delta, the nation’s third-largest carrier, also unveiled Monday details of a marketing plan that includes a new paint job for its planes, featuring the company’s three-dimensional red logo flying across a blue background. The new brand will appear on more than 900 planes, at airports and on Delta advertising. last_img read more