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Old July 28th, 2007, 04:29 AM   #281
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Delta, Northwest Apply for China Routes
Monday July 16, 3:51 pm ET

ATLANTA (AP) -- Delta Air Lines Inc. said Monday it expanded its application with the U.S. Department of Transportation to operate nonstop flights from its Atlanta hub to both Beijing and Shanghai.
Delta plans to provide daily nonstop service between Atlanta and China on its Boeing 777 aircraft.

Northwest Airlines Corp. also filed Monday for rights to operate nonstop flights between Detroit and the two Chinese cities.

The Department of Transportation plans to award six new routes that become available to China between 2007 and 2009.

Delta shares rose 47 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $20.97 in afternoon trading. Northwest shares rose 24 cents to $21.31.
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Old August 5th, 2007, 10:05 AM   #282
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Delta posts 4.9 percent increase in July traffic as capacity increases
3 August 2007

ATLANTA (AP) - Delta Air Lines Inc. said Friday its July traffic rose 4.9 percent on a 3.2 percent capacity increase.

Delta said it flew 12.34 billion revenue passenger miles in July, up from 11.76 billion for the same month in 2006. A revenue passenger mile is an industry unit measuring one paying passenger flown one mile.

Domestic traffic grew 0.5 percent to 8.07 billion revenue passenger miles, while international traffic rose 14.6 percent to 4.28 billion.

Capacity rose to 14.22 billion available seat miles from 13.77 billion in the year-ago period. Domestic capacity fell 2.1 percent to 9.18 billion available seat miles, but was offset by a 14.5 percent jump in international capacity to 5.03 billion.

Occupancy -- or load factor -- improved 1.4 percentage points to 86.8 percent.

So far this year, Delta's traffic has grown 4.3 percent to 71.13 billion revenue passenger miles, on an 1.8 percent increase in capacity to 87.62 billion available seat miles.

Occupancy improved 2 percentage points to 81.2 percent.

Delta shares rose 8 cents to $18.80 in afternoon trading.
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Old August 12th, 2007, 06:56 PM   #283
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Ten Southern governors support Delta route to China
14 June 2007

ATLANTA (AP) - Ten Southern governors are backing a bid by Delta Airlines to offer nonstop flights to China from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue announced on Thursday.

The governors all signed a letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters. The Department of Transportation is considering Delta's request to begin offering nonstop service to Shanghai beginning in March.

Delta CEO Gerald Grinstein said Thursday he expected federal officials would hold hearings over the summer and issue a decision by the fall.

Atlanta-based Delta is the third-largest carrier in the United States. Grinstein said that it is the only one of the large U.S. air carriers without a direct route to China.

Grinstein said the route is needed to serve the growing population in the Southeast as well as the region's booming trade with China.

"If this is the China century, then the state of Georgia, the city of Atlanta and Delta Airlines want to be a part of that," Grinstein said.

Delta has proposed starting the daily flights beginning March 25, 2008. The federal DOT evaluates U.S. proposals for new service to China as part of an agreement signed in 2004 that called for a total of 195 new weekly flights phased in over a six-year period.

In addition to Perdue, the governors who signed the letter are: Bob Riley, of Alabama; Mike Beebe, of Arkansas; Ernie Fletcher of Kentucky; Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, of Louisiana; Haley Barbour, of Mississippi; Anibal Acevedo Vila, of Puerto Rico; Mark Sanford, of South Carolina; Phil Bredesen, of Tennessee; and Joe Manchin III, of West Virginia

"This letter demonstrates the strong support that this great Georgia company has among our Southeastern neighbors," Purdue said at a news conference at the state Capitol with Grinstein.

Perdue is set to lead a delegation of Georgia officials to China later this year to open a trade office in Beijing.
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Old August 20th, 2007, 07:41 PM   #284
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Utah approves $250,000 for Delta flights to Europe
18 August 2007

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Delta Air Lines is working on direct flights to Europe from Salt Lake City, although the specific destination still is under wraps.

"We plan on having an announcement about our 2008 international flight (from Salt Lake) in the next couple of weeks," Delta spokesman Anthony Black said Friday.

A Utah economic-development agency will give $250,000 to aid flights to Paris. Delta likely will get help from Salt Lake City and the Utah Office of Tourism.

Direct overseas flights "will help us promote our parks, our ski resorts and help facilitate commerce between Europe and Utah," said Jerry Oldroyd, a member of the board overseeing the Governor's Office of Economic Development.

The Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce has pushed hard for a route to Europe.

"The chance of a direct flight to Europe would plant the seeds for many of the aspirations that we have for the business community, namely, to become a world city," chamber spokeswoman Natalie Gochnour said.

Delta flies to Mexico and Canada from Salt Lake City.
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Old August 20th, 2007, 09:06 PM   #285
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miamicanes View Post
If Delta wants my business, they can start by getting rid of their 50-seat Canadair jets... or at least ripping the seats out and replacing them with 1x2 seats like the Embraer ERJ-145 has. I had the misfortune of flying MIA-CVG, CVG-CID, and back, on Delta/Comair in one of those horrid Canadair jets.

It was, without a doubt, absolutely the worst, most uncomfortable plane I've ever been subjected to in my life. Forget about trying to use a laptop. It's impossible. If the seat in front of you reclines even slightly, you'll have the spacebar in your chest and still won't be able to open the screen 90 degrees. And forget about trying to type... if you have a window seat, one arm will be pinned against the wall, and the other will be elbowing the private parts of the guy sitting next to you. Yeah, it really IS that bad. Oh, and the fuselage curves so much, you can't even set the foot nearest to it straight down, because it'll hit the wall as it curves inward.

Before the trip, I never paid much attention to the plane itself when making reservations, other than to try and avoid sitting near the rear on a 727 due to the engine noise. Now, I'll be damned if I ever voluntarily ride on one of those horrible jets again. If you're making travel reservations and see the word "Canadair" somewhere, do not buy the ticket unless you want to spend several long hours in complete misery.

Haha, I remember my first experience on a CRJ-200 and at the time (2004) I wasn't familiar with the regional jet types. I agree it's the most uncomfortable plane I've been on. I was flying from Memphis to Dallas on that Northwest CRJ and was thinking...."as much as I love flying, this plane sucks." The CRJ-700 isn't so bad but you have to lean forward to look out the window. I want to try the CRJ-200 again just because I think they look cool but after that first flight I had to figure out what plane it was just so I could be prepared to be uncomfortable.
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 05:02 AM   #286
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Delta Names Richard Anderson As CEO
21 August 2007

ATLANTA (AP) - Delta Air Lines Inc. fought hard during bankruptcy to avoid being taken over by another carrier. Less than four months after exiting Chapter 11, it reignited speculation Tuesday about a future merger by naming former Northwest Airlines Corp. CEO Richard Anderson as its next chief executive.

Anderson, currently a board member at Atlanta-based Delta and an executive at UnitedHealth Group Inc., will replace Gerald Grinstein on Sept. 1. Grinstein, 75, who had said he would leave Delta once his successor was named, will retire from Delta and from its board.

The appointment of Anderson, 52, answers one pressing question but also raises others, particularly about future consolidation.

"Clearly having Anderson named would raise that speculation," said Philip Baggaley, an analyst at Standard & Poor's. "I don't think it necessarily draws any direct link, but it clearly will raise that thought."

The change at the top at Delta follows the airline's 19 1/2-month reorganization under bankruptcy protection. Delta entered Chapter 11 on Sept. 14, 2005, and emerged on April 30.

In bankruptcy, Delta shed billions in costs and restructured the carrier's operations. It also survived a hostile takeover bid by Tempe, Ariz.-based US Airways Group Inc.

Baggaley said the specter of a possible merger between Delta and another airline did not die with Delta's emergence from bankruptcy as a standalone carrier.

"When the new board of directors was composed, the unsecured creditors gained a much larger voice as the new shareholders of the company, and part of the implicit understanding perhaps for their support in defeating the takeover bid by US Airways was the future board would be open to the possibility of mergers if that appeared to be an attractive opportunity," Baggaley said.

Delta executives, faced with questions about a post-bankruptcy valuation below what they initially projected and below what US Airways offered for Delta, have declined to speculate about whether the airline would consider a deal with another carrier to increase shareholder value.

Anderson told reporters Tuesday that in the long run the airline industry might see some consolidation, but that is not Delta's focus right now.

As for a linkup with Eagan, Minn.-based Northwest, Anderson said, "There is no plans or intentions or previously agreed to plans to merge them."

Besides the consolidation issue, the Anderson appointment also raises questions about Chief Operating Officer James Whitehurst's future with the airline. He had been one of two top internal candidates to replace Grinstein.

Whitehurst was not mentioned in a statement from Delta announcing Anderson's appointment, nor was he on a conference call with reporters that involved top Delta executives, including Grinstein and Anderson.

Anderson declined to speculate about Whitehurst's future with the airline. Grinstein told reporters that Anderson will be reviewing responsibilities, roles and functions with senior managers.

"That conversation has yet to take place with Jim," Grinstein said.

The other top internal candidate to replace Grinstein was Chief Financial Officer Ed Bastian. Delta announced Tuesday that Bastian will be adding the title president to his duties.

Asked if he was disappointed in not getting the top job, Bastian said only that he was looking forward to working with Anderson.

Grinstein had lobbied Delta's board to tap an insider from the company as his replacement. He said in a memo to employees Tuesday that while he believed an internal candidate could run the company, he believes Anderson will be effective as Delta's CEO.

Anderson said in his own memo to Delta employees that there is a solid strategy in place at Delta and he plans to "stay the course."

He added that in the weeks ahead, he will be traveling around the Delta system with other members of the leadership team to meet employees and "listen and share ideas about how we can take Delta to new heights of value, performance and service."

The chairman of the executive committee of Delta's pilots union, Lee Moak, said the pilots hope Anderson will work with employees to improve the company, which employees worked hard to keep on its own.

Moak said he spoke to Anderson on Tuesday morning and Anderson assured him that he believes in Delta's standalone plan.

"Mr. Anderson talked bluntly on Northwest Airlines' situation and he told me he was not coming in as CEO to facilitate a merger with Northwest Airlines," Moak said.

Northwest filed for bankruptcy the same day as Delta and exited Chapter 11 on May 31.

At the same time, Moak said Anderson did not give him assurances there would be no discussion about a possible merger in the future. Moak said Delta needs to be mindful that industry consolidation may occur.

"If we have to participate, we would participate from a position of strength," Moak said.

Anderson has worked at Minnetonka, Minn.-based UnitedHealth for nearly three years. Before that, he was CEO of Northwest from 2001 to 2004.

Besides finding a new CEO, Delta's board also has to decide whether to sell or spin off regional feeder carrier Comair. The airline has not provided a specific timetable for that decision.

Delta shares rose $1.63, or 10.1 percent, to $17.71 on Tuesday.

------

AP Business Writer Joshua Freed in Minneapolis contributed to this report.
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Old August 24th, 2007, 01:33 PM   #287
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Delta adds Salt Lake-Paris nonstop flight
23 August 2007

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Passengers will be able to go from the shores of the Great Salt Lake to the banks of the Seine without stopping next summer.

Delta Air Lines on Thursday introduced a new nonstop route from Salt Lake International Airport to Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris. It's the first trans-Atlantic flight from Utah, which is a major hub for Atlanta-based Delta.

"There is something different about a state and a city that has direct links across the Atlantic and across the Pacific. It is a huge deal," Gov. Jon Huntsman said during a news conference to announce the route.

Getting from Utah to anywhere in Europe requires one stop, at least. Delta, which just exited bankruptcy in April, hopes that Utah-Paris becomes a major route. Salt Lake City is hundreds of miles away from the other major airports in the region, such as Denver, Phoenix and Las Vegas.

Delta President and Chief Financial Officer Ed Bastain said the airline chose Paris as the European destination from Utah because of Delta's partnership with Air France. Passengers can get from Paris to just about anywhere in the world, and the direct flight from Salt Lake City will eliminate at least one stop.

Starting June 2, Delta will offer Flight 170, a 10-hour flight from Salt Lake City arriving in Paris the next morning. Flight 171 will also run daily from de Gaulle to Salt Lake City.

"It's good to get it started," Bastain said. "Then we'll certainly gauge how the flight is doing to determine future expansion opportunity."

Utah has been trying to promote its own tourism, touting the state's five national parks and skiing on the "Greatest Snow on Earth" -- as it says on the license plates.

"I'm just delighted it's online and we can continue to attract people," said Leigh von der Esch, managing director of the Utah Office of Tourism.

State officials hope that the flight from Paris will attract people from all over Europe who want to see the American West. There's also the skiing, which Utah residents proudly put up against any location in Europe.

"They don't have the greatest snow on Earth," von der Esch said.
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Old September 7th, 2007, 08:09 AM   #288
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Delta posts increases in traffic, capacity and occupancy in August
6 September 2007

ATLANTA (AP) - Delta Air Lines Inc. said Thursday its traffic, capacity and occupancy all increased in August, supported by international flights, mirroring results among several competitors.

Delta said its traffic rose by 8.8 percent in August to 11.91 billion revenue passenger miles from 10.94 billion a year earlier. A revenue passenger mile is an industry unit measuring one paying passenger flown one mile.

Capacity rose by 3.1 percent to 14.12 billion available seat miles from 13.7 billion in August 2006. An available seat mile is an industry unit that factors in the number of seats available and the number of miles flown.

Occupancy rose to 84.3 percent of seats filled from 79.9 percent a year earlier.

Results got a boost from double-digit increases in international flight traffic, particularly transatlantic, its largest international segment. International traffic increased 18.1 percent in August to 3.98 billion revenue passenger miles. International capacity rose 15.6 percent to 4.94 billion available seat miles.

Domestic traffic increased a more modest 4.7 percent to 7.92 billion revenue passenger miles in August. Domestic capacity shrank by 2.6 percent.

Northwest Airlines, United Airlines and Continental Airlines also relied on flights to Europe to spur August traffic.

So far this year, Delta's traffic has increased 4.9 percent to 83.04 billion revenue passenger miles, from 79.14 billion. Its capacity during the first eight months of 2007 rose 2 percent to 101.74 billion available seat miles, from 99.79 billion during the same period in 2006. Occupancy rose to 81.6 percent year-to-date, from 79.3 percent.

Delta shares rose 45 cents to close at $18.07.
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Old September 9th, 2007, 07:06 AM   #289
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Delta Air raises U.S. fares $5 each way - for now

NEW YORK, Sept 7 (Reuters) - Delta Air Lines Inc , the No. 3 U.S. carrier, said on Friday that it had raised round-trip fares on domestic U.S. flights by $10 to offset rising costs, but it's unclear whether the increase will hold as demand softens.

"Last night, Delta increased domestic one-way fares by $5," spokeswoman Betsy Talton said. "Fare increases continue to reflect the increased cost of doing business."

The test of pricing power comes at the start of the seasonally weak fall travel period, when demand generally falls off.

"It is unusual to see attempted increases in this traditionally slower travel period," said Rick Seaney, chief executive of FareCompare.com, which tracks air fares. "This time period historically has been filled with sales, not increases."

The U.S. economy is also showing signs of slowing, which could crimp consumer spending and weaken travel demand. U.S. employers cut 4,000 jobs in August, the first time the economy had shed jobs since August 2003.

Airfare increases have generally struggled to gain hold this year, often being rescinded as competitors balk at matching them.

Leading low-cost carrier Southwest Airlines Co -- which last week raised one-way fares by up to $10 in a move matched by major carriers and in the past has helped spoil other attempts to increase fares -- currently doesn't intend to match Delta's move, spokeswoman Beth Harbin said.

Published fares are typically changed at scheduled updates, and no rivals had matched Delta's fare increase during the two updates on Friday, according to FareCompare.com.

But some analysts expect that high jet fuel prices, which have risen steadily this year and are up about 15 percent compared with a year ago, will give Delta's increase a decent chance to succeed, though low-cost rivals will likely limit its scope.

"Given the recent 17 cent per gallon rise in jet kero prices, we ascribe a high probability of competitive matching," said JPMorgan analyst Jamie Baker.

But "portions of this increase may ultimately be rolled back, instead sticking only in less relevant markets that lack discounter penetration," he said.

AMR Corp's American Airlines, UAL Corp's United Airlines, Northwest Airlines Corp and US Airways Group Inc all said they were studying Delta's move.

Reporting by Chris Reiter and Kyle Peterson in Chicago
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Old September 25th, 2007, 07:22 PM   #290
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Delta gets federal clearance for nonstop flights to Shanghai from Atlanta
25 September 2007

ATLANTA (AP) - Delta Air Lines Inc. is getting a prize nonstop gateway to China, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters announced Tuesday.

Peters said Delta's Atlanta to Shanghai route would be available for flights after the end of March.

Delta CEO Richard Anderson said the company expects to start the route by then, provided the two new Boeing 777 aircraft it purchased for the route will be available from the manufacturer on time.

Peters also announced the DOT has awarded United Air Lines the right to fly nonstop from San Francisco to Guangzhou in 2008.
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Old September 27th, 2007, 01:01 PM   #291
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Delta Air warily eyeing U.S. economy - CFO

NEW YORK, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Delta Air Lines Inc could further shift planes to fly international routes from domestic ones if the U.S. economic slowdown impacts travel spending, the No. 3 U.S. airline's president said on Wednesday.

"We're obviously sensitive to what we're seeing in the U.S. economy," Delta President and Chief Financial Officer Ed Bastian told Reuters on the sidelines of a company briefing. "If there's any area of caution we're taking, it's on our U.S. capacity."

By next summer, Delta plans to have 40 percent of its planes, which the industry refers to as capacity, flying international routes -- about double the rate three years earlier when the company was heading toward bankruptcy.

After exiting Chapter 11 at the end of April, Delta has lower costs than many of its competitors, and Bastian said the company's growing international network positions it well for a slowing U.S. economy.

"We think we're actually moving in the direction that the global economic indicators suggest," he said.

Although oil prices have risen well above the $65 a barrel the company expected at the time it emerged from bankruptcy, Bastian said Delta has been able to adjust.

"We've been able to get the right size capacity to meet demand. It's enabled our ability to recover the costs of those higher fuel prices," he said.

But rising oil prices are still a concern. "The concern I have on fuel is not fuel itself, but whether it would spark a slowdown in the general U.S. economy," Bastian said. "But, at this point, we haven't seen that."

Indeed, Delta so far hasn't seen a big impact on travel demand from the U.S. housing slowdown and tighter credit markets.

"The demand and revenue environment these days is very, very strong," Bastian said. "We haven't seen any significant impact" of a slowing economy on bookings.
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Old September 28th, 2007, 03:34 PM   #292
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New routes:

1)ATL-PVD(Shanghai):
EQP: 777-200ER

2)ATL-ARN(Stockholm):
EQP: 763ER

3)JFK-TLV(Tel Aviv, Israel):
EQP: 763ER

4)JFK-EDI (Edinburgh, Scotland):
EQP: 752ER

5)JFK-DKR(Dakar, Senegal):
EQP: 763ER

6)JFK-NBO (Nairobi, Kenya)
EQP: 763ER

7)JFK-CAI (Cairo, Egypt)
EQP: 763ER

8)JFK-AGP (Malaga, Spain)
EQP: 752ER

9)JFK-AMM (Amman, Jordan)
EQP: 763ER

10)JFK-LOS (Lagos, Nigeria)
EQP: 763ER

11)JFK-CPT
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Old September 28th, 2007, 03:40 PM   #293
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There are rumours that the EDI-JFK route is simply a publicity stunt to help bookings on the poorly performing EDI-ATL route.

Apparently once EDI-ATL route is axed next month, Delta will no longer take bookings for EDI-JFK service.

Don’t think anyone is surprised in the slightest that EDI-ATL failed miserably, this route was always meant to be operating from GLA to ATL but Delta announced EDI to get quick money from the “Scottish” Government.

For anyone that doesn’t know, the Scottish Government pay airlines literally thousands of pounds to airlines who "chose" to fly from EDI.

Anyways I'm still hoping for GLA-ATL or GLA-JFK, does anyone know if DL will be adding GLA in 2008?
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Old October 17th, 2007, 07:42 AM   #294
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Wednesday October 17, 5:56 AM
Delta Air CEO opens door to consolidation

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Delta Air Lines Inc positioned itself as a buyer in the U.S. airline industry on Tuesday as its new chief executive said the carrier wanted to take a leading role when the industry consolidates.
"We fully expect that this evolution toward a more consolidated industry will continue," said Richard Anderson, who took over as Delta CEO in September.

"Ultimately, it's our goal to be the undisputed leader in the airline industry. To achieve that goal, we must be on the leading edge of change to keep pace in this dynamic business environment," Anderson, the former CEO of Northwest Airlines Corp , said on a conference call.

"There are obvious benefits that could accrue from consolidation for our shareholders and employees," said Anderson. "We are evaluating the best path forward for Delta."

He said Delta, which emerged from bankruptcy at the end of April, would be best served by being a suitor rather than a target, but cautioned that his comments were "not a sign that anything is imminent."

Earlier Tuesday, Delta posted higher-than-expected quarterly profit on tighter cost controls and record revenue boosted by more international flights.

With the consolidation comments, Anderson joins Glenn Tilton of United Airlines parent UAL Corp and Doug Parker of US Airways Group Inc as the leading proponents.

"This is definitely something that is new for Delta, given that they were very, very aggressive during their bankruptcy proceeding in fending off US Airways' overture," said Brian Nelson, an analyst with Morningstar. "I think it's a 180 for Delta."

Delta vigorously opposed a hostile bid by US Airways, mobilizing its employees to help fend off the unwanted approach. A pro-consolidation stance could be taken as a slight by some Delta employees and could strain relations.

The Association of Flight Attendants is currently seeking to unionize Delta's flight attendants, appealing in part to uncertainty posed by potential mergers.

Delta and Northwest have often been rumored as potential partners since they both sought bankruptcy protection on the same day in 2005. Also, analysts say that Anderson has a close relationship with Northwest CEO Doug Steenland.

But so far it has been all talk. Airline mergers are hard to pull off and fraught with risk. Management differences, disparate fleet types, and labor conflicts can scuttle a deal that looks good on paper.

"These airlines like to talk a lot about consolidation because it gets the market excited," said Morningstar's Nelson. "Any time that a CEO can somehow put a merger premium on his stock price, he's going to go ahead and try to do that."

Some industry experts agree airlines that want to merge may stand a better chance of passing antitrust review during the Republican Bush administration compared with a potential Democratic one beginning in 2009.

"That's the recommendation I would give," said Edward Faberman, an aviation attorney with Wiley Rein LLP in Washington.

He said the Justice Department has not moved to stop airline or other mergers generally, although the proposed US Airways/United deal collapsed in 2001 over competition concerns.

Antitrust officials did not block the American Airlines/TWA deal in early 2001 and the US Airways/America West merger in 2005. Both of those, however, involved failing companies.

"It depends on the scenario that's presented. I think if there were some economic difficulties -- fuel prices going up, certain other things -- I'm not sure Justice would aggressively attack it," Faberman said.

Delta shares closed up 8 cents at $20.08 on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Additional reporting by John Crawley in Washington)
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Old October 17th, 2007, 07:43 AM   #295
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Wednesday October 17, 3:51 AM
Air France, Delta to target Heathrow-U.S. routes

PARIS (Reuters) - Air France-KLM and Delta Air Lines Inc will team up on routes linking major U.S. cities and London's Heathrow airport in a direct challenge to rival British Airways Plc .

With a view to the Open Skies pact set to liberalize transatlantic rules next March, the two airlines will form a joint venture, said analysts who attended an Air France investor conference on Monday.

"The opportunity that we have with Air France across the transatlantic could create a very powerful entity," Delta Chief Executive Richard Anderson said on a conference call.

Combining Delta's U.S. presence with Air France's Europe position "could create an enormous amount of value," he said, declining to comment on details.

Air France declined to comment ahead of a formal announcement set for Wednesday.

The two carriers hope to extend their cooperation to include Northwest Airlines Corp and Continental Airlines Inc once they win multi-party, anti-trust immunity.

The aim is to tap into sprawling U.S. domestic networks held by the three U.S. carriers, and link these with Europe's busiest airport.

Big corporate customer accounts held by the three U.S. carriers will help fill seats and could mean a loss of lucrative business class customers for British Airways, analysts said.

Business travelers crossing the north Atlantic are BA's biggest source of profits.

A spokeswoman said BA said the airline was confident it was ready for Open Skies: "We have the best schedule between London and the United States and we're not afraid of new competition."

Analysts said Air France plans a new direct route from Heathrow to Los Angeles and would use Heathrow slots to serve nine U.S. destinations.

Air France KLM Chief Executive Jean-Cyril Spinetta was quoted in two analyst notes telling investors the deal with Delta would add "several dozens of million euros" in profits in 2008.

Incremental profits from the venture will be shared.

Analysts said Air France KLM also reiterated its profit targets at Monday's presentation, which was closed to the media.

The Delta joint venture is expected to be modeled on a 10- year-old agreement between Northwest and KLM, the Dutch airline that is part of the Air France group.

"Air France-KLM has clearly decided to seize the new opportunities offered by the Open Skies agreement, especially for traffic departing from London Heathrow," Paris brokerage Oddo said in a note to clients.

For decades, U.S. access to Heathrow has been limited to two U.S. and two UK airlines -- currently American Airlines and United Airlines , along with BA and Virgin Atlantic Airways .

Air France KLM shares fell 2.4 percent to 26.56 euros on Tuesday while BA ended down 1.4 percent at 413-3/4 pence.

(Reporting by Tim Hepher; additional reporting by Jason Neely in London and Chris Reiter in New York)
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Old October 18th, 2007, 12:35 PM   #296
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New joint venture will give fliers trans-Atlantic nonstop options, but not cheaper fares
17 October 2007

WASHINGTON (AP) - A joint venture between Air France-KLM and Delta will benefit trans-Atlantic travelers looking for more nonstop flights to airports such as London's Heathrow, though analysts anticipate little impact on fares.

Air France-KLM Group and Delta Air Lines Inc. are forming a joint venture that will allow them to share profits and up to an estimated $8 billion in annual revenue on trans-Atlantic routes.

The move announced Wednesday follows the new Open Skies agreement on airline service between the U.S. and Europe.

The venture, to launch in April, will generate an estimated $1.5 billion a year in revenue in its first phase, and $8 billion a year when fully operational, the companies said in announcing the deal at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris.

Such a deal will be a major challenge to competitors such as British Airways, UAL Corp.'s United and AMR Corp.'s American as airlines jockey to benefit from the Open Skies deal, and some analysts said it could spur more trans-Atlantic combinations.

The venture will first apply to all nonstop flights between Air France's French hubs and Delta's Atlanta, New York-JFK, Cincinnati and Salt Lake City hubs, representing 19 flights and more than 4,500 seats per day.

Starting in 2010, numerous flights to all destinations between Europe, the Mediterranean and North America will be part of the joint venture, they added, as well as flights between Los Angeles and Tahiti.

"The partnership will be neutral for air fares, but where consumers will benefit tremendously is in more nonstop options," said Minneapolis-based travel analyst Terry Trippler.

Anthony Sabino, a business and law professor at St. John's University, said U.S. passengers also should experience service improvements.

"Passengers demand better service and will probably get better service because the lucrative trans-Atlantic dollar is something all these airlines want," said Sabino, who has represented creditors in airline bankruptcy cases for more than 20 years.

Delta, the third biggest U.S. carrier, will benefit from three of Air France's landing slots at London's congested Heathrow airport. These routes will include a new Heathrow to Los Angeles route operated by Air France, two Heathrow-JFK flights operated by Delta and a Heathrow-Atlanta flight operated by Delta.

"You have got to have Heathrow to be competitive ... and this gives Delta the plum over there," Trippler said.

In addition, Delta will operate three new nonstop trans-Atlantic routes: Paris-Orly to JFK, Lyon-JFK and Paris-Charles de Gaulle to Salt Lake City.

Delta Chief Executive Richard Anderson said revenue estimates were preliminary but that the company was optimistic because it was "connecting two global networks to create the world's largest global network."

Jean-Cyril Spinetta, chairman and CEO of the Air France-KLM Group, said, "We are hoping for several tens of millions of additional profitability" from the venture.

Air France and KLM combined three years ago, but are still being operated separately so as to retain landing slot privileges, notably at Heathrow where availability is extremely tight.

Delta's venture with Air France-KLM is not yet on the same level as the Northwest Airlines Corp.-KLM partnership that has been "nothing but successful," but Trippler said he expects it to head in that direction.

Along those lines, Air France, KLM, Delta, Northwest and other airlines in June filed for expanded antitrust immunity with the U.S. Transportation Department. If granted, those four airlines can establish an agreement among them and ultimately integrate their trans-Atlantic operations, according to Delta.

Another potential boon for Delta and other domestic carriers is that the current strength of the euro and other currency against the dollar should help drive traffic into the U.S., and foreign travelers often take multiple trips after they arrive, analysts said.

"International traffic strengthens domestic flights," said airline consultant Michael Boyd.
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Old October 22nd, 2007, 12:39 PM   #297
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Delta chief takes unlikely flight path
Richard Anderson was 'going to be a prosecutor forever'

22 October 2007
USA Today

ATLANTA -- In a way, Richard Anderson owes his new job as CEO of Delta Air Lines, the USA's No. 3 airline, to his 20-year-old daughter.

Had that daughter, Katy, never been conceived, Anderson might still be a prosecutor in Houston. But she was, and her expectant mother, Sue Anderson, then a civil attorney at a large Houston law firm, wanted to give up her practice to raise a family.

"So, I had to get a better-paying job," Anderson recalled in a recent interview at Delta headquarters here. Then 32, he walked in cold into Continental Airlines' Houston headquarters and was hired for a bottom-of-the-ladder opening on the legal staff. He didn't know anything about airlines.

Now 52, Anderson leads a major international carrier with bold plans for expansion. Last week, Delta announced both its best quarterly results in years and a ground-breaking agreement with Air France that will give Delta a potentially lucrative foothold at London Heathrow airport while vastly expanding trans-Atlantic travel options for customers of both airlines.

Delta directors last summer hired Anderson, former CEO at Eagan, Minn.-based Northwest Airlines, to succeed Gerald Grinstein, who retired after guiding Delta through a 19-month restructuring in Chapter 11. The Delta board passed over two internal candidates.

From Pan Am's sophisticated founder Juan Trippe to Southwest's long-time chairman and funnyman Herb Kelleher, airlines have been magnets for outsize CEO personalities. Even Delta's personally conservative, understated founder, C.E. Woolman -- whose old executive desk Anderson uses in hopes that "some of his vibe rubs off on me" -- came to be viewed as the "Delta Family's" almost saintly patriarch. But Anderson never has fit the mold of flamboyant, outspoken, larger-than-life airline chieftain.

"I was just going to be a prosecutor forever," Anderson says rather sheepishly. "I was pretty naive."

The son of hard-working parents who both died of cancer while he was in college, he never really had time as a young man to plot any career path, much less one that would put him in the top jobs at two major U.S. airlines. He focused on more immediate matters: raising his two younger sisters, working full time and finishing his education.

Anderson still takes a bit of pride in calling himself "B.O.I.," a Texas term meaning "Born On the Island." It's a designation reserved for the mostly working-class year-round inhabitants of Galveston, differentiating them from well-to-do mainlanders who spend part of the year there.

His father, Hale, was an office worker for the Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. His mother, Frances, worked as a medical receptionist and typist. His Italian grandmother, Mariana Faustina Biagini, lived with the family for years to help with the cooking and child-rearing. Richard was the only boy, sandwiched between two older and two younger sisters. A fifth sister, Patty, died of brain cancer at age 7.

Early relocation

The family moved from Galveston to Dallas with the railroad when Richard was in the 5th grade. They moved to Amarillo when he was in high school.

Anderson was so close to his parents and sisters that he chose to attend Texas Tech University in Lubbock, the closest big state university to the family's home in Amarillo.

"Back then, I thought kids went to places like Yale and Harvard because those schools were close to where they lived," he says. "I really enjoyed my time there, but I missed my family a lot."

So it was devastating for Anderson when he got a call at school in the spring of his freshman year telling him that his mother was dying of cancer. Weeks later, word came that his father, too, had cancer. His grandmother also was dying, from heart failure.

Anderson finished the school year and went home to Amarillo, in effect, to watch his parents and grandmother die. His father died first, and Anderson's mother moved the family to Texas City, a gritty town along the Houston Ship Channel near Galveston. In a short time, his mother and grandmother were dead.

With his older sisters, Carolyn and Francie, married and living elsewhere, it fell to Richard, at age 19, to take responsibility for raising his other sisters, Joan, five years younger and Laura, seven years younger.

"It was not easy," he says now. "But it did slow down the beer drinking" of the boy who had been a carefree college freshman.

"Other people have had tougher things to overcome in their lives, but we did have some real challenges," Anderson says. "You just do what you have to do."

To complete his undergraduate studies, Anderson enrolled at a University of Houston satellite campus. To keep things together financially for himself and younger sisters, he also worked part- time as a plumber's assistant for one uncle, and in construction for another. Then he landed a full-time job as executive assistant to Houston's district attorney.

John Holmes, who won election to that office not long after Anderson was hired, quickly took a liking to the young, hard- working college student.

"One of the things I always admired about Richard was his sense of responsibility," says Holmes, now retired in Bellville, Texas. "To take care of his sisters that way and sacrifice the way he did as a young man says a whole lot about him."

Holmes also appreciated Anderson's ability to laugh and enjoy life despite his tough circumstances.

"He never felt sorry for himself or complained."

After graduation from college in 1977 with a political science degree, Anderson enrolled as a night student at the South Texas College of Law. After earning his law degree in 1982, Anderson moved from DA's assistant to Holmes' team of about 225 prosecutors. His first case: prosecuting a man for fishing without a license. But he progressed to major felony cases.

Path diverges

While Anderson's first job at Continental represented a big pay raise, it wasn't glamorous. He handled mostly the grunt work.

But in November 1987, something happened that would set him on a course for airline management stardom. Continental Flight 1713, a McDonnell Douglas DC-9, crashed on takeoff at Denver, killing 28 of the 82 people onboard. The legal staff quickly gathered, and Anderson's boss asked, "Who did we send to the crash investigation seminar this summer?" Anderson raised his hand.

Days after his daughter's birth, Anderson was dispatched to Denver to serve as Continental's legal representative at the crash site. He also represented the airline in the crash investigation of the National Transportation Safety Board.

He worked in the aftermath of the crash to understand the complexities of flight, aircraft maintenance and human performance issues so he could properly defend the airline. As he did so, Anderson was gaining an invaluable education that would drive his career to unexpected heights.

In 1990, Ben Hirst, who had hired him at Continental before leaving to become general counsel at Northwest, asked Anderson to join him as deputy general counsel at the Minnesota-based carrier.

But it wasn't his legal acumen that put Anderson on the fast track at Northwest. It was his unusually deep understanding of technical matters, his intellect, and his ability to motivate co- workers, says Northwest's then-president, John Dasburg. "Richard has a hands-on, roll-up-your-sleeves, let-me-see-how-this-thing-really- works kind of approach," says Dasburg, now CEO at Astar Air Cargo.

Dasburg, who eventually rose to CEO, put Anderson in charge of Northwest's labor relations, then maintenance and technical operations. And he kept giving Anderson more responsibility until he became executive vice president and chief operating officer in 1998.

Three years later, in early 2001, when Dasburg left to lead a turnaround at Burger King, he recommended Anderson as his replacement there.

At 46, a guy who'd never planned on being anything other than a prosecutor was running an airline. The timing, though, wasn't great.

The U.S. economy was sliding toward recession. The airline industry, burdened by expensive labor deals signed during years of record profits in the late 1990s, was beginning to buckle under the financial pressure. Then came the Sept.11 terror attacks. A serious industry downturn turned into a near-death experience for Northwest and for the industry.

Dave Stevens, head of the Air Line Pilots Association unit at Northwest, was a union board member during Anderson's years there. Anderson got "excellent operating experience" there, and was viewed as being employee-friendly, he says. "But he doesn't always show his true agenda. If the Delta employees think that they will be his first priority, they are mistaken. He can be very engaging, warm, disarming even. ... That's why you've got to pay attention."

Anderson stayed in the top job for three years before accepting an executive job -- and a huge compensation package -- at Minneapolis-based insurer UnitedHealth Group. By the time he left, he was earning $4.3 million a year and was the heir-apparent to CEO Steve Hemsley.

Last spring, Delta's largest creditors, seeking someone with significant airline experience to monitor the company's management after it emerged from bankruptcy, asked him to serve on the board.

Surprise suggestion

There was no hint, he says, that he might be asked to replace the retiring Grinstein. But in August, the new Delta board, impressed with their fellow member's expertise, prevailed upon him to take the job.

Anderson decided to return to the airline industry, despite a pay cut to about $1.5 million annually in salary and bonus. Anderson potentially could earn as much as $15 million in three years from Delta if a special incentive package created to partially offset the pay cut he took pays out fully. He could have earned several times that had he stayed at UnitedHealth.

Anderson says the attraction of returning to the industry is the "intellectual challenge of trying to make an important, long- lasting change in how ... airlines are managed." Specifically, he says, Delta is positioned to show that airlines need not be vulnerable to the cyclical swings that have marked the industry's history.

At Northwest, he was deeply involved in industry efforts to influence government policy and in representing his company publicly, and he expects the same at Delta.

But he shuns the social aspects of being an airline CEO. "I'd rather read a book or watch a game" than attend such gatherings, he says.

Besides, because he typically logs up to 70 hours a week at work, Anderson says he mostly just wants to spend time with his wife and two children. He also tries to spend time each year with all his sisters, with whom he remains very close, and other extended family members and a few close friends outside the airline industry. Anderson declined to make a close family member available to talk about him for this story.

Dasburg, his old boss at Northwest, says Anderson's easy-going personality, calm management style and Southern roots should make him a good fit for Delta.

Says Dasburg: "Richard's a CEO from his head to his toes. But he's also a gentleman and a truly nice guy. He can be the CEO, and be in command, and still not make those around him feel uncomfortable. That's a rare and valuable trait."
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Old November 8th, 2007, 05:48 AM   #298
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Delta October traffic rises 6.2 percent on jumps in capacity and load factor
5 November 2007

ATLANTA (AP) - Delta Air Lines Inc. said Monday its October traffic rose 6.2 percent on increases in both domestic and international travel.

Delta flew 10.16 billion revenue passenger miles in October, up from 9.56 billion in the same month of 2006. A revenue passenger mile is an industry unit measuring one paying passenger flown one mile.

Domestic traffic rose 2.3 percent to 6.87 billion revenue passenger miles, from 6.72 billion last year, while international traffic rose 16 percent to 3.29 billion revenue passenger miles, from 2.84 billion.

Total system capacity rose 2.9 percent to 12.76 billion available seat miles, from 12.40 billion in October 2006. An available seat mile is an industry unit that factors in the number of seats available and the number of miles flown.

International capacity jumped 8.6 percent to 4.16 billion available seat miles, while domestic capacity edged up 0.3 percent to 8.6 billion available seat miles.

Overall occupancy rose to 79.6 percent from 77.1 percent on gains in all of the airline's regions, except the Pacific region which fell 10 percentage points to 73.1 percent.

So far this year, Delta's overall traffic is up 5.3 percent to 102.98 revenue passenger miles, from 97.78 billion at the same time last year.

Capacity is up 2.2 percent to 127.11 billion available seat miles, from 124,37 billion in the first 10 months of last year, while load factor, or overall occupancy, rose to 81 percent from 78.6 percent.

Delta shares closed down 42 cents, or 2.1 percent, at $19.51 in Monday trading.
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Old November 8th, 2007, 11:13 AM   #299
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Delta Says Still Weighing Whether To Buy Another Carrier
7 November 2007

ATLANTA (AP)-- Delta Air Lines Inc.'s (DAL) evaluation of whether it would make sense to purchase another carrier is a "front-burner" issue for the nation's third-largest airline, a senior executive said Wednesday.

"I think there's value there," President and Chief Financial Officer Ed Bastian said of consolidation during a New York investor conference that was broadcast over the Internet. "We just need to find the right transaction for the constituency. If we do find it, we'll certainly consider it."

On the flip-side, Delta recognizes that buying another airline could have considerable financial costs and cause friction among employees, Bastian said.

Bastian was noncommittal on how long it would take the Atlanta-based airline to complete the review process, nor what Delta's ultimate decision will be. But, he did say that deciding whether to acquire another carrier is on Delta executives' minds.

"It's a front-burner issue for us," Bastian said.

Bastian said Delta believes the consolidation question should be answered before the airline considers whether to sell or spin off any of its ancillary businesses, such as its growing maintenance, repair and overhaul unit.

"We'll be smart, we'll be knowledgeable about what the opportunities are, but I think we want to answer the consolidation issue first," Bastian said.

The airline has said previously it is considering shedding regional feeder carrier Comair, but it has been mum on any talks it may be having.

On other issues, Bastian said Delta has been pleased with its recent results despite the persistently high cost of jet fuel. Next year, he said, Delta expects growth in its domestic business to be strained, while growth internationally is expected to be strong.

Bastian said Delta would have to re-evaluate its business model for next year, particularly on the domestic side, if oil prices near $100 a barrel persist.

Bastian also said Delta continues to negotiate creditor claims following the airline's emergence from bankruptcy earlier this year. The airline has roughly 400 million shares outstanding, of which about 110 million continue to be held back pending final resolution of claims, Bastian said.

Earlier Wednesday, Delta said it has formed a partnership projected to generate $1 billion in revenue over 10 years for its maintenance, repair and overhaul unit and the parts manufacturer Chromalloy Gas Turbine Corp.

Delta said the deal with Chromalloy will be a boon for Delta's TechOps division.

Chromalloy will manufacture lower-cost alternative parts that Delta can use to repair and overhaul engines, Delta spokeswoman Betsy Talton said. Currently, when Delta repairs an engine it typically gets parts for the repair from the original equipment manufacturer, though it has used non-original manufacturer parts in the past, Talton said.

The partnership is expected to generate $1 billion in revenue that the two companies will share, Talton said.

Delta said the deal will add the CFM56-5 engine type to the list of engines that TechOps services. Delta said that engine type is the engine of choice in Airbus aircraft.

The deal also includes the parts-development program and 250 engine overhauls to be performed by Delta TechOps employees over the term of the agreement.

Delta said its maintenance, repair and overhaul unit took in more than $310 million in revenue last year. Besides providing maintenance and engineering support for Delta's fleet, TechOps serves more than 100 aviation and airline customers from around the world.

Chromalloy is New York-based Sequa Corp.'s (SQAA) largest business unit.
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Old November 14th, 2007, 04:45 PM   #300
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Here's another way to use those frequent flier points - volunteering
12 November 2007
The Canadian Press

ATLANTA - Melinda Irwin already travels plenty, so using the frequent flier points piling up in her Delta Air Lines Inc. SkyMiles account for more airplane tickets didn't really appeal to her.

That's why the Oklahoma City travel agency owner instead bid her points in an online auction last month for a chance to build homes for Habitat for Humanity.

Irwin bid 118,500 SkyMiles to win one of three ``voluntourism'' trip packages between Nov. 9 to Nov. 18. The package includes travel for two between New York and Mumbai, India, seven nights of lodging and a chance to build homes with 40 Delta employees in Maharashtra, India.

The Atlanta-based airline will donate the points from the winning bidders to the nonprofit organization.

``Normally it's retired people that choose to do this sort of thing because they have the disposable income and free time, but I don't want to wait until I'm retired to do all this stuff,'' said Irwin, 41, who will take the trip with her husband, Dale Frey. ``Since I'm in the travel business, I have the opportunity to do the other stuff, so this is something extremely unique ... that I probably would have never chose to go on my own.''

The Atlanta-based airline introduced auctions earlier this year as a way to use SkyMiles, focusing on hard-to-come by events such as front row concert tickets with backstage access or an Atlanta Braves baseball game that includes a meeting with players.

Delta joined a growing number of airlines and hotels that also have frequent traveler points auctions. Since 2002, Houston-based Continental Airlines Inc., for one, has been offering items such as autographed NFL jerseys, Carnegie Hall performances or private cooking classes on its auction site.

``This is just another opportunity for customers to use their miles, just a little different way than travel. It's been extremely popular with customers,'' said Continental spokeswoman Mary Clark.

White Plains, N.Y.-based Starwood Hotels & Resorts _ which runs hotels that include the Sheraton, St. Regis, Westin and W brands _ offers auction trips to Malaysia, VIP access to the American Music Awards or a trip to the Los Angeles set of the television show ``Las Vegas.''

Delta dreamed up the volunteer trip after officials decided it would be a good way to combine the auction with the airline employees' volunteer program, Delta Force for Global Good, which has a goal of building 100 homes in India.

``We're finding alternative ways for customers to use frequent flier miles rather than just buying airline tickets,'' said Jeff Robertson, managing director of the SkyMiles program.

Officials from the Americus, Ga.-based nonprofit said they hoped the trips will build awareness of the housing needs of people around the world.

``It helps open people's eyes to what poverty housing means outside the United States,'' said Habitat spokesman Chris Clarke. ``About 22 per cent of the world's poor is in India and we think it's a good place to demonstrate to Delta and their customers what their support can do in changing a community.''

Airline officials said they have been impressed by the response to the volunteer package, as 51 people placed bids. Other volunteer trips may be put up for auction in the future, although specific trips have not yet been determined, said spokesman Andy McDill.

When Tara Dryg of Kaysville, Utah, saw the auction site, the Habitat trip immediately interested her.

``It's been kind of a dream to work with Habitat, so right away I was interested,'' said Dryg, 31, one of the three auction winners. ``What put me over the edge was when I read Delta was not only taking part but donating the winning SkyMiles to Habitat.''
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