Delta To Cut Airbus A310S, Some Trans-Atlantic Service

ATLANTA - Delta Air Lines, moving swiftly to trim expenses and return to profitability, today said it will remove the 13 Airbus A310 aircraft from its fleet and reduce its trans-Atlantic routes.

Delta, the nation's third-largest carrier, is trying to reduce annual costs by $2 billion by 1997.

Yesterday, the Atlanta-based airline said it will cut 2,500 technical jobs, part of the carrier's plan to slash as many as 15,000 jobs.

Delta said it will ground four Airbus A310-200 and nine Airbus A310-300 aircraft - its entire Airbus fleet.

It said elimination of the wide-body aircraft is part of its effort toward "fleet simplification" and will significantly reduce aircraft rentals, salaries, and training and inventory costs.

Delta spokesman Todd Clay said the decision to drop the Airbus airplanes was "purely economics, no politics. We want to return to profitability - it's that simple."

As part of its cutbacks on its trans-Atlantic flights, Delta said it will discontinue all service to Oslo and Stockholm in September. Delta also will shelve its Cincinnati-Munich and Miami-London flights, effective in the fall, and will serve those European cities from other U.S. destinations.

The route reductions, coupled with those made in the past year, will reduce the number of Delta's weekly trans-Atlantic flights by 21 percent.

Delta still will fly 231 weekly routes to 34 trans-Atlantic destinations, making it one of the largest North Atlantic operations of any airline.