Delta Shifts Capacity, Making Fleet Changes

Delta Air Lines Inc., the nation's third-largest carrier, said Wednesday it is reducing capacity at its Cincinnati hub by 26 percent while boosting international service and making other changes in an effort to become more efficient.

Atlanta-based Delta, which is fighting to avoid a bankruptcy filing, also said it will accelerate the removal of certain aircraft types to simplify its fleet.

Among the changes announced Wednesday:

_Starting Dec. 1, Delta will make changes at its second-largest hub at Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport to better match service to local passenger demand. Delta will reduce mainline and Delta Connection carrier capacity by 26 percent.

_Delta will replace service in nine markets currently served nonstop from Cincinnati by Delta Connection carriers ASA and Comair with connecting service through is main hub in Atlanta.

_From the Atlanta and Salt Lake City hubs, Delta is expanding service to regional business destinations with new nonstop flights to 20 destinations.

_Delta also said it will add more flights to Hawaii and new or expanded service to 41 international destinations.

_As for fleet simplification, Delta said it will speed the removal from service of its Boeing 767-200 aircraft type _ the least efficient wide-body aircraft in its fleet. These aircraft are scheduled to be removed from service by Dec. 1, with the majority to be sold to ABX Air, Inc.

Delta, racked by high fuel costs, has lost nearly $10 billion since January 2001.