Delta Air Lines said Friday it plans to shut down two-thirds of its gates at Orlando International Airport as part of attempts to emerge from bankruptcy.
Delta will close 16 of its 24 gates at the airport on Jan. 18, said Anthony Black, a company spokesman.
"It's part of our overall efforts to restructure our costs and to get them in line with our operations," Black said. "The bankruptcy process has afforded us the opportunity to address the situation of having too many gates."
Delta and its subsidiaries, including Song and Comair, currently operate 115 flights from the airport each day, Black said. Despite the airline's lease cancellation, Black said the company plans to increase the number of flights moving through the Orlando airport.
Delta passengers make up about 23 percent of the total traffic through the airport, said Carolyn Fennell, the airport's spokeswoman.
Fennell was optimistic that the gates would soon be snapped up by other airlines who seek a greater beachhead at Florida's busiest airport.
"It's still very early to know the impact," she said. "There are airlines growing that may want the gates. This is a growing market."
She said Delta's lease on the gates was signed through 2008. The airport's lawyers have not indicated yet whether the airline faces a fine for its early cancellation, Fennell said.
"Delta is a very good business partner," she said. "It's a disappointment when there's a reduction, but they've indicated they would maintain their level of service."
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