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DELTA TRAFFIC IS UP DESPITE CAPACITY DROP

SHARE DELTA TRAFFIC IS UP DESPITE CAPACITY DROP

Delta Air Lines says its May traffic hit 7.389 billion revenue passenger miles, up 6.6 percent from May 1993 even though capacity fell 2.2 percent to 11.14 billion.

Its load factor for May was 66.31 percent, compared with 60.87 percent in May 1993.Domestic traffic was up 4.4 percent to 5.35 billion, while foreign traffic rose 12.7 percent to 2.04 billion. Domestic capacity dropped 2 percent to 8.28 billion and foreign capacity was off 2.5 percent to 2.86 billion.

Passengers boarded rose to 7.58 million from 7.15 million.

Delta announced April 28 it will cut between 12,000 and 15,000 jobs over the next three years as part of a program to return it to profitability and lower annual costs by $2 billion.

The nation's No. 3 carrier has been hit hard by problems in its European markets and domestic competition from low-cost carriers such as Southwest Airlines and Continental. It announced late last year that it had been considering forming a separate low-cost carrier but then said in late April it was not forming such an operation at this time.

It also announced in April a loss of $77.9 million in its third quarter ended March 31 and blamed low-fare competition in its domestic markets for the red ink.

Results for the airline industry have been generally upbeat for May. United Airlines reported Monday its May traffic was up 6.6 percent, while Alaska Airlines said its May traffic jumped 43 percent.

American Airlines reported traffic fell 6.4 percent, but that came with capacity dropping 9.2 percent. Its load factor for May was 63.1 percent compared with 61.2 percent in May 1993.