Air Transport World

Delta Air Lines.(US Majors)

Delta's financial situation continued to deteriorate over the past year and in early May it issued its clearest warning that a bankruptcy filing could be in the offing if it is unable to lower its costs to position itself to compete effectively with low-cost carriers. The company repeatedly has stated that its biggest hurdle to achieving a competitive cost structure is its pilot costs, which are now the highest in the industry.

Perhaps deciding that he had become an obstacle to further progress, Chairman and CEO Leo Muffin, who had led the airline since 1997, announced his retirement effective Jan. 1. In choosing a successor, the board passed over the heir apparent, President and COO Fred Reid, whom Muffin lured to Delta from Lufthansa, in favor of longtime board member and former Western Airlines Chairman and CEO Gerald Grinstein. …

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