October 25, 2001
As you are well aware, the tragic events of September 11 have placed a tremendous financial burden on all aspects of our economy, especially the travel and tourism industry. At Delta, we are experiencing an unprecedented decline in operating revenue. We are losing nearly $15 million per day. We have taken immediate steps to reduce our operating costs, primarily through voluntary employee reductions and through reductions in our flight schedule. We have reduced our flights in Orlando by nearly 40 percent and our flights in Fort Lauderdale by nearly 30 percent. While we have received $350 million from the Federal government, our projected loss for September alone was $403 million, and we expect to report a $1.6 billion revenue shortfall for the balance for the balance of this calendar year.
Delta, along with the other members of the Air Transport Association, are asking for your support in an eighteen month abatement of the 6.9 cents per gallon jet fuel tax. This proposed abatement would provide immediate savings and will be a major factor in our effort to reduce operating costs in Florida and stabilize our industry. I understand there has been legislation introduced in the Senate that addresses this abatement. In a good faith effort on our behalf, we can accelerate the return of flights to Florida as early as December 1. Delta is prepared to add six daily flights in Orlando three flights in Fort Lauderdale, one flight in West Palm Beach and one flight in Tampa.
Florida is a critical state for Delta Airlines. Nearly thirty percent of our domestic revenue is generated in Florida. If we can reduce our operating costs in Florida through initiative such as the temporary jet fuel tax abatement, we will be able to further accelerate the reinstatement of flights to your state. This will both your tourism industry and Delta.
I appreciated your assistance on this issue and your leadership during this time of national crisis. Please do not hesitate to call me if you have any questions or concerns on this issue. Thank you for the important job you and the members of the Senate do for the Florida business community.
Vice-President - Public Affairs