Major Airline Fare Cuts Could Affect Panama City Fliers

Published reports say Delta Airlines will slash fares by as much as 60 percent in a bid by the struggling carrier to lure back fliers.

Delta would not confirm or refute a report in Time Magazine that it plans to replicate nationwide its fare-cutting plan piloted in Cincinnati last August. Domestic flight fares were capped at $499 for economy seats and $599 for first-class seats.

The magazine and The Wall Street Journal report that the third-biggest airline will roll out a new, simpler pricing structure and eliminate some unpopular requirements such as the Saturday-stay requirement. Time says the airline also plans to cut ticket change fees from $100 to $50.

International flights reportedly will NOT be affected.

A spokeswoman for Atlanta-based Delta, Benet Wilson, said, “We have not announced any changes in the fare structure and we do not make public statements about fare structures before they are made public.”

Delta avoided a bankruptcy filing in October when its pilots approved a $1 billion concession, but the airline is still struggling. Some analysts say the deal, along with new financing from some creditors, only gives Delta about 12 months of breathing room.

They say the airline still needs to increase its revenue and execute its broad turnaround plan.

Delta, through its subsidiaries, ASA, Chautauqua and Comair, serves the Panama City-Bay County International Airport.