By Paul Page
Delta Air Lines Inc. is offering some of its idled passenger aircraft to the cargo charter market, as the carrier seeks new revenue sources after pulling down a swath of flights because of plummeting travel demand.
The airline will make available jets at 13 U.S. airports and 70 sites outside the country "to provide the support our customers tell us they need during this unprecedented business environment."
Delta said last week that it is cutting about 40% of its flights over the next few months, joining an array of airlines that are pulling back operations as governments restrict travel and customer demand falls amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The steep decline in passenger flights has reduced the capacity in aircraft bellies that freight-shipping companies use to move goods around the world. The squeeze on flights has pushed more shipments freighter operators but industry executives say those carriers have limited capability to handle the goods and that airfreight rates have been soaring as a result.