Delta seeks millions to pay its advisors as it posts another loss

Friday, March 3rd 2006, 2:34 pm
By: News On 6

ATLANTA (AP) _ Delta Air Lines has asked a bankruptcy court judge to approve three-point-nine (m) million dollars in payments to some of the airline's advisers.

The request comes today as the Atlanta-based airline reports a 300 (m) million dollars loss in January and its pilots have increased the amount of their offer as part of a second round of long-term concessions.

The pilots union says it will strike if its contract is thrown out by a panel of arbitrators that will hold hearings starting March 13th.

Delta filed for bankruptcy protection in New York in September.

Chief Executive Officer Gerald Grinstein, at a public event today, told reporters that if the pilots strike, quote -- ``Delta is cooked'' and will NOT survive.

The professional fees to Delta's auditors and advisers include a request to pay nearly two (m) million dollars to the consulting firm of former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

Last night, Delta reported a slightly narrower loss of 300 (m) million dollars in January, according to its monthly operating report filed with the bankruptcy court.

The figure brings Delta's total red ink since January 2001 to 12-point-6 (b) billion dollars. An industry downturn began that year, in which the September 11th attacks also took place.

Delta says it has continued to cut costs, adjust its route network and restructure aircraft leases in the month on which it reported. The carrier also says it has received authorization from the bankruptcy court to resume buying fuel hedging contracts to try to reduce its exposure to upticks in fuel prices.