Delta Air Lines Inc., Atlanta, posted a $453 million charge in the first quarter, mainly related to pension costs for the ongoing reduction of 6,000 to 7,000 non-pilot jobs, said Benet Wilson, spokeswoman. The charge also relates to the partial freezing of benefit accruals under the pilots' defined benefit plan on Dec. 31. The job cuts are part of Delta's cost-cutting initiatives and should conclude before 2007, said Ms. Wilson. Delta also recorded a $68 million first-quarter settlement charge related to the pilots' pension plan for lump-sum payments to 265 pilots who retired during the quarter. The charges contributed to the airline's first-quarter net loss of $1.1 billion, or $7.64 a share.
Delta's pension plans had combined assets of about $6.8 billion as of Sept. 30, according to the carrier's annual report. The airline had $4.2 billion in defined contribution assets at the same date.
Separately, Delta contributed $220 million to its defined benefit and defined contribution plans during the first quarter. Airline officials did not disclose how much was paid to each plan, Ms. Wilson said.