DELTA TO END JFK-BRUSSELS ROUTE IN FAVOR OF SABENA AGREEMENT

DELTA TO END JFK-BRUSSELS ROUTE IN FAVOR OF SABENA AGREEMENT

Delta Air Lines announced that it plans to end its service between John F. Kennedy International Airport and Brussels and replace it with a code-sharing agreement with Sabena Belgian Airlines.

The new agreement is to take effect Jan. 16, subject to government approval. It applies only to passengers.Since moving to its winter schedule, Delta had been operating the route six days a week.

Brian Clancy, a cargo analyst with MergeGlobal Ltd. in Alexandria, Va., said Monday the impact on the trans-Atlantic cargo market should be minimal, since Delta used Airbus A310 aircraft, which can only carry nine or 10 metric tons of freight and mail, depending on passenger loads.

The cutback, part of the carrier's cost-cutting efforts, follows a Delta statement several weeks ago that it had identified several JFK routes that it may sell, eliminate entirely or switch over to code-sharing.

"This makes sense," Mr. Clancy said. "Delta realizes it's having indigestion problems from the acquisition of Pan Am's European routes."

Delta and Sabena will share the same terminal facilities at JFK and Brussels, where each has a major hub operation.

Delta said it already has a successful code-share agreement with Sabena on the Atlanta-Brussels route, where Sabena purchases a block of seats on Delta's aircraft. Under the JFK plan, Delta will buy seats on Sabena's planes, which operate daily on the route.