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DELTA TO CUT 12,000 JOBS

Delta Air Lines Inc. said Thursday it will cut 12,000 to 15,000 jobs in an effort to lower its annual costs by about $2 billion by mid-1997.

Delta said the job cuts represent a 16-to-20 percent reduction in its staff. It expects that layoffs will be necessary, but the airline also will emphasize voluntary programs, including attrition, early retirement incentives, long-term leaves and other actions.

Delta also reported a net loss of $77.9 million for its third fiscal quarter vs. a $152.3 million loss in the year-ago period.

"Continued improvement in our financial results are an encouraging sign that the programs we have in place are working, but they clearly are not enough," said Chief Executive Officer Ronald Allen in a statement.

The airline said the restructuring program does not include the formation of a separate low-fare airline at this time.

It said some parts of the three-year project will be implemented immediately and all plans will be in place by Sept. 15. It is expected that 75 percent of the cost savings will be achieved in the first two years of the program.

Delta said it expects to record charges related to the restructuring and other actions of between $400 million and $600 million.

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