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COMAIR CHIEF VOWS TO EXPAND

Delta Air Lines will aggressively rebuild Comair to restore it within months to where it was before a three-month strike by pilots, then take it to new heights, Delta president Frederick W. Reid pledged.

"We will definitely recover to what it was, and we will go beyond that," Reid told reporters, without offering specifics, Tuesday.

He said Delta and Comair, which both have hubs at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport and dominate flight service there, will meet the competition offered by several airlines that started offering limited service there during a nearly three-month strike by Comair pilots. Comair flies a route between the Buffalo Niagara International Airport and Cincinnati.

Reid said his May 10 statement that Comair's three-year growth plan provided for buying 80 new jets and adding 900 pilots could be revised somewhat, taking into account the new contracts for both Delta and Comair pilots since that time.

Delta bought Comair in January 2000 for $1.8 billion.

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