updated 6/13/2008 7:52:59 PM ET 2008-06-13T23:52:59

Delta Air Lines Inc. plans to cut twice as many jobs as the original goal it stated in March, when it offered voluntary severance payouts to more than half its work force.

A spokeswoman for the Atlanta-based carrier, Betsy Talton, said Friday that roughly 4,000 people took the package, and Delta will accept all the volunteers. The employees are from the mainline airline and Delta's information technology subsidiary, Talton said. Most will leave the company in the fall, she said.

Talton said on May 30 that more than 3,000 people took the package. She said Friday the earlier number was not final.

Delta said on March 18 that it would offer voluntary severance payouts to roughly 30,000 employees. Executives said then that the airline's goal was to cut 2,000 frontline, administrative and management jobs through the severance program, attrition and other initiatives.

The company said it would accept more job cuts, if more than 2,000 employees took voluntary severance.

One part of the severance program was for employees who were already eligible for retirement, or for those whose age and years of service added up to at least 60, with 10 or more years of service. The other part of the program was an "early-out" offer for frontline employees — such as flight attendants and gate and ticket agents — with 10 or more years of service and for administrative and management employees with one or more years of service.

Delta had 55,044 total full-time employees as of the end of last year. Excluding the current round of cuts, Delta has announced it would cut up to 33,000 jobs since 2001.

Several major airlines in recent months have announced they are cutting domestic capacity, deferring plane orders or shedding jobs because of record fuel prices.

Based on the March 18 announcement, Delta's plans called for a reduction in domestic capacity of 10 percent by August, 5 percent more than under its previous business plan. Ed Bastian, Delta's president and chief financial officer, said June 3 after Delta's annual meeting in New York that "there will be more pruning" in terms of domestic capacity cuts. He did not provide a new goal, though he said further capacity cuts would be smaller than those previously announced.

Asked if there would be further job cuts beyond the 3,000 Delta had planned to cut at the time, Bastian said bluntly, "No. That's not the plan."

Talton said Friday that the airline currently has no updated guidance to announce regarding further domestic capacity cuts beyond the 10 percent reduction previously announced.

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