updated 3/29/2005 8:06:41 AM ET 2005-03-29T13:06:41

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday, Delta Air Lines Inc. said it will restructure its technical operations division in a move to save $240 million over five years.

The airline plans to partner with two suppliers for heavy maintenance work, resulting in a 34 percent cost reduction. Delta will partner with Miami-based Avborne to conduct work on its MD-88 and MD-90 fleet types and with Vancouver-based Air Canada Technical Services for work on the 757 and 767 fleets.

Delta said it will be responsible for monitoring proper execution of its maintenance program by the vendors.

The airline also will begin shifting package service visits and letter checks from its Tampa hangar to Atlanta to fill capacity created at Atlanta when heavy maintenance visits are transitioned to the new partners. Delta said it won't completely remove its presence at the Tampa hangar, but will continue to perform some line maintenance and ground service equipment work.

The airline expects to continue to concentrate competitive work in its primary base in Atlanta with the addition of a new Song mod line, the restart of two cabin condition program lines and continued in-house maintenance of its large fleet of JT8D-219 engines.

As Delta announced last September, 6,000 to 7,000 positions will be eliminated throughout the company as part of its transformation process. The moves outlined today will contribute to technical operations previously announced portion — 1,600 to 2,000 jobs — of this target.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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