updated 7/28/2005 2:33:10 PM ET 2005-07-28T18:33:10

Delta Air Lines Inc., the nation's third-largest carrier, announced several changes to its fall schedule on Thursday, highlighting the company's attempts to have more of its flights arrive and depart on time.

Starting Sept. 1, the airline will reduce to 45 minutes the minimum time its narrow-body aircraft spend on the ground between flights — achieving a 10-minute reduction year over year — and will make better use of aircraft by freeing eight additional planes from the schedule.

This change brings to 39 the number of Delta and Delta Connection aircraft freed this year for schedule growth and fleet simplification. Delta also said it will adjust flights in off-peak periods to better match capacity to demand when air travel traditionally slows in the fall.

Delta's new schedule expands efforts made since January to improve the airline's overall on-time performance and reduce customer wait times at the airline's Atlanta hub. So far, Delta has reduced average taxi-out times in Atlanta by 4.5 minutes year-over-year and has improved its overall on-time performance in Atlanta by 6 percent.

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