Kekst assists Delta with its Chapter 11 filing, strategy for recovery

NEW YORK: Delta Air Lines is working with Kekst & Co. on its massive Chapter 11 filing as the company tries to buck high fuel costs and re-emerge with a solid business plan.

NEW YORK: Delta Air Lines is working with Kekst & Co. on its massive Chapter 11 filing as the company tries to buck high fuel costs and re-emerge with a solid business plan.

The airline announced last week that it will cut up to 16,000 jobs in the process.

Michael Freitag, a partner in Kekst's bankruptcy practice, said the agency has worked with Delta for several years, including more than a full year spent preparing its restructuring. The company came close to filing Chapter 11 last fall, as well.

Delta's long period of planning before the bankruptcy announcement worked to its advantage, Freitag said. "[Delta was fortunate] to be able to see the situation developing and engage in contingency planning, getting involved at a relatively early stage where they can really map out a comprehensive communications plan," he said.

Kekst worked with Delta's in-house communications team, as well as its legal and financial advisers, in developing the strategy for its Chapter 11 filing.

Delta's message about its future was twofold. "For customers, it was ... a reassuring message that [it] was still flying," said Freitag. "For the business community ... we were able to say, 'A business plan will be rolled out in the months ahead.'"

The airline's marketing team immediately followed the Chapter 11 announcement with ads in markets worldwide designed to reassure customers that business would continue.

Delta's financial future is uncertain, but Kekst's team will continue to aid the company.

"Delta was one of the best, if not the best, conceived and executed communications rollouts that I've seen," said Freitag.

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