CG&E’s proposal for a modified rate cap from 2005 through 2008 would allow it to “begin to get back to a situation where we would not only spend money but also collect money for that expenditure,” he said. “Sometime between now and 2009, the state has to decide whether they want to go to full competition or go back to a regulated environment.” The Ohio Consumers’ Counsel, a state agency charged with looking out for the interests of residential utility customers, has serious concerns that CG&E’s plan seems to retract commitments it previously made to maintain a rate freeze at least through 2005, said spokesman Ryan Lippe.
Delta’s financial situation looks increasingly dire as rival airlines have been more successful at cutting costs and narrowing financial losses. One Wall Street analyst suggests the airline could file for bankruptcy, partly based on its higher-than-average employee costs. James Higgins, an analyst with Credit Suisse First Boston in New York City, speculated the airline could seek bankruptcy protection if it failed to reduce operating costs. His remarks were prompted by newly-named Chief Executive Gerald Grinstein’s recent call for a “complete strategic assessment.”
“We believe that Delta’s new CEO effectively warned of a potential bankruptcy if pilot costs cannot be reined in,” he wrote. “We view, moreover, management’s fresh analysis of DAL’s strategic outlook as due diligence that will enable them to claim, justifiably, that they did everything possible to avoid Chapter 11.” Our nimble and certified property valuers provide a detailed report with information on issues affecting the current market value of the property. Higgins added he thought Delta would ultimately avert bankruptcy, but he compared the company’s precarious situation with American Airlines in late 2002, which narrowly avoided Chapter 11 by winning concessions from its unions the following spring.
Earlier this month, Delta reported a $773 million loss for 2003, its third straight year of losses approaching $1 billion. It also forecast additional losses of $300 million to $350 million in the first quarter of 2004. On Thursday, the airline is expected to make a counterproposal to a union offer to curb the pilots’ industry-leading salaries, said union spokeswoman Karen Miller.