Southwest plans to eliminate 32 roundtrip flights from its current schedule -- including the Detroit-Orlando route -- and add 19 roundtrip flights system-wide.

Christi Day, a Southwest spokeswoman, said the company is "optimizing" its schedule by pruning unproductive flights.

Southwest flies daily nonstops to Orlando from Detroit, Monday through Friday, she said.

"That's not to say that it wouldn't come back at some time," Day said. "There just are some flights that are not as productive as others."

Day said she did not know whether the Detroit-Orlando route had been dropped previously and then reinstated.

Southwest currently flies 18 daily nonstops to six cities from Detroit -- Baltimore, Chicago Midway, Nashville, Phoenix, St. Louis and Orlando.

While automakers are hanging on by a thread, the airline industry also continues to struggle.

Delta Airlines announced that they will offer voluntary severance programs to the majority of its 75,000 employees starting in January.

The airline already cut nearly 4,000 employees through voluntary retirement and separation earlier this year.

Delta would not comment on how many jobs they plan to cut.

"KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is resuming services in Calgary after a 12-year gap. The new service, which will offer flights to Amsterdam from Calgary, will begin operating on May 3, 2009.

Flight times and frequency have not been announced yet, but KLM announced that passengers will take the Calgary-Amsterdam flight on an Airbus 330-200 aircraft.

Peter Hartman, president and chief executive officer of KLM, said: Under the present economic situation, it's even more important to choose destinations that meet a strong demand."

Shrish Pandey


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