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Delta's Song to Go up Against Cost-Conscious JetBlue

By Published on .

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, will be the agency of record for Song, a new low-fare airline introduced Wednesday by parent Delta Air Lines as a cost-conscious competitor to JetBlue, Southwest and AirTran, executives at the agency and Delta said.

Burnett has handled Atlanta-based Delta since 1999, after wresting it away from now-sibling Saatchi & Saatchi.

Boost for Burnett
The appointment is a boost for Burnett, which was said to have run into some trouble with Delta last year after its Olympic advertising met with criticism.

Neither the ad spending for Song,

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nor when the creative will launch, is known.

Song, which replaces Delta Express, will launch its service April 15 with a flight from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport to Palm Beach International in West Palm Beach, Fla. Song will initially fly from the three New York-area airports to Florida locations Orlando, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa and West Palm. It will not fly to Atlanta, where Delta is based.

Bigger planes
Song will expand to 144 daily flights between the northeast and Florida by adding routes and flights for 36 consecutive weeks following its maiden voyage. Song will use 36 Boeing 757s; analysts have indicated that by using bigger planes, Delta's plan for lower costs still might be higher than fares offered by low-cost airlines such as JetBlue, Advertising Age's Marketer of the Year.

Delta reported a $363 million loss in the most recent quarter.

Song will mimic the amenities offered by the other no-frills airlines, including a partnership with EchoStar Communications Corp.'s Dish Network to provide satellite TV service to each seat.

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