The airlines industry has long struggled to be profitable, and Delta Air Lines(NYSE: DAL) is no exception.

Today, the nation's third-largest carrier announced a bold move as it aims to better compete with successful, profitable rivals Southwest Airlines(NYSE: LUV), JetBlue Airways(Nasdaq: JBLU), and AirTran Holdings(NYSE: AAI). In an initiative first announced last November, Delta will launch a new, low-cost airline called Song (well, at least it's better than Altria).

Replacing Delta Express, Song will carry its first tune along the East Coast, and is expected to spread over more of the country soon.

Delta expects to spend less than $100 million on the launch. And with simpler pricing systems (one-way fares between $79 and $299), fewer flight attendants, and quick turnaround departures, the new airline is expected to generate a tenth of Delta's income in its first year.

Apparently, Song's jingle is, "If you can't beat your competitors, join them." The airline plans to operate mainly 757s, a move reflecting Southwest's tradition of flying only one kind of plane to reduce costs and complexity. While employees won't sing or crack jokes (like Southwest's), they will be referred to as "the talent," dress more casually, and will be part of the Delta family. And like JetBlue, Song will offer in-flight satellite television.

With United Airlines(NYSE: UAL) and US Airwaysfiling for bankruptcy protection and war with Iraq looming, the airlines industry faces more tough times ahead. Break a leg, Delta!