- Delta Air Lines announced the suspension of service to 11 US cities and Ottawa, Ontario, amid its pandemic-related recovery efforts.
- The Department of Transportation approved the cuts, scheduled to take effect on July 8, which primarily affect small regional destinations across the US.
- The airline is cutting service only to cities with other air carriers to provide service.
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Delta Air Lines announced the suspension of service to 11 American cities indefinitely as part of an effort to reduce its route network after a devastating first half of 2020. Effective July 8, the cuts come as part of Delta’s plan to reduce domestic flying by 80% for the second quarter and international flying by 90%.
The Department of Transportation, which has been attempting to maintain a semblance of 2019 air service levels despite the drastic decrease in passengers since the beginning of March, approved the reduction. Most airports on the list are regional destinations primarily served by Delta Connection carriers, with the Atlanta-based airline cutting service only to airports that have alternate air service from rival carriers.
Take a look at which cities will cease to see Delta service on July 8:
- Aspen, Colorado: The Colorado mountain town will lose four routes from Delta, including service to Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and Atlanta.
- Bangor, Maine: Bangor will lose two Delta routes, both to New York City area airports.
- Erie, Pennsylvania: Erie is losing its sole Delta route to Detroit.
- Flint, Michigan: Flint will no longer see Delta service to Atlanta, but the airline’s Detroit hub is about an hour drive away.
- Fort Smith, Arkansas: Fort Smith will see its number of commercial routes cut in half when Delta leaves and takes its service to Atlanta, with only American Airlines service to Dallas remaining.
- Lincoln, Nebraska: Lincoln is losing two Delta routes to Atlanta and Minneapolis, leaving United Airlines as the sole airline at the airport with service to Chicago and Denver.
- Peoria, Illinois: Peoria is saying goodbye to Delta routes to Atlanta and Minneapolis.
- New Bern, North Carolina: New Bern is losing its Delta route to Atlanta, leaving American Airlines as its sole carrier with service to Charlotte, North Carolina.
- Santa Barbara, California: Santa Barbara will no longer see its connection to Salt Lake City on Delta.
- Scranton, Pennsylvania: Scranton is losing Delta service to Atlanta and Detroit operated by a mix of regional and mainline aircraft.
- Williston, North Dakota: Williston will see its routes cut in half, as Delta is taking away service to Minneapolis, leaving only United Airlines service to Denver.
The announcement comes as aviation’s recovery continues to be slow-going and airlines are experiencing a subpar start to the summer season. Memorial Day weekend, normally one of the busiest travel times of the year that kicks off the peak season for travel, saw passenger numbers fail to exceed 341,000, according to the Transportation Security Administration, with no day since March seeing numbers above 400,000.
Employees at the affected Delta outstations will continue to be paid until September 30, a provision of the coronavirus rescue package.
As a result of the reduced demand, Delta has also advanced the retirement of its older aircraft, including its iconic McDonnell Douglas subfleet consisting of MD-80 and MD-90 series aircraft. Delta will also suspend service to Ottawa, Ontario, indefinitely on June 21.