Lately, booking a flight can feel a bit like a gamble in the face of the recent scheduling troubles the industry has faced. Widespread delays and cancellations have made headlines throughout the summer as airlines continue to deal with staffing shortages. As a result, many have changed their flight routes and acknowledged the problems, with some executives even going so far as to apologize for letting passengers down. And now, Delta Air Lines is the latest company to announce changes to its service map, saying it will be cutting flights to four major cities. Read on to see which destinations will see fewer departures in the coming weeks.
READ THIS NEXT: American Is Cutting Flights to These 8 Major Cities, Starting Nov. 3.
Delta has recently made other changes to its schedule amid shifting demand.
This year's busy summer travel season represented the first time passenger volume has bounced back to pre-pandemic levels. But the return of travelers has also put many major airlines in the position of having to reconfigure their schedules and offerings to reflect changing demand and keep their customers happy, including Delta.
Earlier this summer, the airline announced that it would cut back flights to several major cities, The Points Guy first reported. The affected routes included service between Atlanta (ATL) and Colorado Springs (COS), Atlanta and Oakland (OAK), and Detroit (DTW) and Sacramento (SMF). The schedule change also saw planned service between Boston (BOS) and Memphis (MEM) that was scheduled to begin in September scrapped as well.
Then, in August, a filed schedule update showed that the carrier was dropping more flights. The changes showed that Delta would be ending service between its midwestern hub in Detroit and Allentown, Pennsylvania (ABE) beginning Sept. 11, while routes between Detroit and Cedar Rapids, Iowa (CID); Dayton, Ohio (DAY); and Fort Wayne, Indiana (FWA) would cease operation as of Oct. 5, The Points Guy reported. In addition, the carrier will also drop flights between Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) and Moline, Illinois (MLI) that same day.
Now, the carrier is shaving a few more departures off its original schedule.
Delta is cutting back on flights to four major cities in the coming weeks.
According to new flight schedule data filed on Sept. 10, Delta will be cutting flights from its schedule with some immediate effects, The Points Guy first reported. The changes will see currently suspended service between Salt Lake City (SLC) and Milwaukee (MKE) scheduled to restart in December permanently cut. The carrier is also dropping service between Detroit and Monterrey, Mexico (MTY) as of Oct. 14.
The carrier is also picking up several flights serving other major destinations.
But the dropped flights aren't the only changes Delta is making to its schedule. The carrier is also adding departures to major markets, including four daily flights between New York's LaGuardia Airport (LGA) and Dulles International Airport (IAD) just outside Washington, D.C., per The Points Guy. The new service is scheduled to begin on Nov. 9.
The change marks the first time Delta has flown the route since it dropped the service in 2014. It also bulks up the carrier's existing daily service to the nation's capital from LaGuardia, adding to the 10 flights it currently operates to nearby Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA).
Delta is also making waves by adding a new set of flights to a long-awaited international route.
While Delta passengers will now have the option for more domestic shuttle routes when they book their travel, the carrier also recently announced another major addition to its international offerings. Beginning Dec. 2, the airline will start a new triangle route from Atlanta to Johannesburg, South Africa (JNB) before refueling and flying on to Cape Town (CPT) and then returning to Atlanta, Simple Flying reports. Delta says it will fly the service four times a week once it launches.
The addition comes just over two years after Delta dropped its previous service from its Georgia hub to Johannesburg due to the pandemic. Speculation over the route's return brewed as the airline struggled with figuring out a way to service it after retiring its fleet of Boeing 777 aircraft, leaving the carrier with Airbus A350 planes with insufficient performance capabilities to make the return trip to the U.S. The triangular configuration of the route allows the jets to refuel in Cape Town—which sits at a lower altitude than Johannesburg and doesn't deplete as much fuel during take-off—and makes it possible for the planes to return stateside.
"As demand for travel increases, we'll be offering our largest-ever schedule between South Africa and the U.S. this summer," Jimmy Eichelgruen, Delta's director of sales for Africa, the Middle East, and India, said in a statement, per Simple Flying. "Thanks to this added connectivity, customers will have access to more than 160 cities in North and South America, giving people even more opportunity to reconnect or expand business ties between our two countries, which U.S. Government data estimated to be worth $17.8 billion in 2019."