Delta Air Lines has announced the indefinite suspension of service for the foreseeable future to 11 American cities. This is part of an effort to reduce its route network after an atrocious first half performance in 2020. These measures will become effective on July 8, which comes as part of Delta's plan to reduce domestic flying by 80% for the second quarter and international flying by 90% as passenger travel demand remains unsustainable heading into the usually busy summer months.
A Delta Connection CRJ-700. Photo by Matt Lino | AeroNewsX
The Department of Transportation has approved the reduction measures by Delta. The United States' aviation regulations require airlines with an official air carrier certificate to continue maintaining regularly-scheduled passenger services to a select number of airports to serve the public, regardless of their profitability. Most airports on the list are regional destinations primarily served by Delta Connection carriers, such as Endeavor Air, SkyWest, Expressjet, and formerly Compass, with the Atlanta-based airline cutting service only to airports that have alternate air service from rival carriers.
Below is the complete list of U.S. domestic airport destinations that Delta will suspend service to:
Aspen, Colorado: The Colorado mountain town (ASE) will lose four routes from Delta, including service to Salt Lake City (SLC), Los Angeles (LAX), Minneapolis (MSP), and Atlanta (ATL)
Bangor, Maine: Bangor (BGR) will lose two Delta routes, both to New York City area airports (LGA, JFK)
Erie, Pennsylvania: Erie (ERI) is losing its sole Delta route to Detroit (DTW)
Flint, Michigan: Flint (FNT) will no longer see Delta service to Atlanta (ATL), but the airline's Detroit hub is about an hour's drive away
Fort Smith, Arkansas: Fort Smith (FSM) will see its number of commercial routes halved when Delta leaves and takes its service to Atlanta (ATL), with only American Airlines’ service to Dallas (DFW) remaining
Lincoln, Nebraska: Lincoln (LNC) 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 (PIA) is saying goodbye to Delta routes to Atlanta (ATL) and Minneapolis (MSP)
New Bern, North Carolina: New Bern (EWN) is losing its Delta route to Atlanta (ATL), leaving American Airlines as its sole carrier servicing the airport to Charlotte, North Carolina (CLT)
Santa Barbara, California: Santa Barbara (SBA) will no longer see its connection to Salt Lake City (SLC) on Delta
Scranton, Pennsylvania: Scranton (AVP) is losing Delta service to Atlanta (ATL) and Detroit (DTW), operated by a mix of regional and mainline aircraft
Lastly, Delta is ceasing services to Williston, North Dakota: This will see its routes cut in half, as Delta is taking away service to Minneapolis (MSP), leaving only United Airlines’ service to Denver (DEN)
Hopefully, these are only temporary measures, and with the passing of time, Delta will be able to return to these cities amid higher air travel demand and passenger volumes, as well as for the sake of competition with its fellow legacy airline rivals United and American.