Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, “up in the air” hasn’t been just a literal definition of what airlines do but also a way to describe their scheduling and in-flight services as of late. For months, carriers have grappled with staffing shortages brought on by the Omicron variant, flight cancellations due to severe weather, and changing public health regulations—all while trying to provide comfortable service and stay financially viable. Now, Delta Air Lines has announced a schedule change that will cut flights to two major cities beginning in May. Read on to see how this could affect your next trip.
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Delta has announced changes to its schedule that will affect its transatlantic flights in the coming months, Simple Flying reports. As of May 1, flights from John F. Kennedy Airport in New York to Athens, Greece, will be reduced from 11 weekly departures to daily flights. The airline will also cut back service from JFK to Milan Malpensa Airport, paring its weekly service from 14 departures to 12.
The changes also show that the airline is holding off on bringing back certain flights. The resumption of flights to Lagos from New York has been pushed back to May 5. And flights from Atlanta to Johannesburg will remain at their reduced three departures through May.
However, the airline’s schedule changes also involve adding more departures and beefing up weekly service in some markets. Beginning May 21, Delta will add a second weekly flight between Boston Logan Airport and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. Minneapolis/St. Paul will also see European flights added by the airline, adding a second daily departure to Amsterdam beginning May 5 before upping the total number of weekly flights to the Netherlands to 17 as of June 1, Simple Flying reports.
Delta is also adding flights to London, initiating daily service from Boston to Heathrow Airport beginning April 10, while also resuming daily service to the UK city from Minneapolis/St. Paul on the same day. The carrier will also add a second daily flight from Atlanta to London as of May 5. In addition, Detroit will see flights to Heathrow increased to daily departures beginning April 1 before increasing to 12 weekly flights as of May 2. And flights from Seattle to London will remain suspended through April but will start again on May 5, increasing daily departures.
The airline is also adding flights from Salt Lake City to Paris, France, increasing departures from four weekly flights to daily service as of April 10. Despite losing some of its flights to Milan, Delta will also be increasing flights from New York to Rome to twice daily starting May 5, as well as bumping up service to Lisbon to daily departures beginning April 10, increasing flights to Brussels from five a week to daily departures as of May 5, and bumping up its five weekly flights to Edinburgh to daily service beginning May 26. Finally, Detroit will also see an increase from four weekly flights to daily service to Munich starting May 5 and expand its current five weekly flights to Frankfurt to daily service on May 6.
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The changes to Delta’s schedule come as more people begin to take to the skies again and plan summer travel to countries in popular European destinations that have recently reduced travel restrictions, Simple Flying reports. Overall, the airline appears confident that the coming months could help the industry recover from a difficult pandemic experience.
“We’re starting to see passengers come back but, most importantly, we’re seeing our corporates come back,” Mary Loeffelholz, vice president for Minneapolis/St. Paul customer service for Delta Air Lines, told the Star Tribune† “I would say by the end of this year, if things continue as planned, we’ll be at 80 or 90 percent capacity restored. March really starts our growth. Our network activity will start to increase month by month.”
But Delta isn’t the only airline to drop flights in the coming months amid changes. The most recent schedule released by American Airlines on flights analytics website Cirium shows that the carrier will be reducing departures by 19.1 percent beginning in May, Simple Flying reported on Feb. 6. The changes will affect at least four major American cities, including Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Raleigh, especially international long-haul flights.
The new schedule will see Chicago reduce its four daily flights to London’s Heathrow Airport to three. In addition, Los Angeles will have its service between Sydney suspended when the changes go into effect. And Raleigh won’t see flights to London resume until at least June 3.
However, Dallas will see the most flights affected by the new schedule. Flights to Kahului, Maui will be reduced from two each day to one, service to Santiago, Chile will be suspended from May 5th through June 3rd, and the airline will further delay the resumption of flights to Tel Aviv through June 4th. The changes also show that all of American’s flights to Managua, Nicaragua will remain suspended through May.
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