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It's Official: Delta Delays First Airbus A220 Flights Due to Government Shutdown

Jan. 25, 2019
4 min read
It's Official: Delta Delays First Airbus A220 Flights Due to Government Shutdown
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Another day, another monumental postponement blamed on the US government shutdown. Shortly after Alaska decided to push the launch of its flights from Paine Field – Snohomish County Airport (PAE) in Everett, Washington, from Feb. 11, 2019, to (at least) March 4, 2019, Delta has confirmed to TPG that it too will suffer a major delay.

Not quite ready for takeoff thanks to the US government shutdown

The airline had previously scheduled for Jan. 31, 2019, to be the inauguration day for its long-awaited Airbus A220 — an aircraft that offers many widebody amenities on a narrowbody aircraft designed to supplant CRJ700 and CRJ900 regional jets on medium-haul routes. Now, that's being pushed for several weeks at least.

Here's the official word from Delta Air Lines.

"Delta has made the decision to postpone the service debut of the Airbus A220 due to delays in certification processes that are required by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.
No customer impact is expected as a result of this equipment change and no flights will be canceled because of A220 certification. The flights will be operated by other aircraft and changes are expected to be fully visible in schedules on Sunday."

I currently have two flights confirmed for Jan. 31, 2019, which were previously scheduled to operate on the A220. As of now, both flights still show "Aircraft: Airbus A220-100" in my Delta account, but Delta has informed me that I'll learn what my new aircraft type will be this weekend.

The Delta A220 inaugural that wasn't to be...

I have inquired with Delta as to its cancellation policy with regard to the impending changes and received the following: "We’ll work with customers on a case by case basis as we would with any schedule change."

Passengers will have to wait a bit longer to experience Delta's A220 themselves

Typically, an aircraft swap of any magnitude grants a passenger latitude in changing or cancelling their flights without penalty, but the airline has yet to publicly share what its plans are on this front.

Also, unlike Alaska, Delta isn't going so far as to share an official "new" inaugural day, instead playing it safe and waiting for the shutdown to end before etching anything else in stone. Delta has informed me that A220 schedule changes will begin to appear in passenger accounts either tomorrow or Sunday and will show flights as operated by the A220 from Feb. 7, 2019 and beyond, assuming all governmental approvals are met by that point.

For more on Delta's Airbus A220, check out our coverage below.

Do you have a flight booked on Delta's A220 between Jan. 31, 2019 and Feb. 7, 2019? Let us know if you plan to shift your schedule or accept the aircraft swap in comments below.

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