Skip to content

Delta cuts 3 long-haul routes in latest network adjustment 

Oct. 20, 2021
5 min read
Delta cuts 3 long-haul routes in latest network adjustment 
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Several Delta routes are falling victim to the pandemic.

Over the weekend, the Atlanta-based carrier removed all scheduled flights on the three following long-haul routes, as first seen in Cirium timetables.

The airline later confirmed to TPG that these routes are being cut for the foreseeable future, with no current plans to bring them back.

  • Atlanta (ATL) — Stuttgart (STR)
  • Los Angeles (LAX) — Shanghai (PVG)
  • Salt Lake City (SLC) — London (LHR)

Want more airline-specific news? Sign up for TPG’s free new biweekly Aviation newsletter!

Note that these routes could theoretically return in the coming years depending on the outcome of the pandemic, but it’s anyone’s guess if, or when, that would happen.

Service from Atlanta to Stuttgart connected Porsche's German headquarters with its main offices in Atlanta.

While some high-ranking executives at the car manufacturer may be upset to see the route go, Delta likely couldn’t turn a profit on the route without a steady stream of business travelers crossing the pond. Still, Porsche and Delta remain tied with a partnership that includes a fleet of its high-end cars for tarmac transfers in hub airports for top-tier Medallion members, celebrities and other dignitaries.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Zach Griff (@_zachgriff)

Similarly, Delta’s Salt Lake City to London route was likely one of the airline’s poor performers. The airline already serves Heathrow from Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, New York-JFK, Minneapolis/St. Paul and Seattle, according to Cirium schedules.

SkyTeam flyers based on the West Coast can connect through Delta's Seattle, Detroit or Minneapolis/St. Paul hubs to get to London, or they can fly through Amsterdam or Paris, both of which will still be served by Delta nonstops from Salt Lake City.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

As for Los Angeles to Shanghai, two airlines will continue to fly the route, with flights on China Eastern and United (once the pandemic restrictions ease). The former is a SkyTeam partner of which Delta owns an equity stake, so the airline can still route its California-based flyers on this route.

Plus, with China (and the broader region) closed to foreigners for the foreseeable future, it seemingly makes sense for Delta to pull out of the market than operate it at a loss.

The airline will continue to serve Shanghai from Atlanta, Detroit and Seattle.

Interestingly, American Airlines recently cut its Los Angeles to Shanghai route as well, and instead moved the service to its up-and-coming Oneworld hub in Seattle.

At the time, Chief Revenue Officer Vasu Raja explained that the Los Angeles to Asia market is already saturated with routes by nearly every Asian carrier, making the move to Seattle a competitive advantage for the airline and its renewed domestic partnership with Alaska Airlines.

Delta is seemingly feeling the same way — the Los Angeles to Asia market was extremely competitive before the pandemic. It can still serve its Los Angeles-based flyers through its China Eastern partnership while continuing to fly its own metal to Shanghai from other U.S. cities, including Seattle.

While Delta is trimming a small portion of its long-haul network, it's also gearing up to launch some exciting new transatlantic service next summer.

As part of the recently announced Boston expansion, the airline is adding five high-profile routes from the city, including two new long-haul flights to Athens and Tel Aviv.

Featured image by Most airlines have a different fare class for all 26 characters in the alphabet. (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers

TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023