Delta cuts 3 long-haul routes in latest network adjustment 

Oct 20, 2021

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.

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 photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first three months of card membership.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.