Delta joins American and United in slashing New York network

Apr 6, 2020

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Delta has joined the other legacy U.S. carriers in significantly reducing its footprint in the New York metro area for April.

The Atlanta-based airline is reducing schedules at all three airports even more than expected this month, making the new round of cuts as New York City emerges as a hotspot in the nation’s battle against the coronavirus outbreak. The schedule changes were first reported by Business Insider.

In an email to TPG, Delta spokeswoman Elizabeth Wolf confirmed the airline would fly just 29 daily departures from JFK this month. Those flights will be mostly domestic, with service “to hubs and top markets,” including some in Upstate New York. But there will also be some international service, including one daily flight each to Toronto and Montreal in Canada, and Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. Overall, the schedule represents an 80% reduction from Delta’s usual daily services at JFK.

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LaGaurdia also was pared in Delta’s schedule cut. The airline will fly only 15 daily departures from LGA, a 90% cut from its usual schedule, with most going to its hubs. Those flights include five to Atlanta, two to Boston, three to Minneapolis-St. Paul, four to Detroit and just one daily flight to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. That route is particularly notable because it’s such a significant step down from the normal, hourly shuttle service that operates between LGA and DCA.

Delta’s footprint in Newark will be even smaller, with only seven daily departures this month: three to Atlanta, two to Detroit and two to Minneapolis-St. Paul. Delta normally has a much smaller presence at Newark than the other two airports, though its cuts there still represents an 80% reduction as compared to its usual schedule at EWR.

Related: American Airlines down to just 13 daily flights from NYC.

With Delta’s cuts, New York City has practically become a sleepy aviation backwater. All three major U.S. carriers announced significant reductions to their schedules in the city in the last few days. Of the U.S. big 3, only United will operate transoceanic services out of the metro area this month. And between American, Delta and United, there will be only a total of 81 combined daily flights out of JFK, LGA and EWR on those carriers.

Related: United suspends nearly all operations from the New York area.

Other airlines have made major cuts in the New York metro area, too. JetBlue, which operates a hub at JFK, had already announced plans to reduce its schedule there by 80% while low-cost carrier Spirit will suspending all of its service to the New York City area,

Still, Delta’s cuts leave it by far with the biggest New York schedule during April.

American’s cuts, for example, leave it with a total of just 13 flights from all three of the New York-area’s airports. United will have a combined 17 from Newark and LaGuardia – the only two New York City airports it serves.

Delta, by comparison, will have 51 – even with its steep cuts for the month.

The huge reduction in flights comes, of course, as the aviation industry faces an unprecedented slump in demand amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. While the U.S. big three have scaled back flying across their networks, other airlines around the world have been forced to temporarily put an end to flights altogether until the outbreak subsides and demand for travel returns.

Read more: These are the only long-haul routes American, Delta, Hawaiian and United plan to fly in April.

Featured photo by KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images.

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