Delta pares back San Jose, drops New York-JFK nonstop as it revamps focus cities
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.
Delta’s focus city strategy is getting a makeover.
Over the weekend, the Atlanta-based carrier made two significant cuts from its route network in San Jose, California (SJC).
For one, Delta confirmed that its transcon New York-JFK to SJC service is getting pulled entirely.
Stay up-to-date on airline and aviation news by signing up for our brand-new aviation newsletter.
The previous plan was to resume the route on June 6, after last flying it on April 1, 2020, per Cirium schedules. Now, flyers headed between the coasts will need to connect, or fly the JetBlue nonstop.
Additionally, Delta is temporarily suspending service to SJC from its hub in Detroit (DTW). Previously, the carrier was scheduled to resume the route on June 5, but that’s now been pushed to Sept. 7, skipping the busy summer season.
That leaves service from the Bay Area city to just five Delta hubs this summer, including Atlanta (ATL), Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP), Salt Lake City (SLC), Seattle (SEA) and Los Angeles (LAX).
These cuts come just weeks after president Glen Hauenstein told the Raymond James investor conference that Delta plans to drop Cincinnati (CVG), Nashville (BNA) and San Jose as focus cities. As the carrier looks to rebuild its network, it’ll lean in on Austin (AUS) and Raleigh-Durham (RDU), as well as its nine domestic hubs, during the recovery.
Nashville and San Jose are among Delta’s newest and least-developed bases, making it easier to return them to be just typical spokes that it serves from its hubs.
Cincinnati, on the other hand, was once a hub for the carrier. But after Delta’s merger with Northwest Airlines, nearby Detroit started overshadowing CVG, with the company eventually downgrading the airport to focus-city status. The airline then closed its Cincinnati pilot in 2020, at the height of the pandemic, with plans to do the same for its flight attendant base, too.
Now, the pandemic will turn Cincinnati into another ordinary pin on Delta’s route map. In this week’s schedule update, Delta dropped summer flights from CVG to Baltimore (BWI), Philadelphia (PHL) and Raleigh-Durham (RDU).
Of the two focus cities that Delta is keeping, the competition is heating up in Austin. American Airlines recently announced ten new routes from this rapidly growing metro area. Southwest responded with its own Austin-focused expansion, with its latest growth there giving it nonstop service from the city to a whopping 37 destinations this summer.
All told, Delta is planning to operate roughly 27% fewer flights networkwide in May 2021, compared to the same month in 2019. That number jumps to 45% when filtering down just to flights from Cincinnati, Nashville and San Jose. According to Cirium schedules, Delta flew 4,055 flights from those airports in May 2019, and is planning just 2,236 flights in May 2021.
Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn a $200 statement credit after your first Delta purchase within the first three months. Offer ends 7/28/21.
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.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $200 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
- Limited Time Offer: Plus, get a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable 15.74%-24.74%. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
- Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
- 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.
- 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