Delta cuts 6 routes, resumes 6 others in latest network update

Apr 13, 2021

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Delta just became the latest airline to tweak its route map due to the pandemic.

The Atlanta-based carrier is cutting six routes and resuming six others, in a move that’s seemingly designed to weed out poor performers while boosting service to popular, outdoor-friendly destinations.

The six routes getting axed each touch one of Delta’s hubs. With four cuts, Minneapolis−St. Paul is the biggest loser. Atlanta and Detroit each lose one line on the route map.

The full list of cuts includes,

  • Atlanta (ATL) — Oakland (OAK)
  • Detroit (DTW) — Little Rock (LIT)
  • Minneapolis−St. Paul (MSP) — Norfolk (ORF)
  • Minneapolis−St. Paul (MSP) — Rochester (ROC)
  • Minneapolis−St. Paul (MSP) — Aruba (AUA)
  • Minneapolis−St. Paul (MSP) — St. Thomas (STT)

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In 2019, both the Atlanta and Detroit flights ranked in the bottom quartile of estimated profitability compared to all other routes from the respective hubs, according to Department of Transportation data analyzed by Cirium. The MSP flights landed in the bottom 50%.

As for Aruba and St. Thomas, those flights have historically operated seasonally during the winter. It’s possible that Delta may resume them in December 2022, depending on demand trends and other factors at play.

Southwest Airlines will fill Delta’s gap on the nonstop Atlanta to Oakland route. The other three mainland domestic routes will remain unserved by any commercial airline.

Delta will continue serving each outstation from its other hubs, giving local flyers plenty of one-stop itineraries. In explaining the cuts to TPG, Delta said that,

These schedule adjustments continue to reflect Delta’s response to demand and dynamics driven by the ongoing pandemic. The markets continue to be accessible via other Delta hubs and we also continue to closely watch demand in these markets.

Delta is also making an assortment of temporary cuts this summer. Six of them are from New York LaGuardia (LGA), but they’re all slated to resume in early September. This includes service from LGA to Bangor (BGR), Burlington (BTV), Chattanooga (CHA), Des Moines (DSM), Lexington (LEX) and Madison (MSN).

Delta is making a bunch of route-map adjustments (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

It’s not all bad news for Delta’s route map or the New York area — the carrier is adding back six other routes. Much of the added service is aimed at capturing leisure demand.

Origin Destination Adjustment
Detroit (DTW) Orange County (SNA) 1x daily from July 6 through the end of the schedule
Minneapolis−St. Paul (MSP) Quad Cities (MLI) 2x daily from June 5 through the end of the schedule
New York (LGA) Martha’s Vineyard (MVY) 2x weekly service from June 5 to Sept. 5
New York (LGA) Sarasota–Bradenton (SRQ) 1x daily service from June 5 to Sept. 6
New York-JFK Bangor (BGR) 2x daily service from June 5 to Sept. 6
New York-JFK West Palm Beach (PBI) 2x daily service from June 5 to Sept. 6

 

The added New York flights come as the competition heats up in the region. American and JetBlue are teaming up to launch a host of new routes and codeshare on others, some of which will go head-to-head with Delta.

The Florida beaches and summer vacation spots like Maine’s Acadia National Park and Martha’s Vineyard have proven to be popular for both airlines and travelers.

More Delta adds: 39 new and expanded routes to 22 destinations

Many other major U.S. airlines have boosted flights to those destinations, in the hopes of capturing vacationers who are seeking socially distant, outdoor-friendly escapes.

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

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