Anticipating the problems, Delta Air Lines is removing about 100 flights a day from its schedules in the United States and Latin America in July and August.
Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines will reduce its schedule by approximately 100 flights per day between July 1 and August 7 to minimize disruption and build network resilience. The reductions will mainly affect flights around the United States and Latin America. Delta made the announcement Thursday as it prepares for a busy flying summer and follows a series of schedule adjustments spanning the upcoming holiday weekend and the month of June.
Keeping up with demand poses challenges for Delta Air Lines
Delta says demand for flights is increasing, which is putting the airline under pressure. Delta Air Lines says getting back to where it is today has been a huge achievement and not without challenges. Over the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, Delta expects to fly about 2.5 million people around its network, a 25% increase over last year’s numbers. Delta has already reduced flights and issued travel waivers for the holiday weekend as bad weather in the Southeast and Northeast United States threatens to disrupt operations.
This week, Delta released an internal memo saying it would “proactively reduce hours” by July 1. The airline isn’t saying much publicly about the June schedule reductions, but it’s taking the lead on July. Removing 100 flights per day from Delta’s schedules equates to a 2% reduction in daily departures system-wide. There are also reports that Delta Air Lines will cut scheduled domestic aircraft hours by several percentage points in July to relieve stress on the network.
Delta Air Lines will operate approximately 100 flights per day on its July schedule. Photo: Airbus
“More than ever in our history, the various factors currently impacting our operations – weather and air traffic control, supplier staffing, rising rates of COVID cases contributing to absences higher than expected contingencies in some workgroups – results in an operation that does not always live up to the standards Delta has set for the industry in recent years“said Allison Ausband, Delta’s director of customer experience, in a statement. “We deeply appreciate the energy and effort of our staff and the trust of our customers as we adapt and pivot to ensure we deliver the premier airline experience we are so proud to be. known.”
Delta Air Lines will cut flights at its Atlanta hub by more than 1,000 in July. Photo: Airbus
Delta isn’t the only US-based airline facing operational pressures
Delta’s Atlanta hub will be hardest hit by the July cuts. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport will see 1,083 Delta aircraft movements canceled during the month. In July, Detriot’s Wayne County Metropolitan Airport will lose nearly 5% of Delta’s scheduled arrivals and departures (871 flights).
Delta is not the only airline to cut flights during the summer. Rivals American Airlines and United Airlines have also proactively reduced their schedules this summer, facing the same issues Delta is facing. Small carriers like Alaska Airlines have also reduced their flights.
Meanwhile, Delta wants those 2.5 million passengers scheduled for this weekend to be as fit to travel as possible. Airline asks passengers to rely on Delta app for daily booking adjustments; allow plenty of time to navigate airports and security; use Clear or PreCheck if possible; be aware of COVID protocols; and if in doubt, be aware that there will be plenty of Delta ground staff at airports this weekend to assist you.
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