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Delta Halts Service to 10 Airports Around the U.S.
Facing tremendous challenges posed by the new coronavirus, Delta is suspending flights to ten airports across the country. Delta announced on May 8 that it is cutting service to 10 U.S. secondary airports as part of a previously announced 85% overall reduction in its service schedule. Notably, Delta is halting service to Oakland International Airport in the San Francisco Bay Area and Midway International Airport in Chicago.
The other secondary airports losing Delta service include Long Beach Airport, Hollywood Burbank Airport, T.F. Green International Airport in Rhode Island, Westchester County Airport and Stewart International Airport in New York, Akron-Canton Airport in Ohio, Manchester- Boston Regional Airport in New Hampshire and Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport in Virginia.
The airline has said it has seen its passenger traffic drop 80% for domestic flights and 90% for international flights.
“The safety of our employees and customers remains our primary focus as we navigate these challenges together,” said Sandy Gordon, Delta’s senior vice president of domestic airport operations. “By consolidating operations while customer traffic is low, we can allow more of our people to stay home in accordance with local health guidelines.”
Nevertheless, Delta says the airports where it is temporarily pulling service are relatively close to major airports that travelers can use as an alternative. Delta travelers who already had flights booked out of these secondary airports will now have their flights rescheduled to depart out of another airport closeby.
Looking specifically in the Los Angeles area, two of five airports will see their Delta service disappear starting next Wednesday: Long Beach Airport and Hollywood Burbank Airport. The suspension will continue until at least September, though in the meantime, Delta will still operate from the three remaining LA-area airports: LAX, Ontario Airport, and John Wayne Airport in Orange County.
Two weeks ago, before it announced its service suspension, Delta grew its presence at Long Beach, taking hold of three additional Long Beach flight slots relinquished by the former dominant carrier at the airport, JetBlue. Delta had a total of 12 of the 53 flight slots.
Last month, Burbank Airport was forced to close one of its two terminals because of the drop in travel demand. Long Beach, however, has not announced any closures of either its North or South concourses.
Furthermore, Delta is considering similar measures in additional markets and has already filed a request with the U.S. Department of Transportation in late April for permission to suspend service to airports in an additional nine cities. Delta, however, has not announced which additional airports may be subject to future flight suspensions.
According to Delta, airline employees affected by the temporary suspension of service will be provided “pay protection options” through the end of September.
The company is also waiving change fees through Sept. 30, 2022, for customers who had flights canceled through this September and had booked before April 17.
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