The airports all are in what’s called “secondary” cities, which means smaller airports within 90 minutes of larger ones.
Delta says the decision is part of its attempt to help lower costs as it navigates the fall-off in passenger traffic due to the COVID-19 crisis, and says these cities have “low” customer demand.
The 11 affected airports are ( in alphabetical order)
Aspen, Colo. (ASE),
Bangor, Maine (BGR),
Erie, Pa. (ERI),
Flint, Mich. (FNT),
Fort Smith, Ariz. (FSM),
Lincoln, Neb. (LNK),
New Bern/Morehead/Beaufort, N.C. (EWN),
Peoria, Ill. (PIA),
Santa Barbara, Calif. (SBA),
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Pa. (AVP) and
Williston, N.D. (XWA).
In addition, Delta is indefinitely suspending service to Ottawa International Airport, effective June 21.
Service in and out of the US cities is suspended as of July 8th, right after the big Fourth of July holiday weekend that airlines and hotels hope will generate interest in travel.
The service change is permitted by the U.S. Department of Transportation, which allows airlines to adjust service where it is “reasonable and practicable.”
According to the travel trade newsletter Insider Travel Report, the suspended airports make up approximately just five percent of the domestic airports Delta serves, and all the affected airports will continue to receive service from at least one other carrier after Delta flies away.
“As the world responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, Delta continues to face an unprecedented impact to our business, and suspending operations at these airports will reduce costs where customer demand is low,” said Sandy Gordon, senior vice president of domestic airport operations for Delta in a statement. “We will move quickly to work with affected customers, whose patience we sincerely appreciate as we navigate this unprecedented time together.”
Other Changes in Service and Cancellation Policies
Delta has announced an 85 percent reduction in its second quarter schedule, which includes an 80 percent reduction in U.S. fights and a 90 percent reduction in international flights.
Delta is accommodating customers whose travel is impacted as a result of these service suspensions.
Delta has extended waived change fees and the flexibility to travel through Sept. 30, 2022 for customers with canceled travel through September 2020.
Eligible customers include those who have upcoming travel already booked between now and Sept. 30 and canceled travel from flights between March 2020 and September 2020.
Affected Delta employees will have their pay protected through Sept. 30, 2020.
For more information, visit Delta.com