If you’re planning to travel with Delta this summer, you may want to double-check those flights. The airline is announcing major cuts which will make a dent in the busy summer travel season.
Starting July 1, Delta Airlines will cut roughly 100 flights daily in the United States and Latin America. But, the cuts are only temporary; Delta hopes to reinstate some flights in early August. Delta officials say the schedule reductions are necessary to better serve its customers on the flights it will continue to run and reduce travel disruptions. Delta identifies a number of factors leading the airline to reduce flight routes.
“More than any time in our history, the various factors currently impacting our operation — weather and air traffic control, vendor staffing, increased COVID case rates contributing to higher-than-planned unscheduled absences in some work groups — are resulting in an operation that isn’t consistently up to the standards Delta has set for the industry in recent years,” said chief customer experience officer Allison Ausband.
Bumpy Holiday Weekend
Delta’s decision to thin its flight schedule comes after a bumpy Memorial Day holiday. The Atlanta-based airline canceled around 80 flights over the busy travel weekend. Continued staffing shortages — both for the airline and air traffic control — caused some of the cancellations, with a trickle-down effect causing even more delays and cancellations across the country.
The reduction in flight schedules comes as travelers are stepping up their summer travel plans after the COVID-19 pandemic crushed the airline industry. Delta Airlines says it’s trying to adjust as best as it can, given the circumstances.
“We know there is extreme demand to fly a very full schedule, but we continue to adjust our network and other aspects of our operation to balance customer demand for Delta with the realities of our operating environment,” Ausband said.
Delta Airlines is not the only airline facing travel troubles this summer. Alaska Airlines and JetBlue Airlines are both thinning out their flight schedules due to staffing issues. American Airlines and Southwest Airlines are already bracing for lower-than-expected capacity thanks to a pilot shortage.
Air traffic control issues — specifically in Florida — are also leading to flight delays and cancellations. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) says it’s working with airlines and aviation groups to reduce airline disruptions in the future. Most airlines, however, expect issues to remain throughout the summer and are planning accordingly.