Delta moves to consolidate National flying to domestic hubs

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Delta Air Lines during the first half of 2012 plans to eliminate flying in 17 markets from Washington National and instead concentrate its flights from the airport to its eight US domestic hubs.

A Delta spokesman confirmed the flight cancellations to FlightglobalPro.

The reductions stem from Delta's focus on New York LaGuardia after it closed on a deal with US Airways to trade slots at LaGuardia and Washington National. Delta gained 132 slot pairs at LaGuardia from US Airways and handed over 32 pairs at National.

Markets being eliminated by Delta include New Orleans, Louisiana; Madison, Wisconsin; Jackson, Mississippi; Boston, Massachusetts; Columbus, Ohio; Providence, Rhode Island; Omaha, Nebraska; St. Louis, Missouri; Charleston, South Carolina; Des Moines, Iowa; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Hartford, Connecticut; Indianapolis, Indiana; and Jacksonville, Orlando, Miami and Tampa, Florida.

Schedules in the Innovata database for 14-20 December show only two of those markets - Jacksonville and Grand Rapids - are only served nonstop by Delta.

As part of gaining 32 slot pairs at National, US Airways is launching flights to several new destinations including Omaha, a market Delta is cutting.

"We've publicly said a few times that we're reducing DCA [National] to hub service and the Delta Shuttle only after the slot swap is finalised," said the Delta spokesman.

Once all the changes are implemented at National by Delta, its nonstop schedule from the airport will consist of flights to all its domestic hubs - Atlanta, Memphis, Salt Lake City, Detroit, Minneapolis and New York's LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy international.