Delta plans transatlantic cuts

Washington DC
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Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines is adjusting its transatlantic routes this fall, citing weak demand and the airline's previously-announced plans to reduce capacity in transatlantic markets.

Delta announced on 19 May that it, along with its SkyTeam joint venture partners Air France-KLM and Alitalia, would reduce fall capacity between Europe and the USA and Canada by 7-9% year-over-year. The move was made in response to "a significant increase in jet fuel prices and fluctuating seasonal demand".

This September, Delta will suspend service from New York-John F Kennedy International airport (JFK) to Berlin-Tegel, Copenhagen, Manchester, and Stockholm-Arlanda. Berlin service is currently operated using the carrier's Boeing 767-300s, while flights to Copenhagen, Manchester, and Stockholm are flown by Delta's 757-200s, according to Innovata schedule data. Service on all four routes is planned to resume in the spring, according to a Delta spokesman.

In addition to the affected New York routes, Delta is also seasonally suspending service from Philadelphia to Paris-Charles De Gaulle in September. The daily service is currently operated with 757-200s.

The carrier's service from Atlanta to Moscow-Sheremetyevo is also being seasonally suspended. Flights on the route currently operate four times weekly using 767-300s, according to Innovata.

Delta will also be reducing the frequency of its service from Memphis to Amsterdam from daily to four times weekly this September. Flights on the route are currently flown with Delta's 767-300s, according to Innovata.

A Delta spokesman also confirmed that the carrier will be cancelling its second flight from Boston to London-Heathrow, effective 29 October. The airline launched service on the route along with daily service to Heathrow from Miami earlier this year.

US and European regulators required Heathrow slot divestitures as a condition of last year's approval of the Oneworld joint venture. Delta had obtained some of these slots for the new service. An airline spokesman declined to comment on the future of the Heathrow slot pair used for the now-cancelled second frequency from Boston to Heathrow.

Delta has already trimmed some international routes from its network. In an 11 May filing with the US Department of Transportation Delta said that it "decided not to resume its seasonal five times weekly New York-Kiev service during the upcoming summer season due to high fuel prices and weak demand that will combine to make the route unprofitable".

Delta also reports on its website that it has indefinitely suspended service from JFK to Amman effective 1 June. In addition, Delta has "indefinitely suspended" service from JFK to Cairo, Egypt. The carrier notes that the service was "tentatively scheduled to resume in May" after being "temporarily suspended in February". A page on Delta's website says the routes were cut due to "continued weak demand" and because the price of fuel was "steadily increasing".