Delta has announced changes to its trans-Pacific routes including an extension of existing suspensions on flights to China, Japan and South Korea until May 31 due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.
The airline said that it is adjusting its trans-Pacific flying schedule to “align with expected demand trends during the coronavirus outbreak”.
Delta also announced changes to its Latin America, Trans-Atlantic, and domestic US flights. The airline said it will reduce its planned systemwide capacity by 15 per cent amid the coronavirus outbreak. By region, reductions include 65 per cent in trans-Pacific, 15 to 20 per cent in trans-Atlantic, 10 to 15 per cent for domestic US flights, as well as five per cent in Latin America.
The US carrier added that it may implement additional schedule changes due to the evolving nature of the outbreak.
Tedros Adhanom, director-general of World Health Organisation (WHO), said in a press conference on March 11 that Covid-19 can now be characterised as a pandemic. As of writing this story, Covid-19 has infected over 120,000 people and caused more than 4,600 deaths worldwide, according to South China Morning Post.
Delta said it has extended the suspension period of all of its flights to China until May 31. Previously, the airline announced it would suspend flights to China until April 30.
The US carrier normally operates 42 weekly flights between the US and China, including daily services connecting Beijing and Detroit and Seattle, as well as Shanghai and Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles and Seattle.
The airline previously planned to move all its Beijing flights to the new Beijing Daxing International Airport from March 29 this year.
As for its Japan flights, the airline will suspend its daily service between Portland and Tokyo, and daily flights between Detroit and Nagoya through May 31. Previously, the airline has reduced both daily services to three weekly flights.
Meanwhile, it’ll also reduce frequency on some routes until May 31, including Detroit-Tokyo (from daily service to six weekly flights), Honolulu-Tokyo (from daily service to six weekly flights), and Minneapolis-Tokyo (from five to three weekly flights).
Last week, the carrier announced flight reductions on its Atlanta-Tokyo (from daily service to five weekly flights), Honolulu-Osaka and Honolulu-Nagoya services (both from daily service to three weekly flights). It has now decided to extend the flight reduction period of these services until May 31.
Delta previously announced the suspension of its Minneapolis-Seoul Incheon service, and the reduction of flights between Seoul Incheon Airport and Atlanta, Detroit and Seattle from daily to five weekly flights through April 30.
The US carrier has now decided to further suspend its Atlanta-Incheon service, and extend the cancellation period of its Minneapolis-Incheon service until May 31.
Meanwhile, it’ll extend the flight reduction arrangements on its Detroit-Incheon and Seattle-Incheon routes with five weekly flights.
As for its new service between Incheon and Manila, which had been postponed to start on May 1, will be further delayed to start on May 31.
Business Traveller Asia-Pacific previously reported that the airline will suspend its Tokyo Narita-Manila route from late March this year and launch this new Seoul Incheon-Manila service instead, which will give Delta’s customers connectivity via its trans-Pacific hub in Seoul with its joint venture partner Korean Air.
According to Delta, customers with affected travel plans can go to the “My Trips” section of delta.com to help them “understand their options”. Delta said these may include rebooking on alternative Delta flights, rebooking on flights after April 30, rebooking on alternative or partner airlines, refunds or contacting the airline to discuss additional options.
Yesterday, another US carrier American Airlines announced that it will extend the suspension period of select routes to mainland China and Hong Kong until late October this year.