Delta has announced plans to suspend all flights at 11 US airports from July 8.
The carrier said that the move had been made “while customer volume is significantly reduced to help lower costs as we mitigate the crisis due to Covid-19”.
The affected airports are: Aspen, CO (ASE), Bangor, ME (BGR), Erie, PA (ERI), Flint, MI (FNT), Fort Smith, AR (FSM), Lincoln, NE (LNK), New Bern/Morehead/Beaufort, NC (EWN), Peoria, IL (PIA), Santa Barbara, CA (SBA), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, PA (AVP), and Williston, ND (XWA).
Delta stressed that all of the airports will continue to receive service from at least one other carrier after it suspends operations. This is a requirement of the amended Department of Transportation service obligations. In a statement published on the DOT website the department said:
“The Department is taking this action in light of ongoing challenges faced by air carriers due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency. The Department used a systematic process to allow covered carriers to reduce the number of points they must serve as a proportion of their total service obligation, subject to certain restrictions.
“Covered carriers were able to exempt from their service obligation up to five per cent of the points on their service obligation lists, or five points, whichever is greater. DOT adjudicated these requests and published its tentative decisions for public comment before finalizing the point exemptions.
“In implementing this action, the Department ensured that every community that was served by a covered carrier prior to March 1, 2020, would continue to receive service from at least one covered carrier, so that no point would lose all of its air service.”
Delta said that it would “re-accommodate customers whose travel is impacted as a result of service suspensions in these stations”.
Meanwhile Delta has also announced plans to suspend all flights to Ottawa International airport, effective from June 21.
Commenting on the news Sandy Gordon, senior vice president – domestic airport operations, said:
“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.
“We will move quickly to work with affected customers, whose patience we sincerely appreciate as we navigate this unprecedented time together.”