The travel woes will continue into summer for some fliers as Delta says it will “strategically decrease” its flight schedule between July and August, affecting “approximately 100 daily departures.”
The airline announced the changes Thursday, noting the travel demand has been on the rise recently and “rebuilding Delta’s full-scale operation to serve the increasing number of customers who want to fly with us has been a huge feat.”
Between July 1 and August 7, roughly 100 daily departures will be cut, “primarily in markets in the U.S. and Latin America that Delta frequently serves.” Specific locations impacted have not yet been released.
According to Delta, cutting back on flights will improve reliability in the airline for customers and employees.
“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. “We deeply appreciate the energy and efforts of our people and the confidence of our customers as we adapt and pivot to ensure we provide the airline-of-choice experience we’re so proud to be known for.”
If you have a flight via Delta this summer that is impacted by a scheduling change or delay, the airline will notify you at the contact information you include during booking or on its My Trips platform. Delta said its employees will work with those who have a booking changed this summer to find the next-best flight with the shortest delay.
Moving forward, Delta said it is adding several hundred new pilots and flight attendants “to support our growth.”
As many Americans hope to take to the sky this summer, costs are also expected to rise. From March to April, data from the Labor Department found airfares rose nearly 19%, The Hill reports. Still, major airlines have been cutting down on their spring and summer schedules. Earlier this year, Delta and United Airlines trimmed their number of total seats by 14% and nearly 17%, respectively, compared to the same time three years ago.
A lack of pilots, coupled with rising fuel costs, are largely to blame. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the price of jet fuel has jumped more than 150% since last year, data from S&P Global shows.
The Hill’s Karl Evers-Hillstrom contributed to this report.