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Delta Air Lines ‘strategically’ cuts summer schedule

written by Isabella Richards | May 27, 2022

Delta Air Lines’ factory fresh Airbus A321 takes off. (Delta Air Lines)

Delta Air Lines has announced it is cutting its daily flight schedule for one month to fix reduced standards amid recent staffing issues and bad weather cancellations.

In a statement released on Thursday, the Atlanta-based airline said as travel demand hikes up, it is making a “number of adjustments to minimise disruptions”, such as “strategically” reducing its summer flight schedule.

From 1 July to 7 August, around 100 daily departures will be cut, mostly within the carrier’s US and Latin America routes.

“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.”

The latest update comes as Delta, along with other airlines, has been forced to cut hundreds of flights in the last year due to staff shortages amid the COVID-19 crisis.

In December last year, Delta Air Lines, along with Alaska Air, cancelled hundreds of flights due to weather conditions and the rise of the Omicron variant within a short amount of time.

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In one day, the carrier cut almost 300 scheduled flights, as part of the overall 1,034 axed flights within the US.

With the increased travel demand and lacking staff, in March this year, Delta also pledged it would give nearly all its employees a 4 per cent raise as a response to worsened working conditions.

Delta said this latest cutting move will “build additional resilience” in the company’s operations, and “improve reliability”.

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“We’ll continue to proactively adjust select flights in the coming weeks,” the carrier added.

Delta said in the same statement it expects to welcome around 2.5 million customers this coming Memorial Day weekend, up 25 per cent from last year at the same time.

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