Delta Makes 7 Domestic Network Cuts, Pulling Out of 3 US Cities

Image: Delta Air Lines Boeing 767. (photo via Sjo/iStock Unreleased)
Image: Delta Air Lines Boeing 767. (photo via Sjo/iStock Unreleased)
Laurie Baratti
by Laurie Baratti
Last updated: 4:40 PM ET, Sun December 12, 2021

Delta Air Lines is trimming its current U.S. network, likely foreseeing less domestic demand than it previously was anticipating, due to new unknowns and travelers' trepidation associated with the emergence of the Omicron variant.

Small American cities are bearing the brunt of the airline industry's pandemic-related network adjustments and, in this instance, Delta is entirely discontinuing its service to three of them: Lincoln, Nebraska (LNK); Cody, Wyoming (COD); and Grand Junction, Colorado (GJT).

Regional connectivity is being reduced to the other four of the seven affected routes, with six of them having been historically operated by Delta Connection partner SkyWest Airlines.

Service to Lincoln and Grand Junction will cease on January 9, 2022, while the airline's seasonal flights to Cody have already been suspended since October of this year.

In a statement issued to The Points Guy confirming the changes, a Delta spokesperson said: "Due to ongoing travel demand impact from the pandemic, we have made the difficult decision to suspend Delta Connection service to these markets. We are working to re-accommodate customers with alternate plans or offer refunds as quickly as possible. We are grateful to all who supported this service throughout the years."

Delta's Latest Domestic Route Cuts:

OriginDestinationPlans
Detroit (DTW)La Crosse, Wisconsin (LSE)Served by other hubs
Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP)Great Falls, Montana (GTF)Served by other hubs
Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP)Lincoln, Nebraska (LNK)Market exit
Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP)Marquette County, Michigan (MQT)Served by other hubs
Salt Lake City (SLC)Cody, Wyoming (COD)Market exit
Salt Lake City (SLC)Grand Junction, Colorado (GJT)Market exit
Salt Lake City (SLC)Indianapolis, Indiana (IND)Served by other hubs

The regional aircraft that were previously flying these routes will be reassigned for service to cities that are seeing higher demand, the outlet reported.

Of these three, Cody is the small city that qualifies as an Essential Air Service (EAS) market amid the pandemic, meaning that the federal government subsidizes a chosen airline for continuing to guarantee service to that city. United Express holds the EAS contract for Cody through May 32, 2022, which probably explains why Delta wasn't finding flying there to be very profitable.

Delta will, however, continue providing service to the four other cities via its other hubs. The carrier operates routes to Indianapolis from multiple U.S. hubs, while SkyWest will continue to service Great Falls via Salt Lake City, La Cross via Minneapolis-St. Paul and Marquette via Detroit.

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