The changes include hiring freeze

Coronavirus: Delta cuts more flights

Delta Air Lines is suspending a number of its international and domestic routes as travel declines precipitously amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The airline suspended a number of international routes after President Donald Trump announced a month-long restriction on European travel, and has also announced additional route cuts to Latin America, the Caribbean and other regions of the world.

On Thursday, Delta announced it is suspending flights between Atlanta and Rio de Janeiro as of March 29, Atlanta-Lima as of April 5, Atlanta-Vancouver as of March 24, and Atlanta-Montreal as of April 2. 

The cuts are also now leading to domestic route suspensions. Atlanta-based Delta said it is suspending Atlanta-Honolulu flights as of March 26.

The airline is also suspending a number of routes from other U.S. cities to Canada, Latin America, Asia and Hawaii.

On Friday, Delta said it will suspend flights from Atlanta Guadalajara as of March 28 and to Puerto Vallarta as of March 29, and it suspended flights from Atlanta to Los Cabos as of March 24.

» AJC’s complete coverage of the coronavirus impact on travel

As international flights are canceled en masse, the airline’s customers are encountering problems trying to change their flights on the airline’s website and are facing hours-long waits for customer service on the phone.

As a result, Delta asked customers who are not traveling in the next 72 hours to wait and contact the airline closer to their trips.

“Due to the incredibly high volume of traffic on delta.com, customers are experiencing issues, and we recognize that is frustrating,” Delta said in a note to customers. “We know that customers are experiencing long phone wait times,” the airline said on its website.

Travelers at Hartsfield-Jackson may notice many restaurants and shops are closed when they pass through. 

Atlanta is designated as one of 13 airports designated for Americans from Europe to be funneled through for enhanced screening.

Delta announced it was suspending nine routes from Europe to Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Orlando, Portland, Raleigh-Durham and Salt Lake City, which are cities that are not allowed to process Americans returning from Europe since Friday.

The airline planned a nearly full schedule of flights from Europe to the U.S. through Sunday to ensure customers can return to the United States.

It has been flying “a significantly reduced U.S.-Europe schedule,” since March 15 and will notify those whose flights are canceled, Delta said. 

Delta is operating one daily flight from Atlanta to Amsterdam and once daily to London Heathrow. It is also flying Detroit-Amsterdam once daily.

That will allow passengers access to other places in Europe via Delta’s partnership with KLM (which has a hub in Amsterdam) and British carrier Virgin Atlantic, Delta said.

Delta is no longer operating routes from Atlanta to Paris, Brussels, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Madrid and Stuttgart.

Air Canada, WestJet, Virgin Atlantic, Air France and Lufthansa are also cutting flights after border closures and restrictions in Canada and Europe.

Delta said it would suspend Atlanta-Paris flights after March 19, and would pull out of its hub at Paris-Charles De Gaulle during the travel restriction period in France.

After the Trump administration announced plans to expand European travel restrictions to the U.K. and Ireland, Delta said Sunday it would suspend its Detroit-London and New York-Dublin service.

Other flight cuts reach beyond Europe.

Delta is suspending its Atlanta-Johannesburg, South Africa flights after March 22. It is also suspending service to Lagos, NIgeria after March 20.

The airline said it is suspended its New York-Mumbai flights March 17, after India announced restrictions on travel to the country. Delta launched the service to India less than three months ago, in December.

Delta said it would suspend its Los Angeles-Sydney flights March 18-April 11 due to restrictions by the Australian government. It is waiving change fees for travel to Australia through May 31.

Delta is also suspending many of its Latin American flights in response to travel restrictions in the region.

On Monday, Delta said it will suspend flights between Atlanta and Belize as of March 24.

The airline is suspending its Atlanta-Buenos Aires flights from March 17 through May 1.

It is also suspending flights to Guatemala, Ecuador and St. Maarten due to travel restrictions. 

Atlanta-Guatemala City flights will be suspended March 17-April 19, Atlanta-Quito flights will be suspended March 17-April 19 and Atlanta-St. Maarten flights will be suspended March 17-31. Flights from Los Angeles to Guatemala City and flight to St. Maarten from New York and Atlanta will also be suspended.

And it will also suspend flights to Bogota and Cartagena in Colombia. Atlanta-Bogota and Atlanta-Cartagena flights will be suspended after March 22.

Also temporarily suspended starting March 16 are the carrier’s flights from Atlanta to the Honduras. 

And Delta said it would suspend flights from Atlanta to Panama City, Panama March 22-31 and to Lima, Peru March 17-31.

Delta said it would suspend service from Atlanta to Santiago and San Salvador, and reduce service to San Jose and Liberia in Costa Rica.

Delta said it would operate flights for customers exiting Aruba to the U.S. March 21-25, then suspend flights.

It will operate exit-only flights from Bermuda to Atlanta through March 24, then suspend service.

And it will operate exit-only service from Bonaire through March 22, then suspend service.

The airline will also suspend flights from Atlanta to Grand Cayman as of March 23.

Delta also said it is capping fares throughout the U.S. and Canada through March 31 and for travel to Europe, without giving details.

And it is waiving change fees for previously-made bookings to, from or through Europe through May 31.

Find more on Delta’s change fee waivers here.

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About the Author

Kelly Yamanouchi
Kelly Yamanouchi
Business reporter Kelly Yamanouchi covers airlines and the airport.
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