Delta trimming nonstops to Europe

Atlanta travelers headed for Europe may find themselves connecting through Paris more often to get to other cities as a result of economic turmoil on the continent.

Delta Air Lines is cutting back on nonstop flights to cities like Milan, Italy, and Barcelona, Spain, and depending more on connecting passengers through Paris, where its joint venture partner Air France has a major hub.

The move means travelers who once could fly nonstop to some European cities may have a connection as Delta shuffles its flight schedule around to adjust to difficult economic conditions.

Delta announced it is adding a second Atlanta-Paris flight starting March 30. Air France also has two daily Atlanta-Paris flights.

Delta is cutting international flight capacity by about 3 to 4 percent this quarter compared with last year, much of it from secondary cities in Europe. Delta chief executive Richard Anderson said at a conference last week that although the airline is doing well in some regions of the world, “Europe is going to stay choppy.”

Delta announced in June it is suspending its Atlanta-Barcelona and Atlanta-Milan routes effective Oct. 26. This year it also did not run seasonal summer nonstops between Atlanta and Athens, Greece; Copenhagen, Denmark; Moscow; Prague and Tel Aviv, Israel.

Delta expects it can connect passengers through the Paris hub to still get them to such cities. In addition to the second Atlanta-Paris flight, Delta is adding a Newark-Paris flight and a seasonal flight between Boston and Paris next summer.

Meanwhile, Delta and Air France are consolidating operations in Paris this month so passengers have shorter trips between gates and concourses while connecting.

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