Delta Airlines has announced that it is cancelling service to a number of American cities for an indefinite amount of time as part of a measure to cut back on costs amidst its financial woes. The travel industry has suffered from a dismal first half of 2020, primarily due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
According to Business Insider, the new measures will be effective as of July 8, and end service to 11 American cities, including Aspen, Colorado; Santa Barbara, California; and Flint, Michigan. Other cities include Bangor, Maine; Erie, Pennsylvania; Fort Smith, Arkansas; Lincoln, Nebraska; Peoria, Illinois; New Bern, North Carolina; Scranton, Pennsylvania; and Williston, North Dakota.
In addition to ending service to the 11 cities listed above, Delta is also ending international service to Ottawa, Ontario, the capital of Canada. Flights going to Ottawa will end earlier, currently scheduled for June 21.
The cutbacks come as Delta hopes to reduce its domestic route network by 80 percent for the second quarter of the year. International flying will take an even bigger hit with a planned 90 percent reduction.
“As the world responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, Delta continues to face an unprecedented impact to our business, and suspending operations at these airports will reduce costs where customer demand is low,” explained Sandy Gordon, Senior Vice President of Domestic Airport Operations in a statement on the airline’s website.
“We will move quickly to work with affected customers, whose patience we sincerely appreciate as we navigate this unprecedented time together,” Gordon added.
Employees that work at the soon-to-be discontinued stations will continue to be paid until September 30, thanks to a provision of the government’s coronavirus rescue package.
Another announcement earlier this week added that middle seats in airline cabins would now be unused throughout September 30. The move hopes to prevent any potential COVID-19 spread by maintaining some distance between passengers.
Despite the cost-cutting measures, experts have warned that it is unlikely the industry will bounce back anytime soon. As was previously reported by The Inquisitr, airports saw a staggering 96 percent decrease in passengers during the height of the lockdown in mid-April.
In fact, United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz and President Scott Kirby predicted they “expect to fly fewer people during the entire month of May than we did on a single day in May 2019,” though data has not yet been released to confirm the prediction.
In other airline news, flights from China will also see major decreases, as President Donald Trump has attempted to block travel from the country as tensions between the U.S. and China continue to rise.