Delta Cuts Trans-Atlantic Flights; Expands in Caribbean

Hammered by the weak euro and the risk of spikes in fuel prices, Delta Air Lines is cutting back on trans-Atlantic flights and shifting its focus southward.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that, just after opening the Atlanta airport’s new international terminal with additional gates, the airline is cutting five percent of its trans-Atlantic capacity. Delta will also cut one to two percent of Pacific flight capacity, for capacity cuts totaling three to four percent, deeper than the two to three percent cuts the company had previously planned.

At the same time, Delta is expanding its New York service southward with more flights to 10 destinations in Florida, Bermuda and the Caribbean from JFK Airport and LaGuardia Airport.

The new flights, which will begin in late 2012 and early 2013, are in addition to Delta's previously announced expansion at New York-LaGuardia, where the airline is adding more than 100 new flights to 26 new destinations this summer.

When its full schedule is implemented, Delta will operate more than 260 daily flights between LaGuardia and more than 60 cities, exceeding any other carrier.

Delta reports it is also optimizing its schedule at JFK to facilitate convenient connections to international flights. JFK is a major global gateway for Delta, which operates nonstop flights to more than 45 international destinations from the airport.

In conjunction with its expansion at LaGuardia, Delta is investing $160 million to modernize two terminals at the airport and construct a new walkway connecting the facilities. At JFK, Delta is currently under way on a $1.2 billion program to enhance and expand Terminal 4, adding nine new gates and creating a state-of-the-art gateway. The facility will open in spring 2013.

New and expanded service to the Caribbean and Bermuda includes:
    •    New daily year-round service between LaGuardia and Bermuda.
    •    New Saturday flights between JFK and St. Maarten.
    •    LaGuardia-Nassau flights will be expanded from seasonal to year-round service.
    •    JFK-Montego Bay, Jamaica, flights will grow from Saturday seasonal to daily service.
    •    JFK-Aruba service will increase from Saturday seasonal flights to daily year-round service.
    •    JFK-Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, flights will expand from Saturday seasonal to daily year-round service.