Both American Airlines and Delta Air Lines announced they would be temporarily cutting routes this summer as part of a plan to reduce congestion in New York and across their networks.
Delta Cuts More Small Cities, While American Looks at Hub Traffic
While Delta is reducing its footprint in smaller cities around the United States, American wants to take some of their stock out of New York to their other hubs in the country. TheStreet.com reports Delta will cut their flights to two small destinations: La Crosse, Wisconsin, and State College, Pennsylvania.
Prior to the cuts being announced, State College was served twice per day from New York’s LaGuardia International Airport (LGA). Delta also maintained one flight daily between their hub in Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) to La Crosse. With the two cuts effective June 5, the Atlanta-based carrier is no longer flying to 17 small communities across the country, including Akron, Ohio, Lincoln, Nebraska, and Santa Barbara, California.
American is also looking at reducing their schedule, but mostly between major cities and hubs. Reuters reports the carrier will cut some flights out of LaGuardia to hubs at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and Miami International Airport (MIA), as well as to Kansas City and St. Louis. The Ft. Worth Carrier also plans to reduce flights between their Chicago hub and Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR).
The cuts are in part due to a shortage of available air traffic controllers in the United States. In March 2023, the Federal Aviation Administration granted permission for Delta and United Airlines to cut up to 10% of their slots at the three New York airlines in order to reduce congestion. Furthermore, JetBlue says they may also reduce their flying through their hometown of New York to ensure smooth summer schedules.
Air Travel Difficulties Predicted by Other Airline Leaders
Some airline executives claim they were aware of summer challenges, and have made changes to prevent issues for their flyers. In January 2023, United chief executive Scott Kirby told shareholders that while the weather from Winter Storm Elliot “wasn’t a one-time event caused by the weather, and it wasn’t just at one airline,” his company is prepared for the surge of flyers coming in summer 2023.
Source: frugal travel guy