Delta Cuts Ponta Delgada Route As Summer Season Draws To A Close

As the IATA summer season draws to a close, the winter season is upon us. The change in season can see a large number of routes being altered, dropped, or commenced. One of the routes dropped is Delta Air Lines’ Boeing 757 route to Ponta Delgada.

Ponta Del Gada, Delta Airlines, Malaga
In August a Delta Air Lines 757 was damaged in a hard landing in Ponta Delgada. Photo: Eddie Maloney via Wikimedia

Earlier this year, Delta Air Lines helped put Ponta Delgada on the avgeek map. This was, unfortunately, for the wrong reasons. One of the airline’s Boeing 757 aircraft made a particularly hard landing at the airport, causing the frame to buckle. However, the aircraft, which many thought was now destined to become drinks cans, was salvaged.

João Paulo II Airport

João Paulo II Airport (PDL) serves the municipality of Ponta Delgada. Ponta Delgada acts as the administrative capital of the Azores Islands. In 2011 Ponta Delgada had a recorded population of 68,809 people. In order to keep the islanders supplied, and in contact with mainland Portugal, an airport was constructed between 1963 and 1969.

The airport acts for the hub of the Azores’ air carrier, Azores Airlines. Earlier this year, Simple Flying’s Arran reviewed Azores Airlines‘ service between Portugal’s capital city, Lisbon, and Ponta Delgada. In 2015, Ryanair, the Irish low-cost carrier, based an aircraft on the island to serve routes such as London and Lisbon.

Ponta Del Gada, Delta Airlines, Malaga
Azores Airlines is the main carrier at Ponta Delgada. Photo: Simple Flying

Delta pulls out

While Delta was serving the island of São Miguel via Ponta Delgada from John F Kennedy Airport (JFK) in New York, it won’t do so anymore.  While only launched in late May, the route was touted to be seasonal during the summer. However, Delta will not be renewing the route next summer season.

According to the Portuguese American Journal, Delta Air Lines was the only US carrier operating flights to the island destination. However, all hope is not lost for transatlantic flights as the local carrier, Azores Airlines, flies directly to Boston and Oakland.

Earlier this year, a Delta Air Lines Boeing 757 became grounded following a hard landing in Ponta Delgada. The aircraft’s fuselage had visibly buckled as a result of the landing. As such, many claimed that the aircraft would have to be scrapped. However, Delta Air Lines defied expectations. In mid-September, the aircraft returned to the United States to undergo further inspections and repair work by Delta mechanics.

Malaga also being canned

Malaga Airport is also facing the chop by Delta Air Lines. According to Travel Codex, the airline has flown to Malaga “on and off” for the past 11 years. By axing the link to Malaga, the Spanish coastal town will be left without any direct connection across the Atlantic Ocean.

A Delta Airways Spokesperson told Simple Flying: Delta Air Lines confirms that it will discontinue its summer service between Ponta Delgada, Azores, and New York. Customers will still be able to fly between Portugal and the United States via our year-round service from Lisbon to New York-JFK, or summer service between Lisbon and Boston. Delta apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause to our customers. For more information on Delta, please visit”

Will you be affected by the route cuts? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!