Delta Slashes Newly Reinstated Latin America Flights In May

In a May 1st schedule update, US carrier Delta Air Lines has announced it will not reinstate ten routes to Latin America next month. This unexpected move comes just days after the airline announced it would resume some international flights from May. 

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Delta is slashing Latin American flight schedules in May, days after announcing the resumption of those routes. Photo: Getty Images

Delta updates its schedules

In an update, the airline removed ten routes from its May schedule. Below is the list of the ten withdrawn routes:

  • Atlanta to Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Atlanta to Cancun, Mexico
  • Atlanta to Liberia, Costa Rica
  • Atlanta to Nassau, Bahamas
  • Atlanta to Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
  • Atlanta to Quito, Ecuador
  • Atlanta to Santiago, Chile
  • Atlanta to Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • New York-JFK to Santiago, Dominican Republic
  • Salt Lake City to Mexico City

This is a major scale-back only days after announcing it would reinstate a decent amount of flying between the US and South America. However, Delta has to work around government restrictions and reduced tourist demand. Cancun, Liberia, Nassau, and others on the list are Caribbean vacation spots popular with American tourists.

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Delta Air Lines will delay the return of flights between New York and Santiago in the Dominican Republic. Photo: Getty Images

In addition, Delta’s slashed its long-haul South American network. Flights to Argentina are not set to resume until September after the Argentinian government indicated it does not want to see passenger operations before then. Other than this, the rest of the flights on the above list are scheduled now to resume from June.

Where is Delta flying?

Delta will, however, maintain some service to the Caribbean from May. Do note, however, that passengers flying with Delta next month will have to wear a mask. Below are the Caribbean routes which Delta will fly in May:

  • Atlanta to St. Croix (Saturday only)
  • Atlanta to St. Thomas (varies; less than daily)
  • Atlanta to San Juan, Puerto Rico (varies; less than daily)
  • New York-JFK to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (Saturday only)

To Central America and Mexico, Delta will fly the following routes:

  • Atlanta to Guatemala City (once-weekly to twice-weekly service from the second half of May)
  • Atlanta to San Pedro Sula, Honduras (from the end of May; one to two weekly services)
  • Atlanta to San Salvador (twice-weekly service from the second half of May)
  • Atlanta to Mexico City (four to five weekly flights from May 1st)

The only route to South America remaining will be a flight from Atlanta to Lima, which will operate four times per week from the second half of May. This flight will be on a Boeing 767 while other flights to Central America and the Caribbean will primarily utilize Boeing 737s.

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Delta will fly a Boeing 767 to Lima. Photo: Getty Images

Delta’s operations in the region

Most of Delta’s footprint in Latin America is based out of Atlanta. This means that for passengers looking to get to Central or South America, it may be time to look elsewhere, such as to LATAM or Aeromexico if possible. Or, perhaps, to another carrier that Delta does not partner with.

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Delta has lagged in South America compared to its rivals. Photo: Getty Images

Historically, Delta has not been very strong in Central and South America. The airline flies only into the major cities in the region and previously did not have a reliable partner to cooperate with. However, this changed when the airline announced a major new partnership with LATAM. Although, the current crisis is putting a strain on both airlines, limiting the potential for new routes and operations.

Do these latest schedule changes affect you? Let us know in the comments!