Delta Air Lines has recently announced a host of new routes out of Miami for 2020. These routes are expected to enhance connections on Delta to LATAM flights out of Miami. This move comes as the carrier makes strides towards deeper cooperation with the South American giant.
The new Miami routes for Delta
Delta Air Lines announced the addition of 13 new daily flights out of Miami. Here are the following new destinations and frequencies out of Miami:
- Orlando: five daily roundtrip flights from May 4, 2020
- Raleigh-Durham: two daily roundtrip flights from May 22, 2020
- Salt Lake City: one daily roundtrip flight from July 28, 2020
- Tampa: five daily roundtrip flights from May 4, 2020
All Orlando, Raleigh, and Tampa flights are scheduled to use Embraer ERJ-175 aircraft. Meanwhile, the daily roundtrip on Delta from Miami to Salt Lake City will use a Boeing 737-800.
Delta will largely compete with American Airlines on routes to Orlando, Raleigh, and Tampa. However, Delta will be the only carrier to fly nonstop between its hub at Salt Lake City and Miami.
On these new routes, Delta’s SVP of Network Planning, Joe Esposito, had the following to say:
As our new industry-leading partnership with LATAM develops, this announcement broadens our footprint in south Florida to provide our customers with better connections between the U.S. and South America. With this expansion, we are now well positioned to provide superior service and a convenient network for customers connecting between our airlines as well as for travelers going to and from South Florida.
Due to Delta and LATAM being co-located in Miami, Delta is emphasizing the opportunity for quick connections at the large Miami International Airport.
Why these routes are not so surprising
Aside from Delta’s previously announced intentions of launching new Miami services, these cities are not terribly surprising. For one, connecting Delta’s hub in Salt Lake City to Miami opens up new routes from the West Coast, especially regional destinations, to South America via two stops. On the other hand, Delta appreciates Raleigh, Tampa, and Orlando.
Raleigh, Orlando, and Tampa all see nonstop long-haul service on Delta Air Lines. From Raleigh, Delta flies to Paris nonstop. From Orlando and Tampa, Delta flies to Amsterdam. Paris is joint-venture partner Air France’s hub while another joint-venture partner KLM has a major hub in Amsterdam.
Thus, Delta already has some market built up in these cities. So, launching new flights to Miami gives the airline some room to grow without taking a lot of risks.
Why Delta will not build up a hub in Miami
For one, building up a new hub in Miami would mean Delta going head-to-head with American Airlines which has an incredibly established position in the city. Moreover, the distance between Miami and Atlanta are under two hours flying time away from each other. Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson International Airport is Delta’s largest hub and having two hubs this close to each other would not make much sense.
It is unclear exactly how much Delta will continue to grow out of Miami. Most likely, it will depend largely on whether or not LATAM is able to continue to fill planes out of Miami. Previously, in a sit-down interview with Vasu Raja, American Airlines’ SVP of Network Strategy, Mr. Raja announced that the partnership between LATAM and American in Miami was largely based on connections. American’s passengers, in essence, were keeping LATAM’s planes full. This is why, when LATAM and American announced the end of a partnership, American announced new flights to South America out of Miami.
This new move from Delta will continue to test LATAM’s strength in Miami with only a few onward connections. How this works out for either Delta or LATAM will only be told over time as Delta and LATAM implement a close partnership.
What do you make of Delta’s new Miami routes? Will you fly on any of these routes? Let us know in the comments!