Delta Air Lines is adding over 100 daily flights in New York City this fall. Adding 25% more capacity than summer 2021, the airline will be returning to all of New York’s top 40 markets. The move comes as the recovery has continued and as slot waivers come to an end at both airports.
Delta continues recovery in the fall
Come November, Delta will be adding over 100 total daily departures from John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport compared to the summer 2021 schedule. This will be equivalent to approximately 8,000 additional seats each day.
Joe Esposito, Delta’s SVP of Network Planning, stated the following:
“We’re adding 25% more capacity this fall to meet the significant demand for business and international travel going into next year. We continue to provide more choice and convenience while rebuilding our global connectivity and delivering what Delta does best – putting our customers first with exceptional, reliable service and a premium travel experience.”
Delta will be restoring nonstop service to all of New York’s 40 most popular domestic markets by next month. The airline will also bulk up key business markets like Boston (BOS), Washington D.C. (DCA), Raleigh-Durham (RDU), and Charlotte (CLT). Recently, Delta launched new services from LaGuardia to Toronto (YYZ). Starting on November 1st, the airline will launch new flights to Worcester, Massachusetts (ORH).
In total, from both JFK and LGA, Delta will offer 400 total daily departures to 92 domestic and international destinations. In addition, Delta has moved all 50-seat economy jets out of New York City markets (Newark (EWR), JFK, and LGA). It has also added more Airbus A220 flights out of New York, which are much more comfortable aircraft than the regional jets they are replacing on certain routes.
International travel is coming back
Delta will be flying up to 15 daily flights to 13 destinations across the Atlantic this December. Starting December 6th, Delta will up flights to Paris (CDG) and London (LHR) to twice a day service. Dublin (DUB) will increase to daily services on the same day. This will complement partner Air France’s up to five daily flights to Paris this December and partner Virgin Atlantic’s up to four daily flights to London.
Tel Aviv (TLV) will see a second daily flight restored from December 18th, after a temporary reduction to one daily flight in November. On December 7th, Delta will resume flights to Lagos (LOS) with three weekly flights. Lastly, Frankfurt services will resume on December 13th.
Heading south, Delta will operate over 20 daily flights to Latin America and the Caribbean to 18 destinations. This will bring the airline up to 85% of pre-crisis levels. Services to São Paulo (GRU) will resume on December 19th. Flights to Los Cabos (SJD) will also restart on the 19th. Delta will increase St. Thomas (STT) and St. Martin (SXM) flights to daily from December 18th. This is on top of a new service to Panama.
Delta is adding these flights as it prepares to bulk up summer flying across the Atlantic next year. Prague and Copenhagen are back. Other routes, like Milan and Rome, are getting frequency boosts.
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As slot waivers go, Delta comes back
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) will end crisis-era relief for slot waivers on domestic routes. Both JFK and LGA are slot-controlled and previously benefited from waivers.
Delta is certainly not interested in losing any slots at JFK or LGA. This is especially true as American and JetBlue bulk up their schedules at both airports thanks to the Northeast Alliance. With both of those airlines engaging in a partnership, Delta has a real, viable competitor at LGA and JFK, leading it to seek a bulk-up of its operations to preserve its slots and avoid losing any business to American/JetBlue.
Delta is also responding to the competitive environment but getting rid of all-economy 50-seaters from New York. Both American and United have also done this, though United has replaced a large amount of that flying with its premium 50-seater CRJ550s featuring a first class and extra-legroom economy cabin.
Delta is continuing with its infrastructure improvements at both JFK and LGA. At JFK, Delta is moving forward with a Terminal 4 redevelopment program that will give Delta 10 new gates and consolidate all of its operations in this terminal by summer 2023. Meanwhile, at LGA, Delta’s $3.9 billion redevelopment is moving forward to consolidate Terminals C and D into one new facility with four concourses by the end of 2024.