Earlier today Delta Air Lines announced multiple changes to the company, in response to the Coronavirus Spread. These changes included cutting more flights, grounding hundreds of aircraft, reducing costs and giving up salaries.

At the time of writing, there are already over 2,200 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States.

Delta CEO, Ed Bastian, has called the impact from the novel coronavirus outbreak “unprecedented”.

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Cutting Flights

Delta plans to cut flights by 40% over the next few months. This becomes “the largest capacity reduction in Delta’s history, including 2001”, CEO Ed Bastian said in a letter to employees.

We have already reported Delta suspending flights to Asia and Italy. Now, with more travel restrictions, flights to many other countries are also suspended.

The airline will continue to operate a nearly full schedule of flights, from continental Europe to the U.S. through Monday 16th March, to ensure passengers return to the U.S.

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Starting Monday, Delta will only operate one daily flight between the following cities:

  • Atlanta to Amsterdam
  • Atlanta to London-Heathrow
  • Atlanta to Paris-Charles De Gaulle
  • Detroit to Amsterdam
  • Detroit to London-Heathrow
  • New York-JFK to London-Heathrow
  • New York-JFK to Dublin

The following flights will be suspended:

  • Cincinnati to Paris
  • Indianapolis to Paris
  • Orlando to Amsterdam
  • Minneapolis/St. Paul to Paris
  • Minneapolis/St. Paul to Amsterdam
  • Portland to Amsterdam
  • Raleigh/Durham to Paris
  • Salt Lake City to Amsterdam
  • Salt Lake City to Paris

Passengers can still transfer with Air France, KLM and Virgin Atlantic.

Delta will also suspend services between New York-JFK and Mumbai starting Tuesday 17th March. The last flight from New York-JFK to Mumbai will operate Saturday 14th March. The last flight from Mumbai to New York-JFK will operate Monday 16th March.

Delta Cut Flights Ground Aircraft

Delta is also trimming their domestic seat capacity by 10-15 percent.

Following travel restrictions recently issued by the governments of Argentina and El Salvador, Delta is suspending services between Atlanta and Buenos Aires, starting 17th March through 1st May, and reducing daily services between Atlanta and San Salvador to twice a week, starting 19th March through 1st April.

Delta’s capacity cut is equivalent to removing an airline about the size of Air Canada.

Grounding Aircraft

Delta currently has 1187 aircraft in its fleet, consisting of small regional ones to large wide-body ones such as the Boeing 777.

With the reductions in flights, a similar ratio of aircraft will be grounded.

Specifically, about 300 aircraft (25% of the fleet) will be grounded. Delta did not specify the number of each aircraft type.

Delta Cut Flights Ground Aircraft

Reducing Costs

Delta plans to cut capital investments by at least $2 billion and is offering staff voluntary unpaid leave.

The $2 billion investment was originally planned in fleet upgrades and IT construction.

The speed of the demand fall-off is unlike anything we’ve seen – and we’ve seen a lot in our business. We are moving quickly to preserve cash and protect our company. And with revenues dropping, we must be focused on taking costs out of our business.

Delta CEO, Ed Bastian

CEO Ed Bastian said he will forgo his salary for six months. Bastian’s 2018 salary was approximately $900,000, according to filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Delta is also actively communicating with the White House and seeking government support.