On Friday, the Federal Aviation Administration allowed Delta Air Lines to cut down on some flights across Washington D.C and New York over the remainder of the summer travel season. 

Further details 

The U.S aviation authority, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), has given major U.S carrier Delta Air Lines permission to temporarily cut some flights this summer at John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport in New York; and Reagan National Airport near Washington. 

This means that Delta is now relieved from the federal requirement to use specific time slots as those airports or face losing them. 

These changes will take effect from 5 September.

Delta Air Lines
Delta has temporarily cut some flights at LaGuardia, JFK, and Ronald Reagan Washington National airports. | © Getty Images

Some passengers booked to fly to or from the airport’s Delta has chosen to cut back on should be offered the choice of “re-accommodation on comparable transportation, including service on another carrier” if required, or a full refund. 

Why did Delta ask for this?

Delta Air Lines asked the FAA to cancel flights in New York and Washington D.C due to the high number of employees that are calling in sick due to coronavirus, according to the FAA. Data, received from Delta, showed that in June, “Delta’s pilots missed 13,748 days due to sickness compared to 9,191 in June 2019 — a 50 percent increase.” 

In a statement, the Atlanta-based carrier added:

“Our partnership with the FAA to gain slot relief at New York and Washington, D.C. airports will allow us to continue improving shared challenges and service reliability with minimal impact to customers.” 

But what fails to help Delta’s customers is that the airline, at the time of writing, did not share how many flights would be affected by this mass exodus of services.  

Delta Air Lines 'Thank You for flying with us' sign
Not all travellers will be able to fly with Delta this summer from September, despite booking a ticket… | © YUKI IWAMURA/AFP via Getty Images

This Friday, the FAA commented in a letter to Delta that “for a brief period in the summer of 2022, these pandemic effects constituted a highly unusual and unpredictable condition beyond Delta’s control.” It continued:

“These effects will not form a sufficient basis for relief going forward because Delta will have had sufficient opportunity to plan and take remedial action, including moving resources to prioritize the staffing of operations at these airports, if necessary.”

To hear of Delta’s coronavirus battle may come as a shock to some…were you aware of Delta’s staff struggles? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

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