Declining revenues, rising fuel prices and weak travel demand due to the recession and H1N1 flu outbreak has affected Delta Air Lines which will end its direct flight to Shanghai.
It has announced that starting in September it will stops it direct flight to Shanghai, and reduce international capacity by 5% on top of the 10% cuts it outlined in March.
Delta Chief Executive Richard Anderson, seen here, told the company’s 70,000 employees in a memo that the reduction will target routes that have lost money in the current economic climate.
That includes Delta’s heralded non-stop route from Atlanta to Shanghai which launched in March 2008 with much fanfare.
Delta said travelers going from Atlanta to Shanghai would be routed on nonstop SkyTeam alliance flights or through Detroit and Tokyo-Narita, hubs Delta entered through its merger with Northwest Airlines last October.
Lani Wong, chair of the National Association of Chinese-Americans, called the news ‘devastating’ because of all the hard work that went into attracting the Shanghai flight.
Ms. Wong, whose organization often hosts Chinese delegates in Atlanta, noted that the Delta flight was nearly full when she returned from Shanghai on May 29.
Global Atlanta reports that according to the IATA’s report, Asian carriers will be hit hardest as demand plummets in the region.