[photopress:air_delta.jpg,full,alignright]Delta Air Lines is cutting back its Atlanta-Shanghai flight to five times a week for the winter instead of daily, in what it calls a move to better match capacity to ‘reduced market demand.’
The airline launched the daily Atlanta-Shanghai flights March 30 with much fanfare, after receiving approval for the flights last September.
The change to five days a week goes into effect November 7. It is stated the service will return to daily in May 2009 for the summer. Possibly that statement is made with crossed fingers.
Delta spokesman Kent Landers, said, ‘As a new carrier in China, we learn more about the demand patterns and the profile of the market. Delta remains committed to the China market and serving that market from Atlanta.’
He said the airline makes adjustments ‘to make sure we have a year-round profitable operation.’
Asked if the soaring cost of fuel played a role in the decision, Kent Landers said, ‘Fuel has an impact on the entire network and we watch that very closely. But this is a situation where we’re matching the right profile to the market and especially what we’re expecting in the winter.’
It sounds like a PR at bay.
Delta received U.S. Department of Transportation approval for the change and has already removed the flights from its inventory. No mention was made of the rising cost of fuel and the fact that if it keeps rising those flights will never be reinstated.