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Delta Is Cutting Flights to 6 Cities, Starting Oct. 26

The upcoming changes will affect travelers heading abroad—but the airline is adding routes, too.

To say there have been quite a few changes at Delta Air Lines recently could be considered something of an understatement. The carrier recently announced a sweeping overhaul of its SkyMiles loyalty program that significantly changes how customers earn elite status with the company. But even occasional flyers might notice a few differences the next time they go to book flights with the Atlanta-based airline. That's because Delta will be cutting flights to six major cities in the coming months. Read on to see if any of your travel plans will be impacted when the first changes take effect in October.

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Delta joined other major airlines in scaling back flights to Havana, Cuba.

A Delta plane on the runway

The first of the Delta's significant changes impacts its service to Cuba. According to data posted to flight schedule website Cirium, the airline is drastically reducing the number of flights it operates between Miami International Airport (MIA) and José Martí International Airport (HAV), Simple Flying reports.

As of November, the carrier will cut its initially planned 120 flights down to just 68 for the month. This effectively turns the roughly twice-daily flight into a once-a-day departure, with reductions sustained through at least Aug. 2024, per Simple Flying. The move also comes just months after the airline revived the route on April 10 for the first time since it was suspended in March 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic-related changes.

Delta is far from the only major airline to scale back its service to the Caribbean capital recently. In June, United Airlines announced it would be dropping its route from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) to Havana as of Oct. 29. And on Sept. 1, JetBlue Airways announced it would suspend all service to Cuba, immediately scuttling its direct service between New York's John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) and Havana before winding down flights from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) on Sept. 17.

RELATED: JetBlue Is Cutting Flights to 6 Major Cities, Starting Oct. 28.

The airline also just dropped all service to Düsseldorf, Germany.

A Delta Air Lines sign in an airport
Shutterstock / Jay Fog

Another set of changes will see Delta drop another international route entirely. The carrier has announced it will cut all flights between its main hub at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) and Düsseldorf International Airport (DUS) in Germany, removing all departures scheduled through next summer, Simple Flying reports. The last cycle of the route will depart the U.S. on Oct. 26.

As with the Miami and Havana route, the cuts come just months after Delta resumed service to the German city in May 2023 after suspending it in March 2020 due to the pandemic, per Simple Flying. However, the revived leg had already significantly decreased in volume, flying only three times a week compared to daily and downgrading from year-round service to seasonal.

The changes will also likely impact travelers based in Düsseldorf—Delta's departure will mean the airport is left with no nonstop flights to the U.S. or Canada, Simple Flying reports.

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The airline is also scrapping a planned route between Portland, Oregon, and Tokyo, Japan.

Delta airplane airplane interior with person deplaning.

In yet another set of alterations to its international service map, Delta is also scrapping a route it originally planned between Portland International Airport (PDX) in Oregon and Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND) in Japan, according to travel news website One Mile at a Time.

This set of changes comes after the airline was awarded an additional five coveted runway slots at the Japanese airport in 2019, which also included new service between Atlanta, Detroit International Airport (DTW), Honolulu International Airport (HNL), and Seattle Tacoma International Airport (SEA). After the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic sidelined plans to launch the routes, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) granted waivers for Delta to hold on to the slots due to the agency's policy of revoking unused slots.

The airline had been in talks with officials in an attempt to reassign the slot to flights from a different U.S. airport. However, a breakdown in negotiations effectively scuttled the route, One Mile at a Time reports.

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But Delta also just added a number of transatlantic flights, including new routes.

A Delta plane taking off with an air traffic control tower in the background

While it may be facing some cuts, Delta is also making significant additions to its schedule and route map. On Sept. 22, the airline announced its "largest-ever transatlantic schedule" for next summer, a spokesperson for the company confirmed to Best Life in an email.

The major changes include new nonstop routes from New York's JFK Airport and Munich International Airport (MUC) that launch on Apr. 9, 2024, with three-times-weekly flights and daily service to Naples International Airport (NAP) in Italy as of May 23, 2024. The carrier is also reviving service from JFK to Shannon Airport (SNN) in Ireland and its route from Atlanta to Zurich Airport (ZRH) in Switzerland on May 31, 2024—both for the first time since 2019, per the spokesperson.

Delta is also bulking up existing routes, upgrading service between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Auckland Airport (AKL) from seasonal to year-round as of Oct. 28. It also says it's adding flights from Atlanta to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) and Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE) in Italy; Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) and Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos (ATH) in Greece; Cincinnati International Airport (CVG) to Paris; Detroit to Paris and Keflavík International Airport (KEF) in Iceland; and New York JKF to Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport (BCN) in Spain.

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Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
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