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Remember Delta’s Big International Expansion? A Good Chunk of It Has Been Canceled

Over the past two years, Delta has rolled out a significant international expansion, focusing on serving secondary markets from JFK and Atlanta.  There was lots of debate among airline types about whether this was:

a) A smart strategy, allowing them to jump into under-served markets (a la Continental); or

b) Doomed from the start, since if these markets were worth pursuing, someone would have pursued them already.  Plus, some were too far to allow for 757 service, forcing them to use the larger 767 which was difficult to fill profitably (ie, full of business passengers) on these routes.

It’s looking increasingly as if those who chose “B” were correct.  I’ve done a quick analysis (using the obsessively detailed Airline Route Updates) and here are the canceled routes from that much-ballyhooed international plan:

(Some are seasonal, some are permanent, some are called seasonal but are probably permanent)

Atlanta to:

Athens
Fortaleza
Guayaquil
Manaus
Moscow
Prague
Recife

JFK to:

Buenos Aires
Edinburgh
Kiev
Lyon
Manchester
Malaga
Pisa
Shannon
Valencia
Zurich

Add those to the previously announced list of African cities it will not be serving, and it would appear that, for the most part, the international experiment is over.  Yes, some of those European routes will resurface during the summer, but Delta is still trying to figure out the best long-term strategy.

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  1. This was a smart idea. It’s better to bite the bullet and pay the high price for being suborn. Congratulations to the Delta people for admitting to an error and regrouping. This will help the bottom line fot 2010. Good work !

  2. I completely agree – airlines tend to let bad decisions continue for ages. Best to cut what’s not working…

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