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Airlines Starting to Drop Flights, Destinations Due to Fuel Costs

With oil prices continuing to skyrocket, airlines are beginning to drop frequencies and destinations to reign in costs. American Airlines announced that it will be dropping one of its two daily Dallas-Tokyo-Narita flights (yes, the earthquake didn’t help) as well as its only recently launched nonstop from New York JFK to Tokyo-Haneda. American is supposedly only suspending the flights to Haneda, but I’d be surprised if they came back.

Delta, meanwhile, posted a $318 million loss for the first quarter, blaming Japan, fuel, and too much capacity going to Europe. They announced they’ll trim 8-10% of their Transatlantic seats after Labor Day, and drop another 20 planes from the fleet (in addition to the 120 they’ve announced previously). We saw this same situation in 2008 when fuel prices jumped — airlines began cutting some of their dog routes and going seasonal on others where it made sense. Back then, Delta had just rolled out its extensive expansion to secondary cities in Europe (Valencia, etc) and dropped many of those routes while going seasonal on others. We’ll see the same announcement from other carriers soon enough.

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