Well, that escalated quickly!
Just a few hours ago, I wrote an article highlighting the new (and elevated) travel advisory issued by the US State Department.
Well according to Delta Air Lines, they are adding additional time to their cancellation schedule – nearly 30 days more than other airlines – as they have canceled all flights to/from China until May 2020.
Prior to this morning, the big “US3” had reduced frequencies to China, but had not canceled service altogether. However, after a public statement from the State Department, I assumed an about-face was near.
According to the press release, Delta will suspend all US to China flights between February 6 and April 30, 2020.
I find this timeline to be interesting because:
- In the press release, Delta explains that this decision is being made “due to ongoing concerns related to the coronavirus.” Enough of a concern that you continue to fly planes to China for another week?
- In the last 24 hours, the American Airlines pilots union filed a lawsuit against AA in an attempt to halt the flights to China citing safety concerns. Will Delta pilots union do the same?
- Delta is suspending flights until May. That’s a crazy long time considering they currently offer 42 weekly flights between the US and China (e.g. Detroit – Beijing, Seattle – Beijing, and Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles, and Seattle – Shanghai). 42 flights x 3 months = A LOT OF FLIGHTS, A LOT OF MONEY, A LOT OF SCHEDULE CHANGES, etc.
Given the pilots union that represents American Airline pilots has taken such a unique approach to this situation, I can only assume the pilots union that represents Delta pilots will follow suit.
Although the flight attendants can express concern, they aren’t unionized so that may be a bit more challenging.
Let’s file this in the “developing story” folder.
What do you make of this situation? Are you a passenger that needs to change your itinerary?