Delta has announced this week that they’ll be cutting capacity on their Atlanta and Dubai route this winter. Presently Delta operates daily Boeing 777-200LR flights between Atlanta and Dubai, which they’ll be reducing.
As of October 1, 2015, Delta will only operate their Atlanta to Dubai route 4-5x per week throughout the winter schedule, though the flight should be returning to daily in the spring.
What’s causing Delta to reduce their Atlanta to Dubai frequencies? Via Reuters, Delta claims:
“The reduction comes amid overcapacity on U.S. routes to the Middle East operated by government-owned and subsidized airlines,” Delta spokesman Trebor Banstetter said in a statement, noting that daily service would return in the spring of 2016.
There’s nothing quite like one of the world’s most profitable airlines playing the victim card while choosing to reduce their international service on one route by a couple of days a week in order to prove a point. I’m sure the cause of the reductions are the “government-owned and subsidized airlines” and not the overall weaker international demand for air travel to the US… as Delta has claimed in the past:
Delta said months ago that its international capacity cuts were in response to falling crude prices hitting demand in oil-rich markets and to the strong U.S. dollar that has hurt the spending power of foreign travelers.
Earlier this year Delta announced that they would be cutting some international routes due to the strong US dollar, as you’d expect. When they cut capacity to Brazil, Japan, etc., that’s simply a function of the strong US dollar and weaker foreign demand… including when they cut a route altogether!
Meanwhile when they cut capacity on one route to the Middle East, they blame those pesky Middle Eastern carriers.
Ugh, those damn subsidized airlines! Of course we’re talking specifically about the Middle Eastern ones, and not the government subsidized airline that Delta just bought a $450 million stake in. Oh and we’re also cherry picking which Middle Eastern carriers to pick on — certainly not their government subsidized Middle Eastern partner, Saudia.
The reason the US airlines are experiencing record profitability is because of strong US demand for air travel and the low price of oil. It should come as no surprise that there will be some negative consequences of that globally… like, ya know, weaker demand from an oil rich country and weaker demand from foreigners to the US, given the strong US dollar.
But why let the facts get in the way of the US carriers’ subsidy fantasy?
I think this would be a great time for Emirates to follow Qatar’s lead and start service to Atlanta… maybe even hourly A380 shuttle service? 😉