Delta Air Lines is making some notable changes to its route network.

The Atlanta-based carrier filed plans over the weekend to exit a handful of buzzworthy markets. This includes a long-haul route from Los Angeles to London and a Westchester County, New York, to Florida experiment, among others.

These cuts were first seen in Cirium timetables and later confirmed by a carrier spokesperson.

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Delta cuts LA to London


To start, Delta will slash its daily service between LA and London effective May 5. Delta resumed this route after an eight-year hiatus in March 2023.

The carrier has operated this service consistently since then, but it seems like there’s just too much competition in the market to make it work.

American Airlines and British Airways each fly three daily flights in this market; United Airlines offers up to two daily frequencies as well.

Plus, Delta’s transatlantic joint venture partner, Virgin Atlantic, offers up to three daily frequencies on this 5,456-mile route. So, the London-based airline can pick up Delta’s slack.

Service at London’s Heathrow Airport (LHR) is slot-controlled, meaning that airlines receive special takeoff and landing permissions from government authorities to operate there.

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Delta owns 10 of these incredibly valuable slot pairs (Heathrow slots can trade for as much as $70 million), so the airline will almost definitely replace the LA flight with another one from a different hub.

It remains to be seen which hub will receive the additional London service.

Delta scraps 3 domestic routes


Domestically, Delta will cut three routes, all of which were recent additions to the network. They seemingly weren’t performing well enough to warrant another operating season.

To start, Delta will end service from Westchester County Airport (HPN) in White Plains, New York, to both Orlando and West Palm Beach in Florida on May 6.

These two routes just started in November, and it’s somewhat surprising to see the airline scrap them so quickly.

White Plains, Orlando and West Palm Beach aren’t Delta hubs, but this point-to-point service definitely appealed to travelers based in the Northeast heading to the Sunshine State.

Florida is an incredibly popular destination (especially during the winter). HPN is the airport of choice for many deep-pocketed travelers who live in the Westchester area just north of New York City, as well as those living nearby in some of Connecticut’s wealthiest towns.

Moreover, HPN is a breeze to navigate. Many locals living within a few miles of the airport choose to fly from the airport — and possibly even add a connection to their trip — instead of flying from the larger airports in the region.

JetBlue Airways has long been the market leader for flights from Westchester to Florida, and Delta’s once-daily service went head-to-head against JetBlue’s existing flights on both routes.

Perhaps Delta couldn’t disrupt JetBlue’s dominance in the market or it found a better use for the Boeing 717 that it flew from Westchester County. We don’t know for certain because Delta declined to provide a statement to TPG.

Meanwhile, the airline is also scrapping service between LA and Dallas Love Field (DAL) effective May 6.

Last February, Delta announced a major expansion at DAL, adding two new routes there: New York and LA. The New York service was cut before it even launched, and now the twice-daily flights from LA are also getting cut (in favor of more Atlanta flights).

Beyond May, Delta will fly from DAL exclusively to its Atlanta megahub.

Interestingly, Love Field is the most convenient airport for travelers heading to or from Dallas, yet most carriers haven’t been able to make this outstation work for them.

Alaska Airlines filed plans earlier this year to cut service from San Francisco to DAL, leaving it only with nonstops from Seattle.

And now, Delta’s big expansion there is being scaled back to just a single route.

All of these moves are great news for hometown carrier Southwest Airlines.

Southwest occupies nearly all of Love Field’s 20 gates, essentially giving the carrier a monopoly on the airport. Other airlines have tried to wiggle their way into Love Field over the years, but their limited operations seemingly haven’t been successful.

The good news is that the cuts from Love Field don’t come at the expense of any routes from the nearby Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW).

From there, Delta flies to multiple daily services to all nine of its hubs.

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