ATLANTA — Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian announced Wednesday that the airline would halt new flight additions for the remainder of the year.
The Atlanta-based airline said they are making this move to help improve its operational reliability which could mean fewer delays and cancellations for passengers.
Since February, Delta has dealt with major issues trying to keep up with the demand of people flying amidst staffing shortages and flight cuts, but professor and aviation expert at Georgia Tech Laurie Garrow explained how these issues arose from changes that the airline made at the beginning of the pandemic.
“So at the start of COVID, Delta, and a lot of the U.S. airlines had to make the difficult decision to bring about half of their fleet, half of their planes, out of capacity. They also offered early retirement packages, in some cases furloughed a lot of their employees," Garrow said.
Now, more than two years into the pandemic, travelers have let go of the fears of COVID-19 and are back flying the skies.
“People want to travel. They want to travel a lot, and right now, we're at a point where we don't have all the planes back in service,” Garrow said.
She said that this halt will allow Delta to get back on track.
“What they're saying is that look, we understand the balance better now and we're going to hold our number of planes we have in the sky, our resources constant until we make sure we get more of the pilots, flight attendants, mechanics where they need to be," she explained.
Garrow said passengers could expect this halt to only last through the third quarter which will give Delta a chance to prepare for the holiday season. However, passengers should continue to expect high air fares throughout the end of the year.