Delta Airlines to Downgrade Manila and Asia-Pacific Services

Flights to Manila will be reduced as Delta Airlines undertakes major reductions and realignments of its operations in the Asia Pacific region. Beginning at the end of October, the US carrier is planning to cancel some of its existing services to Manila.

Image Source: Maarten Visser/Wikimedia
On October 26, less than three months after the Atlanta-based carrier moves its Manila operations to Terminal 3, it will discontinue flying flights DL629/630 between Manila and Nagoya.  The flights, which ultimately originate and terminate in Detroit respectively, will now fly only as far as Nagoya's Centair Airport, with no service continuing to Manila.  Detroit-Nagoya-Manila flights have been a mainstay in the Northwest and later Delta Airlines network for more than 15 years.  Until then, Manila will be one of the few cities remaining in Delta's Asia-Pacific network that receives at least two flights per day.  

Meanwhile, Delta will continue its Manila-Tokyo Narita service.  Passengers who wish to go to Detroit from Manila can do so by transferring at Narita.  However, the US carrier will be reducing other flights involving its Narita hub including flight DL155/255, which flies between Minneapolis-St Paul and Hong Kong via Narita. The Narita-Hong Kong leg of the said flights will cease operations on October 26 as well. The service reductions form part of a broader plan to reduce the size of Delta's Narita operations, while concentrating more on the expansion of its Seattle operations. Delta Airlines has not revealed whether it plans to launch a direct service between Manila and Seattle. The carrier has been building up its Seattle hub in an effort to lure Asia Pacific traffic travelling out of Vancouver International Airport in Canada.   

However, flights are not the only aspect of operations being cut back.  Delta also announced that it will be gradually retiring its Boeing 747-400 fleet from service.  It plans to remove 25% of its 16 jumbo jets from service by the end of 2014.  On September 30, it will start to remove the 747 aircraft from Atlanta-Tokyo flights with Los Angeles-Tokyo flights to follow the next day.  DL629/630 between Detroit and Nagoya will also be downgraded to an Airbus A330-200 on October 26, the same day that the Manila leg will be axed.

Delta inherited its Tokyo hub and Boeing 747-400 aircrafts from Northwest Airlines when it acquired the competing carrier in 2008.  Northwest Airlines was the launch customer for the Boeing 747-400 series aircraft, with the first aircraft delivered more than 25 years ago on February 9, 1989.  Operating certificates of both airlines were later merged into Delta's in early 2010. The merger between the two carriers allowed Delta to expand its presence in the Asia-Pacific region. 

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