It’s official, Delta is officially giving in to the Gulf Carriers: Emirates, Qatar and Etihad. In it’s latest announcement, Delta is basically saying it’s unable to compete with these carriers and in such will no longer be flying to the Dubai.
This announcement comes shortly after Delta already decided to reduce its once daily service to just a few times a week, which we covered in this post: Is Delta Admitting Defeat to the Gulf Carriers?
Delta will no longer fly between Atlanta and Dubai effective Feb. 11, 2016. The announcement comes amid overcapacity on U.S. routes to the Middle East operated by government-owned and heavily subsidized airlines, and less than a month after Delta reduced service between the world’s busiest airport and the Middle East’s largest hub.
The 777 aircraft used to operate ATL-DXB will be redeployed to other Trans-Atlantic markets where it can compete on a level playing field that’s not distorted by subsidized state-owned airlines.
Between 2008 and 2014, about 11,000 daily seats were added between the U.S. and Dubai, Doha, and Abu Dhabi – more than 95 percent of which are flown by Gulf carriers Emirates, Qatar and Etihad airlines. Of the 14 daily flights between the U.S. and Dubai, only two are operated by U.S. carriers. Despite the increase in passengers traveling on these flights, the number whose journeys actually originate or end in the Gulf has essentially remained flat.
On one hand, I think there is a time and a place to admit defeat, but do you think Delta should be trying harder when it’s comes to service to the Middle East?
Let’s not forget Delta’s service from New York (JFK) to Tel Aviv, which they announced they would be expanding to twice daily. I still feel the demand is there but if US carriers could up their game when it comes to the inflight experience, they may stand a viable chance.
What do you think about Delta pulling out completely of Dubai? Feel free to share your thoughts below.