Why Delta Can’t Compete With These Three Airlines

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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 BusinessElite One

Per Delta,

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.

Bottom Line

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. 

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  1. Face reality. There’s next to no US-Dubai traffic so US carriers can’t make a go in this market. And the three gulf airlines have next to no US-Gulf traffic, it’s 90% through and they’re cream skimming from the US/European legacy carriers. Yes, these airlines may offer what appears to be superior service (in their premium cabins) but they’re killing the long haul base of NAmerican and European legacy carriers on their point-to-point long hauls. So be it. Buy your flights on these airlines and sell your souls to the Islamic devil. But don’t complain when you lose your elite benefits and NAmerican flights cost more than in the past.

  2. Yup, US airlines should up their standards. Thats how you compete with top airlines.

    There are no such thing as a ‘level playing field’. There are always factors influencing the game.

    Sour grapes for US carriers.

  3. Go fly those dune Coon lover Airlines then just see how far you can get flying in the US between those two or three Arab airlines you want US CARRIERST to have premium service the pay the price you cheapskates. And I hope you lose all of your elite status as well

  4. Delta can complain all they want but I don’t hear them objecting to US customs/immigration pre-clearance checkpoints in Ireland and Canada, as they do with the Middle East. (The objections of Delta and other U.S. carriers also revolve around purported subsidies from Middle East governments.)

    The reality is even Delta’s lauded business-class product can’t compete. Plus, Delta doesn’t even try. For example, the Detroit area has the largest Middle Eastern community outside of the Middle East yet there’s no direct Delta flights to the Middle East from Detroit. Doesn’t make sense at all.

  5. But the fares will help American, Delta, and United better compete with America s three ultra low cost airlines — Frontier, Spirit and Allegiant.

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