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Delta Will Reduce Flights From The U.S To The Dominican Republic This Summer

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This week, American air carrier Delta announced it would drastically reduce the number of flights in the United States and Latin America, including the Dominican Republic,  from July 1st to August 1st this summer.

Delta Plane In Flight

This comes after hundreds of flights were cancelled from the major airline this past holiday weekend, due to bad weather and difficulties with air traffic control.

According to FlightAware, 245 international flights were cancelled on Saturday and at least 530 flights were delayed, with 159 cancelled on Sunday. As Delta departs from various U.S cities (including New York, San Francisco and Philadelphia) to the tourist hotspot of Punta Cana, many travellers are worried that their summer travel plans will be affected at the last minute.

Punta Cana Tourist Boats On Beach

However, Delta is no stranger to rushed cancellations: as a prominent American airline, flight delays and cancellations became commonplace throughout the industry from the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. This led Delta to cancel hundreds of international flights (including those to and from Punta Cana) throughout 2021, which left many passengers stranded.  

Allison Ausband, the Director of Customer Experience at Delta, explained that there were multiple factors that contributed to the decision to reduce flights in what is supposed to be the busiest period for the airline:

“More than any other time in our history, the various factors currently impacting our operations are resulting in a situation that is not consistently up to the standards that Delta has set for the industry in recent years”.

Here, Ausband is talking about a number of issues that Delta has faced over the past few months, including problems with air traffic and weather control, vendor staffing and rising rates of covid cases contributing to higher unscheduled absences than planned.

Air Traffic Control

With so many cancellations expected to occur within a short period of time, there are worries that the airline will decline in popularity – especially as its competitors are stepping up their game. Much-loved American airline Frontier and newcomer Arajet are set to entice travellers with low-cost airfare from several U.S locations to Santo Domingo as well as Punta Cana this summer.

Frontier Tarmac

Despite the tourism industry booming in the Dominican Republic this year, the country has faced ongoing issues within its airline industry. In 2021, reports surfaced of the low availability of pilots and crew members in the region, creating hundreds of delays and various cancellations: In the summer of last year, reports showed that some visitors departing from the country had to wait for up to 6 hours for their flight, without explanation from airlines about the delays caused to their journey.

Delayed Flight

Delta has stated that they will be able to offer refunds for affected flight routes, as well as working alongside passengers to find an alternate flight when possible. Passengers facing delays are encouraged to use the FlyDelta App, or the Delta website to view alternate flights without calling customer service and will be notified by email or mobile update in the event of a cancellation.

As Delta currently only has 3 to 5 daily arrivals in Punta Cana from U.S destinations, cancellations will seriously affect travellers hoping to travel to the coastal town in the summer.

With hurricane season additionally set to begin this Wednesday, travel plans across the region are expected to be disrupted even further. American travellers who have booked a summer getaway with Delta to the Dominican Republic are encouraged to check their flight details before departure to ensure they are aware of any changes that may occur.

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