SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Delta Air Lines announced that it will be suspending services at the Santa Barbara Airport and 10 others starting July 8 because not enough people are flying.
Delta said they are stopping flights in order to reduce costs as they work to mitigate and recover from financial impacts due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While many cities, states and businesses are beginning to reopen, summer travel plans for many Santa Barbara residents remain up in the air.
“As the world responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, Delta continues to face an unprecedented impact to our business, and suspending operations at these airports will reduce costs where customer demand is low,” said Sandy Gordon, Senior Vice President – Domestic Airport Operations. “We will move quickly to work with affected customers, whose patience we sincerely appreciate as we navigate this unprecedented time together.”
This suspension is made possible by the U.S. Department of Transportation which permits airlines to adjust service where it is "reasonable and practicable."
The full list of US airports where flights will be suspended this summer includes:
- Aspen, CO (ASE)
- Bangor, ME (BGR)
- Erie, PA (ERI)
- Flint, MI (FNT)
- Fort Smith, AR (FSM)
- Lincoln, NE (LNK)
- New Bern/Morehead/Beaufort, NC (EWN)
- Peoria, IL (PIA)
- Santa Barbara, CA (SBA)
- Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, PA (AVP)
- Williston, ND (XWA)
Delta said that these 11 airports make up about five percent of the domestic airports Delta serves. The airline will also be suspending service to Ottawa International Airport, effective June 21.
All of these airports will continue to receive service from at least one other carrier after Delta suspends its operations.
Delta also said they plan to re-accommodate customers whose travel is impacted as a result of these suspensions. Delta employees will be provided pay protection options through Sept. 30, 2020.
Delta explained it has had, "an 85 percent reduction in [their] second quarter schedule, which includes reductions of 80 percent in U.S. domestic capacity and 90 percent internationally."
This suspension comes almost one year after Delta brought a new nonstop service to the Santa Barbara Airport, round-trip flights to Salt Lake City, Utah. In August of 2019, a crowd of people and firefighters welcomed back the first Delta flight in almost 10 years at the airport.