COVID 19: the fate of Delta Air Lines’ focus cities is uncertain

Premium Analysis

During the past few years Delta Air Lines has adopted different domestic and international strategies from those of its larger global network rivals in the US.

Internationally, it has opted to take equity stakes in its international partners and form JVs with those operators. Domestically, it has created focus cities where it had determined that there was an opportunity to leverage a larger presence. The airline has also built up certain coastal hubs, in Boston, Seattle, New York and Los Angeles.

The focus city and coastal hub strategy worked well for the airline before the abrupt onset of COVID-19, which has grounded airline fleets and brought the US and worldwide airline industry to a halt.

And with the growing consensus that demand may not regain the levels of 2019 for three to five years, Delta is no doubt examining whether its focus city strategy will be viable in the future.

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