MIAMI – Delta Air Lines (DL) is expanding its network with several additional routes and destinations to challenge its biggest competitors and chase after leisure customers.

Delta Air Lines added two destinations to its route map this past weekend – Canyonlands Regional Airport in Moab, Utah (CNY) and Durango-La Plata County Airport (DRO) in Colorado – according to CrankyFlier.

Both of these destinations will be served from the airline’s Salt Lake City (SLC) hub. According to Delta’s bookings, these two routes will be flown on CRJ-200s which have 50 Economy Class seats. The daily route to Moab begins on May 5 while the flight to Durango begins on May 12 and increases from daily to twice-daily on May 26.

Delta Connection CRJ-200 N499SW | Photo: Michael Rodeback/Airways

Delta Rises against Its Competitors

Moab and Durango are not new destinations for Delta. Operating through regional partner SkyWest Airlines (OO), Delta previously served Moab from Salt Lake City in the mid-2010s under a contract for the United States’ Essential Air Service (EAS) program. 

SkyWest Airlines continues to hold the EAS contract for Moab, however, they have instead been serving the city on behalf of United Airlines (UA) from Denver since 2018. Through the EAS program, United/SkyWest are receiving subsidies. As of now, it’s unclear if DL is receiving any form of incentives.

As for Durango, DL last served the destination from Salt Lake City in the late-2000s. Durango Airport is currently served by American Airlines (AA) and United Airlines from several of their respective hubs, so DL will be charging in to compete against them.

CrankyFlier also notes DL will launch a new Los Angeles (LAX) to Houston-Intercontinental (IAH) route. This flight is slated to begin on April 12 and operate twice a day using the Airbus A220-100. DL will face competition from AA, UA, and Spirit Airlines (NK). Southwest Airlines (WN) also operates the Los Angeles to Houston route but they fly out of Houston Hobby Airport (HOU).

Delta Air Lines N106DU Airbus A220-171 | Photo: Daniel Gorun/Airways

Delta Expands Its Minneapolis Network

Delta Air Lines also added several routes from its Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport (MSP) hub this past month. These routes to five destinations are located east of MSP, which will facilitate connections inbound from the west and offer customers living in the MSP area greater travel options.

Delta’s Five Additional Minneapolis-St. Paul Routes:

DestinationAircraftStarting Date
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (MYR)CRJ-900April 17, 2021
Portland, Maine (PWM)Airbus A319May 28, 2021
Providence, Rhode Island (PVD)Airbus A319May 28, 2021
Savannah, Georgia (SAV)CRJ-900April 17, 2021
Traverse City, Michigan (TVC)CRJ-900May 28, 2021

Delta Air Lines will be the sole carrier on the Minneapolis to Traverse City route. As for the other four routes, DL will face competition from low-cost carrier Sun Country (SY). Additionally, DL will compete against Spirit Airlines on the MSP to Myrtle Beach route.

With the shift towards leisure travel and uncertainty on the recovery of business demand, airlines, such as Delta, are experimenting with new routes and destinations to cater towards evolving demand. The schedules, aircraft, and other details pertaining to all of these routes may change over time.

Featured Image: Delta Air Lines N110DU Airbus A220-171 | Photo: Michael Rodeback/Airways