Delta Air Lines Announces Miami Expansion

Filed Under: Delta, LATAM

In September 2019 it was announced that Delta Air Lines would be buying a 20% stake in LATAM, and that the two airlines would be forming a joint venture.

In the process LATAM will be leaving oneworld, and will also stop partnering with American Airlines, which has historically been their big partner in the US.

The Delta & LATAM Miami challenge

LATAM has a huge presence in Miami, which is logical for a couple of reasons:

  • Miami is by far the biggest market in the US for most Latin American destinations
  • Miami is also an American Airlines hub, so LATAM had tons of connectivity in Miami with American’s route network

LATAM seems to want to maintain their presence in Miami, or possibly even grow it, which has also caused many of us to assume that Delta will significantly be increasing their service to Miami. This is not only for Delta to provide the feed that LATAM needs, but also for Delta to enable better connections to Latin America for their own customers.

LATAM’s destinations out of Miami include Belem, Buenos Aires, Fortaleza, Lima, Manaus, Punta Cana, Recife, Santiago, Salvador de Bahia, and Sao Paulo.

Well, we now have the details of that expansion.

Delta announces 13 new flights to Miami

While I’d hardly say this is the massive, comprehensive expansion from Delta that many of us in Miami were hoping for, I would say it’s better than nothing. Delta has just announced that they’re adding 13 new daily flights to Miami from key markets, clearly with the intent of increasing connectivity to LATAM.

Delta will be adding 13 flights to the following four destinations, all of which will be on sale as of January 18, 2020:

  • As of May 4, 2020, Delta will add 5x daily flights between Miami and Orlando, operated by Embraer 175s
  • As of May 4, 2020, Delta will add 5x daily flights between Miami and Tampa, operated by Embraer 175s
  • As of May 22, 2020, Delta will add 1x daily flights between Miami and Raleigh Durham, operated by Embraer 175s
  • As of July 28, 2020, Delta will add 1x daily flights between Miami and Salt Lake City, operated by 737-800s

With this growth, Delta will offer 41 daily nonstop flights to Miami from 10 US airports, as it complements existing flights from Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Minneapolis, and New York (JFK & LGA). On top of that, Delta flies from Miami to Havana.

Bottom line

I’m happy to see Delta growing in Miami, though I wouldn’t exactly call this massive expansion.

As someone who frequently flies between Miami and Tampa, I’m thrilled to see Delta add that route, as it will hopefully bring down the ridiculous pricing that currently exists in the market.

I am a bit disappointed and surprised to see Delta not adding any flights to Miami from Los Angeles or Seattle. American is the only airline flying in either of those markets, and it sure would be nice to see a competitor on those routes.

What do you make of Delta’s expansion in Miami?

Comments
  1. Well, that’s good for you, Lucky. But I’m having a sad that this is one more reason that Orlando (MCO) will not be regaining its old Delta presence. Back when Delta was the “official” airline of Disney, not only did they use the entire airside terminal that they are in, we even had a Delta direct MCO – FRA daily flight. You should have seen the First Class lounge that they had above the concourse. Wow! The current Crown Room, whoops, Sky Club, doesn’t hold a candle to it.

  2. I recall flying Delta to Orlando when I was a kid back in the 90s. Also loved Delta’s Dusty the Air Lion mascot! It was creative and pretty cool that something was catered to kids (anyone remember the pawberry punch they served to kids on the flight?!?)

  3. Delta had a 1x MIA-LAX non-stop but canned it about 2 years ago. Virgin really owned that market with LAX-FLL multiples plus Spirit was on that route as well. Probably was hard to make money.

    For passengers from LA/West Coast who need to go to South America, there are better options than going all the way to Miami or Atlanta

  4. Ben

    Why do you think there is so little competition on the lax/mia route

    I get Ua and dL are not big in Miami. But lax/mia seems a route that is ripe for competition. Aa treats the route like crap

    Seems like Ua/dL could
    Really jump
    In with an elevated business class (flat bed) product on a few flights a day and brand it and market it as such

    Beach to beach route

  5. This is pretty pathetic if you ask me.

    Why does Delta not even add 2x daily to LAX?
    There is definitely more demand for LAX TO MIA rather than SLC.

    Glad to see American have pressure though.

  6. LATAM announced they are moving out of JFK T8, and to Delta’s T4 effective February 1, 2020. What a PITA for connecting while LATAM is still in OW.

  7. What needs to happen, is a high speed rail connecting Miami, Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville.

    And we have airline industry lobby to thank for never gonna have those.

    It’s sad and pathetic.

  8. “I am a bit disappointed and surprised to see Delta not adding any flights to Miami from Los Angeles or Seattle. American is the only airline flying in either of those markets, and it sure would be nice to see a competitor on those routes.”

    I think Delta’s main reason for adding these flights is to feed LATAM, and since LATAM flights to Lima and Santiago from LAX they might presume Angelenos would rather connect to other South American destinations there rather than fly to MIA. It’d be nice to see more competition on LAX-MIA, but Angelenos flying to the Miami area and not connecting also have the service from JetBlue and Spirit just up I-95 at FLL.

    The SLC flight is surprising, but the only non-stop from SLC to the Miami area is JetBlue to FLL, so perhaps there’s enough demand to offer a nonstop instead of a connection over ATL?

  9. As a frequent traveler based in Los Angeles I find it amazing that the only choice between L.A. and Miami, two massive large markets and hubs with big traffic, is American. I cannot think of another massive US market where there is only 1 airline to chose from.

  10. For a more comprehensive expansion, DL should have MIA to/from

    ***SEA
    ***LAX
    SFO
    ORD
    IAH
    DCA or IAD
    maybe DFW
    *** are the more important

  11. chris says:
    January 17, 2020 at 1:17 pm

    What needs to happen, is a high speed rail connecting Miami, Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville.
    ====
    Who’s going to pay for that? Huge money waste. Why not just burn your life savings.

    High speed rail always fails if regular rail is not successful. Name even one exception. If regular rail is busy, high speed rail has a chance of working. Otherwise, it’s like building an ATL airport in Minot, ND or building a DEN airport in St. George, UT except $100 billion more expensive.

  12. All flights are to boost LATAM traffic. Salt Lake City is to give Latam Southbound traffic feeds from the western /NW US to South America south bound to South America and compete against COPA and UNITED (Houston / Panama hubs). Raleigh Miami Traffic is to give LATAM southbound traffic, against both American and United. Orlando flights are also to give LATAM better options for its Northbound traffic to Orlando. They all make sense.

  13. Do you all not realize SLC is Delta’s 4th largest Hub, and is about to open a new 4 Billion Dollar Airport with a massive 28,000 sf Skyclub?

  14. “The SLC flight is surprising, but the only non-stop from SLC to the Miami area is JetBlue to FLL”

    or the DL flight from FLL to SLC.

  15. The SLC explanation is simple; Missionaries. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will funnel a boatload of missionaries that leave their initial training in the SLC metro down through the MIA route to all points south on LATAM.

    It’s a brilliant move, really. SLC is already Fortress Delta for the most part. This gives one stop access to all of central and South America without having to buy any planes, AND eats AAs lunch in it’s MIA hub at the same time.

  16. This is only a 1st step happening less than a year after the announcement of the partnership and before any JV is approved by regulators.

    It equates to full time use of 4 aircraft at places where slots and gates are not a factor (low risk), minimal shift of resources away from other priorities. Both LA and SEA are more significant aircraft reassignments and both have gate capacity choices to prioritize.
    Give DL time… they are in the long game in each of their markets: chipping away at BOS and SEA (similar strategic importance to MIA) and making healthy headway against their competitors.
    I predict much more over the coming 3 years

  17. The parallel story is the competitive position that is unfolding in Boston. After pulling out of most non-AA hub markets, AA has announced that it will restart a number of them including BOS-LHR (part of the BA joint venture and announced several months ago) and more recently BOS-AUS and BOS-RDU, markets which B6 and DL both fly and have about the same amount of capacity as well as BOS-IND, a market that WN pulled out of, leaving DL as the only carrier in a pretty high value market.

    Over the past 18 months, DL has added service from BOS to PHL, ORD, DCA and MIA, all AA hubs, in addition to other markets including EWR, a UA hub.

    DL’s BOS and MIA expansions are more connected strategically than some might want to believe; DL is building a hub in Boston in many markets that AA walked away from and also has added half of AA’s hubs – what happens when a new hub is built since other carrier hubs are often the top markets from a city.

    As for MIA-LAX, DL will undoubtedly add it at some point but they know full well that they will have to put enough capacity in the market and be wiling to get the high value customers to make the route work; DL is ballsy in its network expansion but it does bite off carefully what it can chew.

    DL has flown all of the 4 routes it just added from MIA; it knows the value of them to connect to Latin America as well as Delta’s JV partners in Europe (for MCO and TPA).

    The Latam-DL deal is the most DL has ever spent on equity in a foreign carrier; it is a given they will add whatever capacity is necessary to make the JV work. But remember also that there is no JV yet; it will take another year or more to get approvals. Delta will focus on domestic expansion from MIA and might add service to some non-JV markets in Latin America later this year. As the only major gateway to a global region that is dominated by a single US carrier, MIA is certain to become very competitive – and that might have major implications for AA’s finances.

    Keep in mind that there are many foreign carriers that look to whatever domestic carrier exists in a market to connect passengers; in addition to Latam, Delta will provide feed for some of those carriers just as exists for multiple domestic and foreign carriers at LAX, JFK and other international gateways with plenty of foreign carriers, regardless of alliance or JVs.

    DL’s expansion was expected – but probably not this early.

    It portends a lot more expansion in MIA but also that DL is not backing down from its commitment to grow its position up and down the East Coast.

  18. It’s pathetic excuse Derek. Tax payers paid 2 trillion for rich 1%er tax cut, there are plenty of money can be used for high speed rail. It’s simply a matter of government priority.

    It’s ridiculous to say because Amtrak isn’t popular, so high speed rail won’t be. Follow that logic, why improve on anything? Just because people don’t like spend 10 hours from Miami to Jacksonville on train, doesn’t mean they won’t like it when it’s just 3 hours.

  19. “This is only a 1st step happening less than a year after the announcement of the partnership and before any JV is approved by regulators.

    It equates to full time use of 4 aircraft at places where slots and gates are not a factor (low risk), minimal shift of resources away from other priorities. Both LA and SEA are more significant aircraft reassignments and both have gate capacity choices to prioritize.
    Give DL time… they are in the long game in each of their markets: chipping away at BOS and SEA (similar strategic importance to MIA) and making healthy headway against their competitors.
    I predict much more over the coming 3 years“

    ——-

    Alaska has not taken a hit but rather gotten stronger as a result of Deltas growth in Seattle. They’ll be hard pressed to get more gates except at the expense of other carriers.

  20. West Coast-MIA/FLL is not exactly an OMG ALL THE TRAFFIC WTFBBQ WE’LL MAKE ZILLIONS market if you don’t have big hubs on an end. Alaska withdrew from LAX-FLL, and they switched SEA-MIA to SEA-FLL. AA didn’t fly SEA-MIA for years after AS withdrew.

    SLC makes more sense for Delta because you can tap into everywhere they serve out of SLC, without funneling everything to ATL. You get LAX, SEA, SFO, PDX, SAN, etc as short one stops in a pretty nice connecting hub.

  21. But this is the real question everyone wants to know the answer to: how much Delta service to Miami needs to be added to fix your StAAckholm Syndrome and get you to switch to literally ANY other Oneworld program to get Emerald in, and kick AA to the curb?

    😉

  22. I have my fingers crossed that Delta decides to expand at PHX as well in the new Terminal 3 South after Terminal 3 North is built and Frontier/Spirit are moved there.

  23. @Nate:

    It’s not like Delta has a hub real close by in a place that rhymes with “Malt Cake Pretty”, is it? Maybe they can do Denver, Oakland, Dallas and Chicago too!

  24. It’s an interesting move by Delta looking to concentrate close in destinations

    Having flown LAX MIA on DL
    I can’t imagine why they scrubbed the flight
    It was never empty

    I also agree they should sneak up on Phoenix as it works out Delta now has the freshest most modern gates and Club facilities at PHX, at what is the new front door of Sky Harbor Airport.

    Bring back LAX and add SEA.
    SLC is a nice addition, I’ve done FLL SLC on DL too.

  25. THE MIA-San Francisco route is served horribly by American. On some of their planes first class is worse than coach in the past. They used to have competition but now they’re all alone and the airline has deteriorated to an unacceptable level of performance. Delta could eat their lunch. My son flies Delta to Atlanta for west coast connections just to avoid American.

  26. I’m sure Delta wanted to add more routes. When you look the majority of the routes are on embraers. They prob can’t get more gate space easily so this how they can expand to start.

  27. Everyone keep clamoring for MIA to LAX or SEA without realizing they’re only expanding to provide connectivity to LATAM passengers flying into Miami. Where are they most likely to connect to? MCO and TPA for starters. LATAM already flies to LAX on its own and if people need to connect elsewhere, they’ll just fly LATAM up to JFK or even ATL. Give it time though, DL will officially call MIA a focus city soon and you’ll see more DL flights in and out of there in the future.

  28. @Chris and Derek, thanks for the entertainment. Gotta love two people shouting over something they’re both clueless about

    There IS high speed rail already built in Florida, between downtown Miami, Fort Laud, and WPB. It’s called Brightline/Virgin Trains USA. Heck, Lucky even did a review post about it recently.

    The next phase of the rail is under construction and will connect those three cities to Orlando. An Orlando-Tampa segment is gonna happen as well.

    It’s all mostly privately funded as well, which is great, because anything the government touches is guaranteed to take three times as long to complete

  29. My guess is Delta will add LAX-Miami flights if they think it’s a good market on its own and not for connecting flights. While LATAM has a bigger presence in Miami, they still have service between Lima and Santiago from LAX. Perhaps we’ll end up seeing more LATAM flights out of LAX in the future.

  30. Any competition that brings down the comparatively high Florida city to city fares is great in my book. Now, let’s work on competitive NS LAX-TPA (non-existent on AA and red-eye only on Delta), a route I fly frequently. My experience is all the AA connections are full and upgrades are rare.

  31. I’d sure love to see Delta add SEA-MIA with a widebody, even a 763 which they now schedule 1x daily SEA-ATL. It’s just so much more comfortable on a long transcon.

  32. While I’m sure many would love LAX-MIA, they probably want it for domestic O&D traffic. This market is probably saturated with (reluctantly) loyal AA flyers for the non-stop service.

    If Delta wanted to connect LA (and surrounding Southern CA region) with medium/large non-hub cities in the South East, wouldn’t they do through ATL? I suppose the next-gen aircraft like the A220 could do this economically, but isn’t LAX already constrained? I suppose MIA-LAX could be a bit of a “loss-leader” at some point to gain overall market share in the LA and Miami markets. Other than shifting excess capacity or lower yielding traffic through a secondary hub, I’m curious how MIA-LAX would make sense for LATAM feed.

    If LATAM connections are important on the West Coast, why not just provide feed to their flights at LAX? I recognize MIA has more LATAM service than LAX, but wouldn’t it more efficient to use one of LATAM’s hubs (e.g., SCL, LIM)? MIA seems like a long ride east to just to go south.

    Does MIA play a big role for west-coast AA flyers? Or, do they just head south from west-coast?

  33. 11 E75 flights, which explains RDU as they can use Endeavor planes and crew. This is very similar to how they slowly built up RDU, although a lot of RDU was CR9 instead of E75. Then you have SLC for the missionaries, as was previously mentioned.

    The question is whether we are going to see a city like TPA also connect to AUS, and start to build an Endeavor RJ mesh network.

  34. “What needs to happen, is a high speed rail connecting Miami, Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville.

    And we have airline industry lobby to thank for never gonna have those.”

    They’re literally building that right now, except for JAX. I doubt JAX will be connected to it. Not enough traffic for that to make financial sense. MIA to MCO to TPA is already under construction, though. A spur from MCO to WDW is also planned.

    To the people saying SLC and RDU are weird to add before LAX or DCA/IAD: No, they’re not. SLC is a major Delta hub and RDU is Delta’s largest focus city. Delta can route traffic from anywhere in the West to MIA via SLC. LAX would be much more out of the way to route people from most of the West to MIA, though I wouldn’t be surprised to see them eventually add that route, too.

    BNA and/or AUS also seem likely, both being growing DL focus cities. AUS is probably more likely than BNA, since ATL is already on the way to MIA from BNA, but not so much from AUS.

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