Delta and United have announced plans to reduce flights to the U.K. this winter following the Brexit vote last month.
According to USA Today, “The trimming at both airlines followed the Brexit vote … which hurt [the] currency and reduced the demand for foreign travel. Delta and United executives each said summer trans-Atlantic travel remains strong, but that winter would suffer.”
Specifically, United will reduce the number of flights between Dulles in Washington, D.C., and Manchester, fly smaller plans between Dulles and Heathrow, and reduce flights between Newark and Birmingham.
Last week, Delta revealed it would cut flights to the U.K. by 6 percent, citing “persistent headwinds” in the region. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the cuts are “focused on leisure travel from the U.K. to the United States,” and that Delta will “trim flights on off-peak days and downgrade to smaller jets in some leisure markets such as flights from Manchester, and service to Florida, Las Vegas and New York.” USA Today adds that Delta has already lost $40 million in currency exchanges alone due to the plummeting pound.
It’s important to note that while Delta’s decision certainly limits capacity for U.S. travelers, the reason for it is reduced demand for travel from the U.K. This move is really about how the depressed pound is discouraging travel originating in the U.K. That same math makes travel to the U.K. from the U.S. a good value—your dollar will go farther on the ground in the U.K., and fares may remain low while the situation stabilizes.
Still, this is among the first of what will likely be many travel-related repercussions from the Brexit vote.
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