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DL Routes To Caribbean Vs Other Airlines

Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:16 pm

I’ve noticed that Delta’s flights from JFK to the Caribbean seem to take a more circuitous route, staying much closer to land, than other airlines operating the same routes. Delta tends to head southwest along the East Coast to North Carolina, then turn southeast towards the islands. The other airlines (as has been my own experience flying to the Caribbean) generally head straight out to sea, on a more direct path. For example, compare the following, all on the same day:

JFK-SJU on Delta (738):
JFK-SJU on JetBlue (A320):

JFK-STT on Delta (757):
JFK-STT on American (757):

JFK-ANU on Delta (738):
EWR-ANU on Continental (738):

Delta seems to follow similar routes with both 757s and 737-800s, both of which should be capable of taking more direct routes from an ETOPS perspective. The fact that three other airlines took the more direct route on the same day (and that this seems to be the case almost every day) suggests that weather wasn’t an issue. Is there some cost savings associated with non-ETOPS routes that offsets the additional fuel costs from the increased flying time?
Common sense is not so common. -Voltaire
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RE: DL Routes To Caribbean Vs Other Airlines

Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:38 pm

The difference mostly is that some of the aircraft are HF equipped and some are not. Coastal routings are used to stay VHF.

I believe there was a benign area ETOPS issue recently as well.
Chicks dig winglets.
Topic Author
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Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2003 1:34 pm

RE: DL Routes To Caribbean Vs Other Airlines

Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:05 pm

Quoting XFSUgimpLB41X (Reply 1):

Thanks. Interestingly, after looking at more flights on FlightAware, it appears that this only just started around January 30. Before that, Delta was using the same routings as everyone else, but then they seem to have started the coastal routings on all Caribbean flights. So I wonder if this is a temporary issue affecting Delta.
Common sense is not so common. -Voltaire

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