Odd routes flown by Delta

I like to poke around routes that Airlines fly. When I check Delta, they had two weird routes, both which doesn’t connect to either Atlanta or Detroit (unless you’re flying later in the day).

Delta flies these routes (Tuesday March 12, 2019)

Delta #5368 (Operated by Endeavor)
Hartford, CT (BDL) - Cleveland, OH (CLE)
6:00am departure | 1hr 55min Non-Stop

Delta #500
Indianapolis, ID (IND) - Paris, France (CDG)
7:15pm Departure | 7hr 29min Non-Stop


I wonder why these routes exist, is it demand? What do you think? I thought flying between non-Hub cities wasn’t possible until I saw this. Must be pretty convenient not connecting in DTW and ATL when flying these routes.

Have you flown on one of these routes?

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DL has an international base at CDG. this is completely normal. as for the BDL one, i don’t really know.

In addition to the CDG route, DL also flies CVG-CDG (DL228), since they have bases in both Cincinnati and paris.

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RDU to Paris is a bit odd too if you consider the IND route to be odd. Both cities have primarily O&D traffic on the routes.

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I know about CVG, but that’s because it was once a Delta Hub (now just a mere Focus City. Sorry @Cbro4 for Delta dropping the hub status)

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RDU is now becoming a focus city for Delta, which is why I think they have that route.

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As mentioned the Paris one makes sense, they had one to KPIT till we got more transatlantic flights, and I bet there are a bunch of small flights not to a hub, I mean JetBlue, SWA, etc. don’t actually have hubs, so it’s definitely possible…

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Yea but IND isn’t really that big or beneficial as there are only eight other routes going to and from Indianapolis.

Correct. RDU-AUS is a fun route too. CRJ-900 metal.

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Yes I have flown IND-CDG.

I could also name a plethora of tiny towns in the south that Delta services out of Atlanta. New Bern, NC and Dothan, AL come to mind.

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IND is rapidly becoming a focus city for Delta. The airline is very popular here, and although they only have eight other routes so far, the vast majority are staffed by mainline jets multiple times a day.

Plus, the airport authority has been incredibly vocal about pushing for international service. Our traffic levels are now at a point where doing so is fairly sustainable.

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From working on the DLVA system, there are tons of very odd routes that delta operates outside of the standard hub network. I’d estimate there are 40 to 50 routes outside of hubs at areas where connections are several hours if not a day later…

LAS, DFW, KMCO are a few of these locations where you’ll find a bunch. MCO operates a flight to EGKK as a codeshare through delta

Out of their two European Hubs, Delta likes to bring upon routes that focus on majority business and leisure markets. That is why you see strictly business routes like IND-CDG, CVG-CDG, and RDU-CDG as they all bring in a lot of business traffic between the cities. A full biz class is much more profitable than a full Econ flight. An example of a few leisure routes would be TPA-AMS, MCO-AMS, or MCO-GRU. Delta eyes a large daily passenger travel between the cities on a point to point basis, enough to where they believe the route will be profitable.

Keep in mind these flights are all based on daily city to city pax number as these flights attract little to zero connecting traffic.

Even more interesting is Delta’s Cancun service where they serve over 20 US cities including IND, MKE, CMH, and BDL. They sure do have an interesting business model! 😁

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Actually the main reason the CVG-CDG flight exists is for P&G and GE.

If P&G needs to send people over to Europe, that’s the flight they use most of the time.

Same with GE,except not only the people, but also engine parts. With there being demand for GE engines and parts for repairs, it’s easiest just to send the parts on that flight with a mechanic or executive, instead of shipping them by boat.


But yes, it’s also nice for other businesses and leisure. 😊

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There’s also BDL-CUN operated by Delta.

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AKA: business lol

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You know, Delta also has a SJC-LAS route (flown by Delta Connection) and neither of those places are hubs or focus cities

In my hometown of KPDX, Delta operates daily flights to EHAM and RJAA and they are soon goiing to start operating to RJTT. EGLL is also a seasonal route.

RCTP-RJAA flown by Delta is weird. It is a flight that isn’t operated anymore by Delta, I think. And was always operated by a wide body aircraft. It’s a pity they don’t use wide bodies in domestic flight in the US.

I’m not sure if Delta still does, but I know at one point there was a RJAA-WSSS flight.