Delta Cargo shuts Chicago airport facility for 9 days

Date: Monday, November 30, 2020
Source: Freight Waves

Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) has shut its cargo facility at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport through Dec. 2 for what a spokesperson said was due to “an unforeseen staffing issue.”

In a message to customers on Monday, Delta Cargo said it is not accepting, delivering or transferring any shipments. Dispatch of inbound and outbound trucks is also unavailable, effective immediately, it added.

Atlanta-based Delta operates one international cargo-only service from Chicago to Frankfurt, Germany, that is affected by the embargo. The airline will reroute shipments to its scheduled New York or Atlanta flights to Frankfurt, spokesperson Debbie Sheehan said in an email.

This is the second time in five months Delta Cargo has temporarily closed its O’Hare warehouse. In late June, the facility closed for two days. No reason was given, but the airport was experiencing overall shortages of ground crews to handle cargo after many were furloughed when the coronavirus wiped out most passenger business.

Chicago is not one of Delta’s U.S. hubs, so the impact on the overall network from the cargo building’s closure will be muted. But shippers that use Delta to reach Chicago will likely feel the impact.

Delta Cargo, according to its schedule, offers one widebody daily domestic flight — Chicago to Atlanta roundtrip with an Airbus A330. The rest of its daily domestic passenger schedule via Chicago runs with standard aircraft:

  • Chicago – Atlanta: Airbus A320/A330 two times daily
  • Chicago – New York (LaGuardia):  A220 regional jet
  • Chicago- Seattle: Boeing 737
  • Chicago- Salt Lake City:  (A220)

The impact might be less than a normal week because domestic air cargo typically slows a bit for the Thanksgiving holiday. Shipments that fly in passenger aircraft bellies will have to be shuttled between other U.S. airports until the embargo lifts.


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