Chicago is facing a potentially life-threatening problem this week when its biggest charter flight company, Delta Air Lines, will shut down the entire website it was based in Chicago.
The Chicago-based company, which has operated for nearly 20 years, announced in a statement Tuesday that the site, which is the nation’s largest and largest destination for charter flights, will be temporarily shut down by Dec. 10.
That means that Chicago’s popular, popular charter flights will be unavailable for booking starting on Dec. 13, and the company will shut its doors for the foreseeable future.
Delta also said it will be closing up to two other Chicago-area sites that it owns: a charter flight booker and a charter airline.
The company did not say how many Chicago-bound flights will remain available for booking.
“Delta has been providing exceptional service for years and is proud of our customers, partners and communities, and our team members, many of whom are family members, colleagues and close friends, who are making Chicago their home and work places,” the company said in a release.
“We want to thank everyone who has supported us through this challenging time.”
Delta announced in December that it was shutting down its Chicago-only website in anticipation of the city’s upcoming December holiday.
The Chicago-focused site had more than 30,000 active users.
“We know this is a tough decision for our customers and partners, but the fact remains that Chicago has one of the most welcoming and welcoming communities in the country,” Delta Air CEO Ed Bastian said in the statement.
“Our focus now is on getting back to the business of helping people fly wherever they want, wherever they can get a flight.”
The Chicago area has more than 25,000 charter flights booked daily.
The shuttering of the Chicago site means that travelers in Chicago will be unable to book Delta flights from Chicago’s three Chicago-owned sites, Delta, Frontier and American.
Chicago-wide, Delta will also be unable provide direct flights to Chicago.
For more than a decade, Delta has been in the midst of a business slowdown that has resulted in a loss of about $1 billion in revenue.
The airline was previously the largest airline in the United States, but has lost market share to Southwest and United in recent years.
The loss has been a drag on the airline’s bottom line and forced it to reduce flights.
“Our customers are very grateful for Delta’s hard work and dedication to delivering the best possible experience for our loyal customers,” Chicago-Newark Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in an emailed statement.
The city’s tourism industry was the second-largest in the U.S. last year.