Northwest Airlines recently requested the FAA to delay 2 of its direct routes to China that were supposed to begin in early 2009, adding its name to a long list that already includes a number of its competitors, all due to the economic crisis.
Northwest's request was to delay the startup dates for its 2 routes up to a year, the routes in question are Detroit-Shanghai and Seattle-Beijing. The other airlines have all been given deferments of these routes already, and these will affect the following:
US Airways: Philadelphia-Beijing
United: San Francisco-Guangzhou
Continental: Newark-Beijing, Newark-Shanghai
Some of these are deferments and others are changes from daily service to seasonal service. All of these are consequences of the current economic crisis and the desire of the airlines to save fuel costs (this is, of course, despite the fact fuel costs have largely fallen to the cheapest its been in years). Airline penny pinching has travelers frustrated as the planes have been downsized as much as is safely possible (now 777's doing international service) and cutbacks have been taking place (charging for alcohol).
So much for flying the friendly skies.