WNBA partners with Delta Air Lines to charter flights for entire season

Delta Air Lines has announced a groundbreaking partnership with the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), agreeing to charter the majority of the league’s game flights for the 2024 season. This move marks the first time that a league-wide charter program will be implemented for the WNBA, signaling a major advancement in women’s professional sports.

The decision to operate a fully-private charter program comes in response to the growing popularity of WNBA stars like Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese, who have brought increased attention to the league. Previously, charter flights were only allowed for specific circumstances, such as back-to-back games. However, after a video surfaced showing Indiana Fever players boarding a commercial flight to Dallas for a game, the need for private flights became evident.

Caitlin Clark, a standout player for the Fever, expressed excitement and gratitude for the new charter program, emphasizing how it will make travel and recovery easier for the players. Delta’s CEO Ed Bastian echoed this sentiment, stating that the airline is honored to add the WNBA to its roster of sports charter partners.

While the exact timeline for the start of these flights is still unknown, WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert emphasized the league’s commitment to putting players first. The full charter program is expected to cost around $25 million per year for the next two seasons, demonstrating the WNBA’s dedication to providing top-notch travel accommodations for its athletes.

Overall, this partnership between Delta Air Lines and the WNBA represents a significant step forward for women’s sports, showcasing a commitment to equality and professionalism within the league. By offering private charters for game travel, the WNBA is setting a new standard for the treatment of its players and solidifying its position as a premier professional sports league.

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