Delta outlines long-haul rebuild

More routes are returning to Delta Air Lines’ long-haul network during the upcoming winter and summer seasons, but some destinations like Mumbai and Osaka are not currently scheduled to resume.

Delta Air Lines is planning to resume more transatlantic and transpacific services to “top business and leisure destinations” during the winter 2020/21 and summer 2021 seasons, although some routes appear to be suspended indefinitely.

The Atlanta-based carrier said that while pre-COVID level recovery for international flying is likely to continue to lag US domestic, it intends to add more than 50 transoceanic flights next summer, compared to the summer 2020 schedule.

The SkyTeam member added it would “focus its strengths in its core markets and with the support of its partners, offer customers a wide array of onward connections.” However, that means some niche destinations like Copenhagen (CPH), Dusseldorf (DUS), Mumbai (BOM), Osaka (KIX) and Shannon (SNN) are not currently scheduled to resume.

In addition, all the airline’s long-haul routes from Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP) and Portland (PDX) are either canceled or suspended during the upcoming winter season.

“While significant hurdles remain in the global fight against the pandemic, we are ready to connect customers to the people, places, opportunities and experiences they’re longing for,” Delta SVP network planning Joe Esposito said.

Delta will operate the adjusted schedule with a fleet of Airbus A350-900s, A330-900neos and refurbished Boeing 767s, following the retirement of its Boeing 777 aircraft by the end of October 2020.

In the transatlantic market the carrier plans to resume six long-haul routes in September, adding flights from Atlanta (ATL) to Lagos (LOS); Boston (BOS) to London Heathrow (LHR); and New York John F Kennedy (JFK) to Accra (ACC), Barcelona (BCN), Madrid (MAD) and Rome (FCO).

In October, Delta will add service from JFK to Brussels (BRU), Dublin (DUB), Frankfurt (FRA) and Zurich (ZRH), alongside Seattle (SEA) to Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG). Flights between BOS and CDG will return in November.

Following this resumption of service in the fall, Delta expects to maintain a similar schedule across the Atlantic through winter 2021.

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Moving into next summer, the carrier will expand its hub-to-hub flying between the US and Europe, offering nonstop daily service to Amsterdam (AMS), CDG and LHR from ATL, BOS, Detroit (DTW), JFK and MSP.

From SEA and Salt Lake City (SLC), passengers will have nonstop daily access to AMS and CDG, while Delta’s Los Angeles (LAX) hub will offer nonstop service to CDG. This expansion also marks a restart of transatlantic service for LAX, MSP and SLC.

Additionally, the airline will add back service to CDG from focus cities Cincinnati (CVG) and Raleigh-Durham (RDU), as well as service to AMS from PDX.

In the transpacific market, Delta plans to operate service from SEA to Seoul Incheon (ICN), Shanghai (PVG) and Tokyo Haneda (HND) in winter, but Beijing Daxing (PKX) remains suspended until summer 2021 and Osaka Kansai (KIX) is not scheduled to return.

Other services to east Asia which remain canceled during winter include DTW-PKX, DTW-Nagoya (NGO) and PDX-HND.

Between the US and China, Delta said it was “working closely” with governments in both countries to increase service “in response to high demand.” The airline currently operates 4X-weekly flights to PVG from DTW and SEA.

Subject to approval, the carrier hopes to operate daily service between PVG and DTW, SEA and LAX, plus daily service connecting SEA with PKX.

To Australia, Delta plans to maintain a minimum of 3X-weekly flights between LAX and Sydney (SYD) before resuming daily service in 2021. The flight will be operated on Airbus 350-900 aircraft beginning in November.

Photo credit: Joe Pries