Delta adds new international routes as travel demand grows

Delta adds new international routes as travel demand grows

Delta Air Lines is adding a handful of international routes to its schedule this winter as demand for international travel continues to grow across the industry.

Beginning December 17, the Atlanta-based airline will for the first time offer non-stop service from its largest hub in Atlanta to Cape Town, Africa and from Los Angeles to Tahiti, the largest island in French Polynesia. Beginning in May 2023, the airline is also scheduled to offer non-stop service from Atlanta to Tel Aviv, Israel.

With the new routes, the airline will offer a total of 10 weekly flights to South Africa and 13 weekly flights to Tel Aviv from three US hubs in Atlanta, Boston and New York.

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The airline reported earlier this month that it is making steady progress in returning international travel and has already returned to many international markets including Copenhagen, Seoul, Prague and Tokyo.

Passenger traveling by plane

A passenger walks past a Delta Airlines plane at Logan International Airport in Boston, Massachusetts, the United States, January 3, 2022. (REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo/Reuters)

“International consumer receipts showed significant improvement during the quarter as travel restrictions eased and many countries eliminated testing requirements, including the United States,” Glen Hauenstein, president of Delta Air Lines, told analysts during a conference call.

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According to Hauenstein, revenue in the Latin America and Transatlantic regions in June exceeded 2019 levels. He also noted that “the Pacific is accelerating as Korea and Australia have reopened and restrictions are being eased in Japan.”

So far, international travel accounts for about 60% of total bookings in September, which is “at a record level that’s much higher than what we experienced in June,” Hauenstein added.

Salt Lake City International Airport

Travelers will transit Salt Lake City International Airport in Salt Lake City on Thursday, June 2, 2022. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer/AP Newsroom)

Likewise, American Airlines chief financial officer Derek Kerr told analysts that business acceleration and international long-haul demand contributed to the airline’s strength in the three months to June.

ticker security Last change change %
DAL DELTA AIR LINES INC. 31.70 +0.20 +0.63%
EEL AMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP INC. 13.76 -0.21 -1.50%
UAL UNITED AIRLINES HOLDINGS INC. 36.74 +0.32 +0.88%

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“There’s a lot of catching up to do for people traveling internationally, wherever that may be, trans-Pacific, trans-Atlantic and long-haul to South America,” Chief Commercial Officer Vasu Raja told analysts. “And we expect that to remain the case throughout the year.”

Meanwhile, United Airlines said it had already resumed 24 international routes in the second quarter. The Chicago-based airline also announced a new weekly flight between Tokyo and Saipan starting in September.

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