Delta Air Lines is coming back in Boston. On Thursday, May 20th, Delta launched a new route between Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) and Reykjavik’s Keflavik International Airport (KEF) in Iceland. The route is the latest launch focused on expanding the carrier’s presence in the city and rebuilding the airline’s Boston hub.
Delta inaugurates new route out of Boston
Flight DL266 took off from BOS at 22:36 local time. The Boeing 757-200 spent four hours and 55 minutes in the air before touching down in Iceland at 07:31 local time the next morning, according to data from RadarBox.com.
The route was announced shortly after Iceland stated it would open up for vaccinated Americans. Delta is using 193-seat Boeing 757-200s on the route. This aircraft features 20 recliner seats branded as “Delta Premium Select.” This premium economy cabin is the same as Delta’s recliner-style first class on domestic routes.
There are also 41 extra-legroom economy seats on the aircraft. Lastly, there are 132 standard economy seats. All passengers will have access to on-demand seatback entertainment, WiFi, and power outlets.
Flights are scheduled to run daily, departing BOS at 22:25 and arriving in KEF at 07:45 the next morning. The return flight departs KEF at 10:15 and arrives in BOS at 12:00 on a daily operation. All times are local.
Amy Martin, Delta’s Managing Director – International Network Planning, stated the following on the new route:
“As the first European country to reopen to U.S. tourists, we’ve seen increased demand for travel to Iceland this summer versus 2019. After a year of limited international travel, Americans are actively seeking new adventures this summer and the addition of our new Boston service will allow more than 350 more customers each day to enjoy the diverse landscapes of this island compared to 2019.”
Rebuilding the Boston hub
In 2019, Delta Air Lines officially declared Boston as a hub. That year, the airline took over all of the gates at Terminal A at BOS and set the stage for significant expansion in 2020. The airline plotted new service to the UK, connecting London-Gatwick (LGW) and Manchester (MAN).
Meanwhile, Delta focused on building up its business and leisure-focused route network out of the city on the domestic front. This included expanding operations to the West Coast, southern US, and Florida.
This year, Delta will be bringing the Airbus A220-100 on a new route from Boston to Dallas (DFW). It will also upgauge Cincinnati (CVG) service to an A220-100 while adding Embraer E175-operated flights to Charlotte (CLT).
This summer, Delta will fly 85 daily flights to 37 destinations. This is a lower daily flight count than what Delta had planned in years before, but the recent downturn in travel has impacted its plans in Boston. However, flights to Rome are set to launch this year.
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Not without competition
Boston is also a very competitive market. The new American-JetBlue Northeastern Alliance is bringing growth to Boston, and Delta is at risk of losing market share in Boston. JetBlue is the largest airline out of Boston and is Delta’s most significant competitor in the city.
The new routes to Dallas and Charlotte are to American’s home territories and most profitable hubs. While Delta is not coming with a significant amount of capacity on the route, American will be fine. Delta will be able to market to Boston passengers an alternate option to both cities.
Delta’s Boston hub is still smaller than its New York operations, and New York is a larger air market than Boston. Nevertheless, Delta is committed to serving New York as its Boston hub is starting to come back in earnest.
With the crisis starting to pass and travel coming back, the future is bright for Boston for Delta. However, the airline will need to contend with a very competitive environment.
Are you glad that Delta is building back in Boston? Let us know in the comments!