Delta Air Lines is adding new routes from Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) in 2022 in a bid to better compete against the American-JetBlue Northeast Alliance. The new flights to Athens and Tel Aviv are not new destinations for Delta but represent a further growth in the carrier’s long-haul international network to complement its other hubs, namely New York and Atlanta.
Delta adds new routes from Boston
Delta Air Lines loaded five new routes to Boston, including two new long-haul routes. Next summer, Delta will fly three weekly flights from Boston to Athens International Airport (ATH) and Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport (TLV), respectively, according to schedules on Cirium. Tel Aviv will start on May 26th, while Athens will begin on May 27th.
Domestically, Delta is also adding three new destinations. This includes five daily flights to Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI), a daily flight to Denver International Airport (DEN), and a daily flight to San Diego International Airport (SAN).
Expanding its long-haul portfolio out of Boston
Delta Air Lines has slowly been building up its presence out of Boston. Its newest hub, the airline has a robust 2022 planned from BOS. Next year, Delta will fly the following long-haul routes out of Boston:
The long-haul routes are part of Delta’s hub expansion in Boston. On the newest route to Tel Aviv, Delta will fly the Airbus A330-900neo. Delta’s A330neos seat 281 passengers in a three-class configuration. This includes 29 of the carrier’s Delta One Suites – its latest and greatest lie-flat business class product with a door. Following this are 28 Premium Select seats, which is Delta’s true premium economy product.
Rounding out the cabin are 56 Delta Comfort+ (extra-legroom economy) seats and 168 standard economy seats. All seats feature access to WiFi, power, and on-demand entertainment via seatback screens.
To Athens, Delta will fly an Airbus A330-300. These aircraft are currently undergoing a retrofit to feature new Premium Select seats and could end up flying this route.
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Bringing the heat to Boston
A former Delta hub cut years ago and is starting to come back, the airline is doubling down on its commitment to the city. This is in the face of the Northeast Alliance between JetBlue and American Airlines. Boston is now firmly a hub for Delta.
Boston is also a major city in the Northeast Alliance between American Airlines and JetBlue. Those two airlines have announced some growth out of Boston, but almost all of it has been domestic and short-haul international flying. JetBlue and American are the two largest carriers out of Boston, but Delta is rapidly expanding and has the potential to mount a serious challenge to these airlines – which it is indeed planning on doing.
While the Northeast Alliance is facing a lawsuit from the Department of Justice (DOJ) over claims it is anticompetitive, the result has certainly not been the same in the marketplace. In fact, Delta’s Boston growth and its return is happening in the shadow of the Northeast Alliance.
For Delta, these new routes have some importance. For one, American does not fly either route of Boston, but both out of New York-JFK. With Delta and American both selling connecting itineraries to Athens and Atlanta, Delta may not be a compelling option if American has a better schedule and price. So, Delta adding nonstop out of Boston will help it have a leg-up on those travelers.
Furthermore, Delta is also building up somewhat of a transatlantic connecting market out of Boston. While there is undoubtedly some nonstop traffic from Baltimore, Denver, and San Diego for flights to Boston, Delta can also sell onward connections to destinations in Europe and relieve connecting pressure on its hubs in New York and Atlanta. All three of those domestic routes are competitive, with multiple carriers flying some routes.
Ultimately, Delta is creating more options for its customers and showing Boston how important it is to the airline. Whether American or JetBlue respond remains to be seen. However, American has plenty of widebodies left on order and the Airbus A321XLR on the way, which will certainly be used to add new flying out of Boston, primarily to support the Northeast Alliance.