Delta Air Lines is bringing back more flights out of New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). The carrier will be resuming dormant routes to Prague and Copenhagen and bringing its international premium economy product to more customers as it works on a retrofit of its Airbus A330 and Boeing 767 fleet. Altogether, summer 2022 will be a huge year for Delta’s transatlantic network as it comes out of the crisis.
Prague and Copenhagen are back
Two dormant routes are coming back out of New York: Prague (PRG) and Copenhagen (CPH). Both routes will be operated by a Boeing 767-300ER featuring the carrier’s Premium Select product. These routes had flown pre-crisis, but Delta cut them during the crisis and this summer.
These additions are not necessarily too surprising. Both are popular summer seasonal destinations. Moreover, when Delta announced it was hiring new flight attendants, Danish and Czech language of destination positions were open, indicating Delta was looking to make a return to both markets.
This is on top of Delta’s returning transatlantic markets. Several routes will see an increase in frequencies compared to 2019-levels. This is especially true to Italy, where Delta is seeing some opportunities. This is unsurprising given Alitalia’s demise and structural headwinds against ITA.
Bringing premium products to JFK
Delta Air Lines will be bringing even more premium products to New York next year. Cities ranging from Dublin to Edinburgh to São Paulo to Copenhagen to Prague to Dakar, and more will see the airline fly retrofitted aircraft featuring a dedicated international premium economy product.
Passengers next year flying on any of Delta’s widebodies out of JFK can expect a premium economy product to be available. In May, Delta announced it was finally getting around to adding its Premium Select cabin to the Boeing 767-300ERs and Airbus A330s.
On Delta’s third-quarter earnings call on Wednesday, the carrier’s President, Glen Hauenstein, stated the following:
“I think one of the exciting things that we want to talk more about next year is by next summer, all of our long-haul international will have our new premium economy. So that’s another thing we’re working on. And premium economy is really a new class. We started it in 2019. We didn’t get very far with it. But by the time we come out of the pandemic in 2022 to most – all of Europe will have the new premium economy seats which is something along the lines of a little bit better than domestic first class and a class that we’re really excited about.”
While this comes at the expense of some economy class capacity, though only by a few overall seats, Delta can earn a higher revenue premium with premium economy, making up for it. Nevertheless, this is a positive development when it comes to product standardization.
On all of Delta’s long-haul flights, the airline expects to be flying an economy, extra-legroom economy, premium economy, and international business class cabin. Note that this timeline may change, as some flights to destinations outside of Europe are not yet showing premium economy available yet.
Nearly every cabin, except for business class, will be standardized. Delta’s newest business class product, the Delta One Suites, will only be available on the Airbus A350s and A330-900neos. The A330-200s and A330-300s will feature reverse herringbone Delta One seats, with a little refresh. The 767-300ERs will feature the carrier’s staggered, forward-facing configuration, with some updated accents. Lastly, the 767-400ERs will offer a modified version of the Delta One Suite, though without a door.
Stay informed: Sign up for our daily and weekly aviation news digests.
Some routes are not back yet
Dubrovnik, which was launched this year, is not on the schedule for next year, though passengers will still be able to book flights via a connection on Delta’s partners. Malaga, which was cut pre-crisis, is also staying off the schedules. Over in Ireland, Delta has no plans to fly to Shannon, while Glasgow is also staying off the schedule.
An interesting city that is off of Delta’s network next year so far is Berlin. United Airlines recently announced a host of new routes, including a new connection between Washington D.C. and Berlin. Nevertheless, Delta’s transatlantic schedule next year is starting to reflect a changing world, and a move to shore up the premium leisure segment that has been performing so well for the airline.