On April 24th, US carrier Delta Air Lines released a list of international services that will begin in May. While international capacity will be down almost 90%, select routes will see scheduled flights operate again, allowing for the movement of people and cargo.
The reinstated routes
Most of the announced resumptions are on routes within North and South America. Major overseas routes to Asia, Australia, Europe, and Africa will remain suspended for the time being. Most of those countries are still under significant travel restrictions if not a complete lockdown.
- Detroit to Montreal
- Detroit to Toronto
- New York-JFK to Toronto
- Seattle to Vancouver
Another three will operate on less than daily frequencies. A quick search on Google Flights sees these routes will fly about five times per week:
- Detroit to Ottawa
- Minneapolis to Calgary
- Minneapolis to Edmonton
To the Caribbean, two routes will resume out of New York-JFK while five will resume out of Atlanta.:
- Atlanta to Nassau
- Atlanta to Providenciales (Saturday only)
- Atlanta to St. Croix (Saturday only)
- Atlanta to St. Thomas
- Atlanta to San Juan, Puerto Rico
- New York-JFK to Santiago, Dominican Republic
- New York-JFK to Santo Domingo
All Central American routes depart from Delta’s largest hub in Atlanta:
- Guatemala City, Guatemala
- Liberia, Costa Rica
- San Jose, Costa Rica
- San Pedro Sula, Honduras
- San Salvador, El Savlador
To Mexico, Delta will resume service from both Atlanta and Salt Lake City to Mexico City and a separate flight from Atlanta to Cancun. To South America, five flights will depart Delta’s largest hub in Atlanta from the second half of May, most about three times per week:
- Buenos Aires (Boeing 767-300ER)
- Lima (Boeing 767-300ER)
- Quito (Boeing 757-200)
- Santiago, Chile (Boeing 767-400ER)
- Sao Paulo (Boeing 767-400ER)
Across the pond, to Europe, Delta will fly from Detroit and Atlanta to Amsterdam daily and Atlanta to Paris-Charles de Gaulle. The flight from Detroit will operate with an Airbus A350-900. Meanwhile, both transatlantic flights departing Atlanta will fly with an Airbus A330-300.
From Seattle, Delta will fly Airbus A330-900neo aircraft to Seoul and Tokyo-Haneda. Meanwhile, an Airbus A350-900 will operate the same flights out of Detroit.
The importance of these routes
Most of these routes are places where Delta has a strong source of revenue. Transatlantic and transpacific routes are mainly to partner hubs, with the exception being Tokyo-Haneda. Although Delta has been pretty upbeat about getting slots at Haneda, which may be part of the carrier’s calculus on these routes.
In addition, to South America, Delta is launching services to key destinations that also serve as hubs for its new partner- LATAM, which has arms in Brazil, Argentina, Peru, and its main base in Santiago. Modern cabins are available on 767-400ER flights to Santiago and Sao Paulo. With these cities, Delta can leverage some additional connections to get people where they need to go.
In total, Delta will cut 90% of its international capacity in May. Domestic capacity is down about 80%, with the carrier meeting the minimum essential services as mandated by the US Department of Transportation. This schedule is likely to change in the coming weeks. Additional government restrictions may lead to some routes being suspended. Alternately, we could see reopenings due to increased demand, with other cities added to the list. Information about other flights is currently not available.
Leisure travel is something that should be avoided for now. Governments are taking this issue seriously, and passengers may be faced with quarantines on either end of their travels. Most likely, Delta is opening these flights up to get people home and facilitate the movement of crucial cargo.
Will you take any of these international flights in May? Let us know in the comments!