Delta Is Adding Flights to These 6 Major Cities, Starting Dec. 17
The airline is beefing up international offerings and adding new features to some domestic flights.
It wasn't too long ago that airlines were struggling with a lack of passengers and demand for flights. But now that air travel has rebounded to pre-pandemic levels, carriers are faced with serious logistical issues that have led to delays and cancellations over the busy summer season. Many airlines have responded to pilot and staffing shortages by cutting back routes and daily departures to ensure planes will leave on time. However, others are still rearranging routes to take advantage of the increased passenger demand—including Delta Air Lines, which has announced that it will be adding flights to six major cities in the coming months. Read on to see which destinations will soon have more departure options.
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Airline executives have recently apologized for their poor performance records.
The airline industry's latest woes have not gone unnoticed by travelers and government officials. Now, executives have begun to offer their outlooks and explanations on how they plan on remedying the problem, with some even apologizing for the current state of flying.
"This quarter's operational performance has not been up to our industry-leading standard," Ed Bastian, CEO of Delta Air Lines, told CNBC during an interview with CNBC on July 13, per The Points Guy. He also added that the airline "pushed too hard" and had "scaled back a bit" to help relieve ongoing issues.
Fortunately, Bastian said that his airline's schedule changes have already yielded results, noting a 99.2 percent completing factor and only 25 cancellations through the first 11 days of July thanks to cut flights. But now, the carrier plans to beef up departures in some areas as it regains its footing.
Delta is adding new flights to seven major cities in the coming months.
On July 29, Delta Air Lines announced it would add new flights to its schedule that would affect six major destinations. Beginning on Dec. 17, the airline will kick off nonstop service between Los Angeles (LAX) and Tahiti (PPT) and between Atlanta (ATL) and Cape Town, South Africa (CPT) for the first time, with three flights per week for each. And beginning on May 8 of next year, the carrier will also be relaunching service between Atlanta and Tel Aviv, Israel (TLV) for the first time since it discontinued the route in 2011 with three weekly flights, Simple Flying reports.
But it's not just international destinations that will be affected. Delta is also relaunching nonstop service between Miami (MIA) and Los Angeles on Dec. 17 for the first time since 2018, The Points Guy reports.
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The airline has recently noticed a surge in international travel demand.
According to Delta, the past several months have seen "steady progress" in demand for international travel as travel restrictions and testing requirements related to the COVID-19 pandemic began to ease. On top of the latest Tahiti, Cape Town, and Tel Aviv announcements, the airline has also recently restarted routes it grounded over the past few years, including flights to Seoul, South Korea; Prague, Czech Republic; Tokyo, Japan; and Copenhagen, Denmark.
"Offering our customers new and additional access to these international cultural powerhouses is central to our unwavering commitment to connect the world," Joe Esposito, Delta's Senior Vice President of Network Planning, said in a press release. "As we continue to invest in our leading-airline position in Atlanta and Los Angeles, we know our customers will enjoy unparalleled connectivity to Delta's global network, coupled with our award-winning hospitality, whether they're traveling for business or pleasure."
The airline is also upping amenities on certain long-haul domestic flights in the coming months.
Even passengers staying within the U.S. could see a significant upgrade on upcoming flights. The airline also announced that it would be adding Premium Select seating to long-haul domestic flights to Hawaii for the first time, including service between Atlanta and Kahului, Maui (OGG); New York (JFK) to Honolulu (HNL); and Salt Lake City (SLC) to Maui, The Points Guy reports. The new seating option will become available starting Nov. 19.
The change will give passengers who choose to upgrade to the higher tier "more space to relax and stretch out with a wider seat with deeper recline and an adjustable footrest and leg rest" as well as "upgraded amenity kits, noise-canceling headsets, blankets, and memory-foam pillows to help them arrive rested and refreshed," according to Delta's press release.