Delta resuming more, but not all, international routes

Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Delta Air Lines will start flying more international routes out of Atlanta now that restrictions on travelers from other countries have loosened.

Like other airlines, Delta slashed its flights last year because of the coronavirus pandemic and has since added back much of its service.

But the airline still has fewer flights than it did pre-pandemic. This month, Delta is operating up to 793 flights a day from Atlanta. In November 2019, Delta operated up to 1,084 flights a day from the city.

Atlanta-based Delta plans to restart service to Munich from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on Dec. 13.

And, on May 1, Delta will resume flights from Atlanta to Milan for the first time since summer 2019.

The moves come after U.S. officials on Nov. 8 eased restrictions for travelers from 33 countries if they have proof of vaccination and negative COVID-19 test results.

Delta is also increasing its service from Atlanta to its Amsterdam hub to three flights a day, and bumping up its flights from Atlanta to London and Rome to twice daily. Delta’s foreign carrier partners Air France, KLM and Virgin Atlantic have restarted most of their flights from Atlanta to Europe.

Other carriers that suspended flights to Atlanta during the COVID-19 pandemic have all restarted service. And service has been added from Hartsfield-Jackson to some foreign cities. Copa Airlines will launch its first flights from Atlanta on Dec. 12, with a route to Panama City, Panama. Low-cost carrier Frontier Airlines, which has opened a flight attendant base in Atlanta, started its first international service from Hartsfield-Jackson this month, with flights to Cancun and Montego Bay.

Delta’s service from Hartsfield-Jackson now includes hundreds of domestic flights to locations around the country, as well as 38 routes to Latin America, seven trans-Atlantic routes, two routes to Asia and two routes to Canada. By next summer, the airline expects to have 14 trans-Atlantic routes.

“With the lifting of restrictions to the U.S. and abroad, plus growing vaccination rates and tremendous pent-up demand, travel to Europe is expected to surge next summer,” Delta senior vice president of network planning Joe Esposito said in a written statement.

Among the international routes Delta hasn’t yet added back to its route map are flights from Atlanta to: Brussels; Dusseldorf and Stuttgart, Germany; Zurich; Shanghai; Vancouver, Canada; Havana; Grenada; Cozumel, Mexico; Santiago, Dominican Republic; Cartagena, Colombia; Port-au-Prince, Haiti; Managua, Nicaragua; Freeport, Bahamas; and Tegucigalpa, Honduras. It tentatively aims to restart service to Grand Cayman next March.

The airline said it continues to monitor demand and will adjust its schedule accordingly.

But for the Atlanta-Shanghai route, Delta said travel to China is still limited by government restrictions and it now only has approval to fly there from Seattle and Detroit.

And Delta said the effects of Hurricane Dorian continue to prevent its flights to Marsh Harbour in the Bahamas.