Delta says it has seen a surge in bookings for international flights in the six weeks since the US government announced plans to relax incoming travel restrictions.
The carrier has reported a 450 per cent increase in international point-of-sale bookings compared with the six weeks prior to the announcement.
It added that “many international flights are expected to operate 100 per cent full on Monday November 8” – the date when the US will reopen its doors to vaccinated travellers from most countries.
Delta said that there had been strong demand across both leisure and business travellers, highlighting popular destinations including New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Boston and Orlando.
In total the carrier will operate 139 flights from 55 international destinations in 38 countries on November 8, equating to over 25,000 seats.
Flight DL106 from Sao Paulo to Atlanta will be Delta’s first international flight to touch down in the US under the new rules, with a scheduled arrival time of 0935 on Monday.
The airline said that it would increase flights this winter on keys routes from European cities including London-Boston, Detroit and New York-JFK; Amsterdam-Boston; Dublin-New York-JFK; Frankfurt-New York-JFK and Munich-Atlanta.
Last month Delta reported a third quarter profit of $216 million, excluding some $1.3 billion in payroll support from the US government, with domestic and Latin American markets leading the recovery.
Transatlantic revenues were only at 35 per cent compared to the same period in 2019, although this figure was up 20 points over the quarter, “driven by border reopenings”.
“This is the start of a new era for travel and for many people around the world who have not been able to see loved ones for almost two years,” said Ed Bastian, Delta’s CEO.
“While we have seen many countries reopen their borders to American visitors over the summer, our international customers have not been able to fly with us or visit the US.
“All of that changes now. We’re grateful to the US government for lifting travel restrictions and are looking forward to reuniting families, friends and colleagues over the coming days and weeks.”