As Delta moves into the summer, the airline is adding nine new routes and expanding services on over 20 destinations. The airline is expecting a summer surge with expanded interest in domestic and short-haul international travel. As Delta takes delivery of some new jets and reactivates existing ones, the airline is ready to fight against its competitors for as many domestic leisure travelers as possible.

SEATTLE, WA – MARCH 15: A ground crew prepares to unload luggage from an arriving Delta Airlines flight at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on March 15, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. The state of Washington has over 600 confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) and U.S. airports have been crushed with returning citizens after restrictions on travel from Europe were implemented. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Delta expands service to the Mountain West

The Mountain West received a lot of attention from travelers in 2020, and it is looking again like a tourist hotspot in 2021. Already a pretty strong market for Delta, the carrier is doubling down with the following new flights:

  • Thrice-weekly service to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York from May 7th, increasing to daily service from May 28th
  • Daily service to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) from May 5th
  • Daily service to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) from May 28th
  • Saturday-only service to Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) from May 29th

A gateway to Yellowstone National Park and already anticipating a major increase in services this summer, Delta already serves BZN from its hubs in Atlanta, Minneapolis, and Salt Lake City.

From Glacier Park International Airport (FCA):

  • New daily service to LAX starting on May 28th
  • New weekend service to SEA starting on May 29th
  • Weekend service to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) starting from May 29th

Located in Montana, FCA is near Kalispell. These three routes will complement Delta’s existing twice-daily service to Minneapolis and four-times daily service to Salt Lake City this summer.

Delta Air Lines Airbus A320 commercial aircraft as seen on final approach landing at New York JFK John F Kennedy International Airport, US, on 23 January 2020. The Airbus A320-211 jet airplane has the registration N323US, 2x CFMI CFM56 engines. Delta Airlines DL DAL is the second largest airline in the world and member of SkyTeam aviation alliance. (Photo by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

From Missoula International Airport (MSO):

  • Weekend service to LAX begins on May 8th
  • Weekend service to ATL begins on May 29th

Missoula, also in Montana, is already served from both Salt Lake City and Minneapolis. Missoula is a gateway to more of Montana’s Glacier Country.

From Jackson Hole Airport (JAC):

  • Daily service to ATL, with an extra service on Saturdays beginning May 29th
  • Daily service to LAX and Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport (MSP) begins on May 28th
  • Saturday-only service to DTW launches on May 29th
  • Weekend service to SEA launches on May 29th

Delta already flies year-round service out of Salt Lake City to Jackson Hole.

From Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO):

  • New weekend service to SEA starts on May 8th

Reno will see three-times daily service to Los Angeles, nonstop service to Atlanta, and up to five daily flights to Salt Lake City this summer, in addition to the new Seattle flight.

More flights to leisure and outdoor destinations

Delta Air Lines is adding the following new flights to leisure and outdoor destinations:

From Fresno Yosemite International Airport (FAT):

  • Saturday-only service to SEA from May 29th

Fresno will also have daily service to Los Angeles and four times per day service to Salt Lake City this summer.

From Rapid City Regional Airport (RAP):

  • Weekend service to ATL begins on May 8th and increases to daily service from May 29th
  • Weekend service to DTW begins on May 29th

The main airport for travelers heading to Mount Rushmore, in South Dakota, Delta already flies up to four daily flights to Minneapolis and a daily flight to Salt Lake City.

In addition, Delta is expanding up and down the Eastern seaboard.

New Saturday-only service from Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) to Hilton Head Island Airport (HHH) launches on May 8th. Also, out of Boston, Delta will launch weekend service to Myrtle Beach International Airport (MYR), Norfolk International Airport (ORF), and Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV) on May 8th.

New daily service from Cherry Capital Airport (TVC) in Traverse City to Atlanta from May 29th, New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA) from May 5th, and BOS from May 9th. Daily MSP service begins on May 5th and increases to three daily trips from the Memorial Day weekend.

LaGuardia is getting additional service this summer as well. New daily service to Wilmington International Airport (ILM) will begin on May 5th. Daily service to Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) also begins on the same day.

Expanded Northeastern service

Bangor International Airport (BGR), where Delta stopped serving during the pandemic, returned to the airline’s network earlier this month. Now, Delta will offer daily service from BOS to BGR on May 5th. Meanwhile, Saturday service to BGR from both ATL and DTW will launch on May 8th.

Georgia, Atlanta, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Delta Airlines, planes on tarmac. (Photo by: Jeff Greenberg/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Nantucket Memorial Airport (ACK) will also get increased Delta service this summer with twice-daily flights to JFK from May 28th and Saturday and Sunday service to LGA beginning on May 29th. Nearby, Martha’s Vineyard Airport (MVY) will also get twice-daily Delta service to JFK from May 29th

Burlington International Airport (BTV) will see daily service to Atlanta from May 5th.

Restarting more Caribbean services

Delta is resuming services to four additional Caribbean destinations starting on June 5th:

  • Daily service from ATL and Saturday-only service from JFK to Own Roberts International Airport (GCM) in the Cayman Islands
  • Saturday-only service from both ATL and JFK to Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport (SKB) in St. Kitts
  • Twice-weekly service to Juan Manuel Gálvez International Airport (RTB) in Roatán, Honduras
  • Twice-weekly service to Flamingo International Airport (BON) in Bonaire

Delta grows its domestic leisure market

With long-haul international travel demand at some of its lowest levels in recent history, Delta Air Lines is busy using its idle planes to grow its domestic network.

This summer, Delta will offer more service to Montana than any other airline. At the same time, the carrier is bolstering its core hubs and giving some attention to its coastal hubs, where the recovery has been a little slower.

This recent growth comes after Delta announced expanded service to Alaska for the summer, prompting a little rebuke from namesake carrier Alaska Airlines.

Heading into the summer, airlines anticipate a surge as more Americans become vaccinated and travel restrictions start to come down. Several states, ranging from Alaska to New York, have made it easier for domestic travelers to visit.

Leisure tourism is highly likely to pick up this year. Delta is trying to capitalize on the expected surge as much as possible by laying on as many domestic flights to leisure destinations as possible. In 2020, the airline focused on rebuilding its core network, so it did not participate in a large surge of new flights to leisure destinations like some of its competitors did.

This year, Delta is making sure not to leave as large a gulf between its leisure US service and its competitors. These new routes to core hubs will help the airline shore up connections and fill up its planes. Delta is focused on ensuring it can turn a profit over having a large market share.

Some of these routes may only be around for a year or two. Once international long-haul flights come back, Delta will likely see some traffic to destinations like Jackson Hole or Savannah divert to destinations like Zurich or Cape Town. However, with international long-haul travel coming back slowly, and perhaps not until 2022 or 2023, Delta is likely to see some success on these domestic routes.

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