Delta Air Lines, which has grounded majority of its flights amid the coronavirus – related travel ban, said it plans to resume operations to several major routes in June. This also includes passenger flights to Shanghai in China, pending government approval.
Compared to May, Delta is adding around 100 more daily flights in June, both U.S. domestic and international, that were previously suspended. These include services out of its Atlanta hub and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.
Meanwhile, June schedule is significantly reduced in comparison to last year. Overall second-quarter schedule is expected to be 85 percent smaller than last year, with reductions of 80 percent in U.S. domestic capacity and 90 percent internationally.
The Atlanta-based carrier said the announced schedule, including routes and frequency, remains subject to change due to the evolving nature of COVID-19.
Within the country, Delta continues to provide flights to all U.S. hubs and top markets for critical travel needs, but with significantly lower frequency. The company has temporarily consolidated operations in some markets served by multiple airports, while it is adding more flights to its June schedule in comparison to May, primarily in Atlanta, New York and between hubs.
Delta also operates cargo-only scheduled service from Shanghai to Atlanta and Los Angeles, transporting medical supplies and other essential items.
In order to ensure safety amid the pandemic, Delta is asking customers and employees to wear face coverings throughout the travel journey. The airline has also implemented policies like capping seating between 50 and 60 percent to ensure customer spacing on all aircraft. Customers also have added flexibility if they need to change their plans.
Several airlines across the globe have significantly cut flight schedules in recent months after the rapid spread of the coronavirus sharply reduced demand for air travel.
In the U.S., the Transportation Security Administration screened 253,807 travelers on Monday, sharply lower than the 2.62 million travelers screened on the same day last year. However, the number is significantly higher compared to 87,534 travelers reported on April 14 amid the peak of Covid-19 crisis.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Transportation last week issued a second warning to airlines to issue refunds to passengers for canceled flights during the coronavirus pandemic after the agency saw a surge in complaints related to refunds.
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