Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) said Monday it intends to add nearly 1,000 flights systemwide in July, boosting service to both popular summer tourist destinations and major business markets in response to growing demand for air travel.
Delta and other airlines dramatically reduced their schedules in March and April as the COVID-19 pandemic caused demand for air travel to plummet. But airlines in recent weeks have indicated that demand seems to have bottomed out in April, and the industry is beginning to rebuild its schedule heading into peak summer travel.
Even with the additions, Delta said its July schedule will be about 70% smaller than a year ago, with international flights down nearly 75%.
Delta is focused on adding flights from its hubs in Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis, and Salt Lake City, with an emphasis on adding capacity to popular leisure markets like Florida and to West Coast destinations. The airline is also adding transcontinental flying aimed at business travelers.
International expansion will be focused on the Caribbean and other beach destinations, with new service also expected to be added to select European and Asian destinations, pending the lifting of border restrictions.
Delta is capping seating capacity at 60% of the main cabin and 50% in first class and blocking middle seats through Sept. 30 to try to reassure customers it is safe to fly. Customers also have the ability to change their plans without fees for new flights purchased through June 30.