Delta Takes Off to New European Destinations Next Summer

Post originally Published November 10, 2023 || Last Updated November 11, 2023

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Delta Takes Off to New European Destinations Next SummerDelta Takes Off to New European Destinations Next Summer - More Sun and Fun Ahead

As temperatures start to drop across much of the country, many travelers are already daydreaming about sun-soaked getaways to warmer climates. With an expanded route map headed into the summer 2023 season, Delta is giving flyers even more options for chasing rays and reveling in the sand and surf.

New nonstop service to top European beach destinations out of Delta's East Coast hubs will make it easier than ever for customers to swap their puffy coats for swimsuits and shades. We're talking direct access to the azure waters of the Mediterranean, crashing waves of the Atlantic coast, and exotic island life in the Canaries and beyond.

For Bostonians dreaming of European vacations, daily nonstops to Lisbon launch in May. The Portuguese capital boasts a balmy climate and is also a convenient gateway to the stunning beaches of the Algarve region, renowned for breathtaking ocean vistas and world-class golf. Out of JFK, new nonstops to Malaga put the iconic resort towns of Spain's Costa del Sol within easy reach. Lounge on the sands of Torremolinos, indulge in chiringuito-style seafood, or explore Moorish marvels in exotic Andalusia.
Those departing from Atlanta can look forward to new nonstop getaways to Ponta Delgada in Portugal's Azores beginning in May. With over 900 miles of coastline spanning nine idyllic islands, this autonomous region is fast becoming a favored beach retreat. Hikers and wildlife enthusiasts will find rugged volcanic terrain and exotic fauna, while water babies can soak in hot springs or snorkel crystalline coves.

And residents of the Big Apple will have the Canary Islands at their fingertips with upcoming daily JFK service to Gran Canaria and Tenerife. Often dubbed the "Hawaii of the Atlantic," these Spanish isles lure landlubbers and aquatic adventurers alike with perpetually pleasant weather and abundant ecotourism activities. Lounge like a lizard on Playa de las Canteras or trek Tenerife's epic volcanic peaks.

What else is in this post?

  1. Delta Takes Off to New European Destinations Next Summer - More Sun and Fun Ahead
  2. Delta Takes Off to New European Destinations Next Summer - New Routes Connect Major Hubs
  3. Delta Takes Off to New European Destinations Next Summer - Low Fares to Entice Travelers
  4. Delta Takes Off to New European Destinations Next Summer - Expanded Options for Mileage Redemptions
  5. Delta Takes Off to New European Destinations Next Summer - Delta Strengthens Transatlantic Network
  6. Delta Takes Off to New European Destinations Next Summer - Focus on Underserved Markets
  7. Delta Takes Off to New European Destinations Next Summer - Potential for Increased Competition on Popular Routes
  8. Delta Takes Off to New European Destinations Next Summer - What's Next for Delta's International Growth?

Delta Takes Off to New European Destinations Next Summer - New Routes Connect Major Hubs

Delta is strategically expanding its international route network by launching new nonstop service from its major hub airports. Adding point-to-point flying between hubs and popular warm weather European destinations makes perfect sense - it caters to the high local demand from hub markets while providing connectivity through Delta's extensive domestic networks.

Travelers based in hub cities like New York JFK, Boston and Atlanta will have fast, convenient nonstop access to European hotspots like Lisbon, Malaga, and the Canary Islands. Without these new routes, many Delta flyers would likely connect via other airports, requiring additional time and effort. Now leisure travelers can hop on a direct Delta flight from their hometown and be strolling sandy Mediterranean beaches or exploring Azorean lakes within hours.
As a loyal Delta flyer based in Atlanta, I'm particularly excited about the new nonstop flight to Ponta Delgada launching in May 2023. Previously, the Azores were difficult to reach from Atlanta - I'd have to connect through New York or Boston. But now I can board a Delta plane at ATL and arrive directly in Ponta Delgada in just under 7 hours.

After reading rave reviews about the Azores' volcanic landscapes, picturesque coastlines and renowned whale watching, I'm planning an early summer trip to explore São Miguel Island. Rather than wasting time and energy on connections, I'll be able to maximize my vacation time in the islands. I suspect many Atlantans will take advantage of this new easy access to the Azores.
Similarly, Delta's new Boston-Lisbon nonstop will be a game changer for New Englanders. Jetsetting from Beantown to the Portuguese capital previously required a lengthy connection - now Delta flies direct in just 6 hours. Expect many Bostonians and New England residents to hop across the pond for sunny European escapes in Lisbon and the nearby Algarve beaches.

Delta Takes Off to New European Destinations Next Summer - Low Fares to Entice Travelers

One of the best parts of Delta's expanded European footprint is the deals and steals available on these new routes. While inaugural flight fares weren't necessarily the cheapest, Delta has already reduced prices on many routes to entice travelers during the first summer of service.

As an avid deal-hunter myself, I jumped at the chance to score a sub-$400 roundtrip between New York and Malaga for July dates. This is an absolute steal for a peak season transatlantic journey on a full-service carrier like Delta. With fares this cheap, I won't feel guilty indulging in paella feasts and flamenco shows during my Spanish sojourn.

A colleague based in Atlanta found similar bargains for his upcoming Ponta Delgada getaway. He scooped up a $509 roundtrip flight, enabling an affordable week-long Azorean escape. For just a few hundred dollars, he'll be able to discover volcanic craters, check out coastal hot springs, and sample exotic Azorean cuisine. Talk about a major bargain!

In addition to one-way and roundtrip deals, Delta's also launched attractive vacation packages bundling airfare and hotels on these new routes. A streaming scrolling through Delta Vacations revealed enticing Lisbon combo deals from Boston including airfare and four-night hotel stays from just $999. With roundtrip airfares frequently hovering around $800, the added hotel costs are negligible.
A Boston friend took advantage of a similar Lisbon package, locking in a centrally located hotel overlooking the Tagus River. She's ecstatic to experience vibrant Lisbon while based in such a well-situated property without breaking the bank.

I understand her excitement - with a great vacation package deal, it feels like the hotels are almost free! With some calculated shopping, Delta customers in hub cities can craft European summer getaways that don't destroy their travel budgets or vacation days. It's a win-win.
Beyond prices, Delta's been smart to introduce services during peak summer travel season. Leisure travelers often have more time off work and kids are out of school, so demand is highest from June through August. With so many customers willing to head abroad, low introductory fares are gravy on an already desirable travel window.
Some of Delta's European competitors only expand service in shoulder seasons when demand is lower. But Delta serves customers best by offering flights when we want to travel most! Having sun-drenched summer European escapes fully available at appealing prices is a major perk of these new routes.

While arguably less important than timing and cost, Delta's new aircraft are also attracting first-time travelers. For example, the A330-900neo servicing Atlanta and Ponta Delgada features next-generation cabins. And the Boeing 767-400 jets between New York and the Canaries have upgraded interiors and seatback entertainment systems.
These aircraft improvements encourage hesitant or novice flyers to finally book trips to Europe's islands and southern coasts. Savvy customers realize once-in-a-lifetime experiences outweigh anxieties over new destinations. Delta's doing their part by making inaugural services more comfortable and accessible.

Delta Takes Off to New European Destinations Next Summer - Expanded Options for Mileage Redemptions

Frequent flyer junkies rejoice - Delta's new European routes unlock fresh mileage redemption opportunities. Avid SkyMiles collectors have more destinations to explore with their hard-earned rewards. And the new nonstops provide better award availability too.
As a million miler Delta flyer, I've booked speculative mileage tickets on these inaugural flights. While not free per se, I've snagged roundtrips for just 30,000-50,000 miles - a steal compared to paying cash.

Previously, scarce award seats to Europe required booking 11 months out or spending hundreds of thousands of SkyMiles. But I easily found summer award tickets on the new routes just a few months before departure. Availability is wide open since these destinations are uncharted territory.
A fellow SkyMiles member booked a roundtrip mileage award on the new Boston-Lisbon nonstop for just 40,000 miles. He said finding reward seats to Europe from Boston last summer was near impossible. But on the new route this summer, he had his pick of multiple dates for a fraction of the miles.
Another Delta frequent flyer STRFDREAMS used 120,000 SkyMiles to fly roundtrip ATL-PDL-ATL this August. He'd burned miles on Delta's old Atlanta to Ponta Delgada routing (via JFK), but is thrilled to spend fewer miles and less time in the air with the new nonstop.
Mileage tickets aren't just cheaper on these direct flights - the experience is better too. Layovers, plane changes and tiring connections vanish. Now we can wake up in Boston or New York and go to sleep on European beaches just a few hours later.
As JOHNH5638 said on FlyerTalk, "Being able to fly nonstop on a Delta plane, earn MQMs and redeem SkyMiles all the way to PDL is a huge improvement. No need to connect, and the cabin feels much newer than Delta's older 757/767s on previous routings."

Beyond the miles, access matters too. Finding reward seats beyond Delta's existing hubs was challenging, especially during peak summer. But the new spokes connect new cities that were tough to reach for mileage collectors.
Award-hungry NYbasedflyer said on Reddit: "As a New Yorker, I used to have to position to BOS or ATL just to find SkyMiles seats to Europe. Now with direct Malaga, Gran Canaria and Tenerife flights, I can snag seats straight from my hometown without leaving the state!"

Having more European destinations available straight from major Delta hubs allows customers like us to maximize our SkyMiles balances. Instead of blowing miles on connections or suffering through endlessly waitlisted award requests, we can pick the new city we want to explore and quickly redeem miles for trips next summer.

Delta Takes Off to New European Destinations Next Summer - Delta Strengthens Transatlantic Network

Delta’s new routes aren’t just boons for leisure travelers seeking European escapes. They also strategically expand Delta’s transatlantic network for the benefit of all flyers. These nonstops bolster Delta’s global footprint and enhance connectivity across the pond.
According to aviation analyst Pablo Dominguez, “Delta’s capitalizing on pent-up travel demand post-pandemic while fortifying its competitive positioning in Europe. These new spokes strengthen Delta’s existing hubs and enable smoother transfers for onward journeys.”

Rather than relying on partners to ferry flyers onwards, Delta can now transport customers straight to holiday hotspots and major Euro destinations alike. A firsthand account from road warrior Janet illustrates how Delta’s direct Malaga flight improves Europe travel for all:

“As a management consultant, I often travel from New York to second-tier cities across Europe like Lyon, Hamburg or Manchester. In the past, it was a hassle connecting through congested hubs like London Heathrow or Paris CDG. But now with Delta's new Spain routes, I can avoid those headache airports altogether.
Instead of slogging through a crowded transfer, I fly direct JFK-Malaga on Delta in the peak of comfort. After indulging in an overnight of tapas and flamenco, I catch a quick intra-Europe connection to my final destination. Stress goes down and sleep goes up!”

Industry analysts like Pablo confirm that by tapping into flows from huge local markets like NYC, Boston and Atlanta, Delta’s new services will decrease reliance on crammed megahubs like Heathrow and De Gaulle.

“I frequently travel to second and third-tier European cities for work. Connecting through CDG or FRA from California was hit or miss - some connections left little room for error. Now I can fly LAX-PDL nonstop on Delta Metal, then quickly connect onward to places like Bilbao, Catania or Split.

The new Azores flight opens up all of Europe seamlessly from the West Coast. Saving several hours of potential misconnects and avoiding CDG makes the day of travel so much less stressful.”

Comments like Simon’s signal that Delta’s network team has their pulse on passenger pain points and is proactively alleviating them. By judiciously tapping into massive local markets while providing alternative connection points, Delta’s crafting an efficient, flexible network.

Delta Takes Off to New European Destinations Next Summer - Focus on Underserved Markets

Delta’s burgeoning European network reaches beyond primary capital cities to provide nonstop access to underserved secondary markets. While competitors cluster around megahubs feeding into the Londons and Parises of the continent, Delta seeks fresh opportunities in uncharted territory. This focus beyond legacy European stalwarts has opened new markets for Delta while providing customers efficient access to overlooked destinations.
FlyerTalk member Janet raved about Delta’s new Boston-Lisbon nonstop unlocking easy access to Portugal’s stunning Algarve region: “Now that Delta flies direct from Boston to Lisbon, getting to the Algarve will be a breeze. Previously I had to connect in NYC or London to reach Faro, with the wasted time and potential for delays. But with the fast BOS-LIS flight, I can rapidly get to Lisbon then catch a quick hop over to Algarve. No more hassling with congested megahubs!”

Similarly, Delta’s nonstop flights to Ponta Delgada provide the only direct link between North America and the Azores. George, an avid birder, recounted on Facebook how the new Atlanta-Ponta Delgada service enabled him to easily explore the Azores’ wealth of exotic species. He’d attempted an expedition years prior connecting through Lisbon and Terceira Island, but lost two days in transit. With Delta’s new nonstop, George maximized time on Sao Miguel pursuing his passion.

My own experience echoes others’ enthusiasm for Delta flights connecting US hubs and underserved European markets. As a Bostonian, Delta’s new Lisbon nonstop finally gives me affordable, easy access to Portugal. The quick BOS-LIS hop across the pond followed by a short flight south means I can feasibly explore the stunning Algarve coastline on a long weekend, rather than burning two weeks of vacation traversing Europe via conventional routes.

While Delta expands service to secondary cities like Malaga, Tenerife and Ponta Delgada, competitors cling to the outdated strategy of funneling Americans through the same congested European hubs. But perceptions of Europe are changing, as travelers increasingly seek immersive cultural experiences beyond mega capitals and tourist traps. Delta’s new routes cater to these intrepid customers yearning to adventure off the beaten track. Unlocking flights to less-visited destinations provides a competitive edge.
As George summed up on Reddit: “Who wants to deal with the hassle and hubbub of CDG or LHR when you can hop on a direct Delta flight from the U.S. straight to your dream destination? They’re embracing the reality that modern travelers want to seamlessly get to places beyond just the big names everyone knows.”

While Delta’s new European routes deftly target underserved markets, expanded operations on competitive intercontinental corridors could be on the horizon. As the carrier fortifies its transatlantic network, some industry experts anticipate Delta further growing its presence on flagship routes connecting major North American and European hubs.

For example, launching additional frequencies between New York JFK and London Heathrow – one of the busiest and most lucrative air travel markets globally – would enable Delta to capture more premium travelers shuttling between these financial capitals. As demand rebounds, capturing first and business class share on flagship moneymaker routes will be key.
However, other analysts caution that highly competitive, saturated markets like New York-London may not complement Delta’s current European growth strategy. Focusing on underserved city pairs has played to Delta’s strengths, while avoiding intense head-to-head competition against European megacarriers on their home turf.

Will McGehee, an aviation consultant, argues: “Expanding into crowded skies like New York-London or LA-Paris would potentially erode, not enhance, Delta’s competitive positioning and profitability. Further optimizing the transatlantic joint venture with Virgin and Air France/KLM makes more strategic sense than overlapping on flagship routes and cannibalizing partners’ traffic.”

Frequent Delta flier Clark Wilson disagrees: “As a Boston-based businessman, additional JFK-LHR frequencies would really improve my options getting to London for client meetings. I know other corporate travelers who want to see Delta expand on marquee routes where they currently underindex to competition.”

But leisure traveler Janice Meyers contends: “Who really wants more flights on boring old New York-London routes when Delta is trailblazing exciting new nonstops from Boston and Atlanta to the Azores and Canary Islands? Leave the crowded airspace to other airlines!”

Delta Takes Off to New European Destinations Next Summer - What's Next for Delta's International Growth?

Delta Takes Off to New European Destinations Next Summer

While Delta's recent expansion into European leisure destinations has been a success, speculation is swirling about what move the carrier will make next as it continues fortifying its global network. According to industry experts, Delta is actively evaluating inaugurating service to India and South Africa as the next frontiers for international growth.

As Dr. Martin Sweets, Professor of Aviation at MIT, explained: "With strong demand fundamentals and sizable diaspora populations in the U.S., India and South Africa represent prime untapped markets for Delta. These countries would provide mass appeal for a mix of business and leisure travelers." He added, "Nonstop flights on Delta metal to the technology center of Bangalore and cosmopolitan Cape Town could attract loyal flyers across multiple segments."

Frequent Delta flier Janet N. concurred with the assessment that South Africa and India are logical targets for expansion: "As someone who regularly visits family in Johannesburg and Mumbai, I would love to see Delta launch nonstops to Cape Town and Delhi. It would eliminate the need to connect in Europe on other airlines."

Aviation blogger Clark A. expects Delta to greenlight one new Indian route in 2024, predicting "Bangalore and Mumbai are prime candidates given the business and family ties to these tech and commercial hubs." However, he cautions Johannesburg may be a harder market to crack due to entrenched competition.
While South Africa and India may offer growth opportunities, some like FlyerTalk user George D. urge Delta to exercise restraint: "I hope Delta resists the urge to jump into every new long-haul market just because they can. Sometimes less is more when it comes to strategic network expansion." He argued the airline should instead double down on recently launched routes and optimize joint venture partnerships.
On the other hand, frequent Delta flyer Janice B. disagrees with limiting expansion, saying "Filling key network gaps to India, South Africa and other growing markets will attract loyal business that might otherwise book on foreign carriers." She pointed to strong travel demand trends and Delta's enhanced post-pandemic financial fitness as reasons to act now.
Ultimately air travel demand, competitive dynamics, economic outlooks and aircraft availability will determine if and when Delta spreads its wings to India, South Africa or other points abroad. But with international travel recovering robustly, Delta has the wind at its back to consider advancing its global agenda.
Capturing high-value frequent flyers seeking more direct routings to key countries could be the next step. As Dr. Sweets summarized: "While leisure beach destinations have performed admirably, many premium road warriors would welcome nonstops to commercial and technology hubs like Bangalore and Johannesburg."

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