By Benjamin Pham
Delta Inaugurates Flights to Croatia
Summer has arrived, and people are eager to travel after being forced to remain at home for over a year. While borders in many parts of the world remain closed to tourists and leisure travelers, certain countries in Europe are now open, prompting not only a surge in passenger traffic but also new and resuming flight routes, within the highly competitive Transatlantic route network. At last, Delta launched flights to Croatia on July 2, expanding its connectivity and route network on the continent for this summer’s holiday travel season.
The prominent SkyTeam carrier plans to fly from New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport – one of its core hubs on the east coast – to Dubrovnik, Croatia, in the heart of the country’s tourism industry along the coast with the Adriatic Sea. Flights for this summer will operate four times a week on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, using a Boeing 767-300.
“Our flights to Dubrovnik are proving popular as our U.S. customers seek new experiences now that the world is reopening for international travel,” Delta’s Thomas Brandt, Manager for Regional Sales, said. “We’re proud to be supporting Croatia’s tourism recovery while also ensuring a safe travel environment in line with the country’s requirement for proof of vaccination or a negative test for all customers before they board the flight.”
The opportunity for passengers to be vaccinated and more relaxed restrictions restored a higher level of normalcy for air travel, and Dubrovnik is Delta’s latest, new transatlantic route. The airline resumed flights to Amsterdam, Paris, Madrid, ES; Athens, GR and Frankfurt, DE earlier, among a handful of other cities the airline serves in Europe that has already resumed or will resume later this summer.
This summer will certainly be different and active compared to last summer for Delta, as the airline quickly attempts to restore normalcy with its flight operations and route map. The airline recently signed a partnership with Corporate Travel Management regarding sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). In the agreement, the airline purchased 300,000 gallons of SAF with the intent of operating efficient and eco-friendly flights.
“These partnerships are a core driver for decreasing the aviation industry’s reliance on conventional jet fuel and encouraging the economic viability of SAF by building industry demand and supply. The collective impact we are making with our corporate partners delivers real change for the industry,” Amelia DeLuca, Delta’s Managing Director of Sustainability, said, a philosophy accurately portrayed by the airline’s decision to decrease its reliance on conventional jet fuel, in favor of SAF to support its extensive route network long-term.
Clearly, Delta has its own vision of how it will tackle the post-pandemic world. Ultimately, people undoubtedly want to return to the skies and travel, and there are locations where it is now deemed safe to travel. However, the question still lingers on how Delta will handle the surge in travel as well as the environmental impacts, after having a year of stagnant travel demand.