~Delta Air Lines is introducing two intriguing new routes.~
The airline will launch new flights between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Buenos Aires later this year. The airline will also resume seasonal flights from JFK to Rio de Janeiro after a more than three-year hiatus, according to schedules published by Cirium and later confirmed by the airline.
In March of 2020, Delta’s last flight between New York and Rio was suspended indefinitely because of the pandemic.
Daily service to the capital of Argentina will commence on October 28, 2023, and continue until March 29, 2024. The daily flight to Rio will resume on December 16, 2023, and continue until February 21, 2024.
The 5,282-mile trip to Buenos Aires will be serviced by a Boeing 767-400 with 238 seats, including 34 Delta One pods, 20 Premium Select recliners, 28 extra-legroom Comfort+ seats, and 156 regular main cabin seats.
The 4,786-mile route between New York and Rio will be flown by a Boeing 767-300 with 216 seats and a four-cabin configuration. This aircraft, known internally as “76K,” features 26 Delta One pods, 18 Premium Select recliners, 21 extra-legroom Comfort+ seats, and 151 standard economy seats.
Aviation experts are unlikely to be startled by Delta’s resumption of service between New York and Buenos Aires, a route the airline operated briefly between December 2008 and March 2009. The airline requested authorization from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to resume this route on January 12, and the government granted the request on January 25.
Delta stated in its appeal to the DOT that it wished to “bring additional competition” to a market controlled by two airlines, American and Aerolineas Argentinas. United discontinued service between Newark and Buenos Aires in October 2019.
Delta’s argument is strengthened by the fact that it can offer numerous nonstop connections to Argentina via New York for travellers. In addition, the airline asserted that its better operational reliability and customer service will benefit travellers who utilise the suggested services.
Delta requested that the DOT allow year-round service between New York and Argentina, however it has already announced that it will only operate flights during the winter season.
Time will tell whether the airline follows through on its commitment to add flights for next summer.
Of the two new flights, only the Rio route will run as part of the new joint venture collaboration with the South American mega-carrier LATAM.
In September of 2019, Delta stunned the industry by announcing it would acquire a 20% interest in LATAM, thereby removing the airline from the Oneworld frequent flyer alliance. As part of the investment, Delta is trying to form a strategic alliance with LATAM, thereby increasing flights to Latin America from important U.S. gateway airports.
The joint venture permits revenue sharing on flights between the United States and Canada and South America. Additionally, the agreement provides antitrust immunity, allowing Delta and LATAM to coordinate schedules and rates in these markets.
Delta and LATAM have already implemented a number of customer-facing improvements as part of their joint venture, including reciprocal frequent flyer accumulation and redemption, elite rewards, and lounge access privileges.
To date, the agreement has allowed the two airlines to establish two new routes — Orlando to Bogota and Los Angeles to Sao Paulo — with more likely to follow.
This is Delta’s most recent round of network updates. The airline recently announced a plethora of new flights from Texas, while Delta revealed plans to introduce additional service to Auckland, New Zealand; and Nice, France; last month.
In addition, Delta will discontinue service to Nagoya, Japan later this month when it decides to terminate its long-standing route from Detroit.