Delta Launching New York To Berlin Route In 2023

Delta Launching New York To Berlin Route In 2023

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Berlin is getting some well deserved love from Delta Air Lines as of next summer, as the airline will be resuming service to Germany’s capital after a hiatus of several years.

Delta launching daily New York to Berlin flights

Delta will be launching flights between New York (JFK) and Berlin (BER) as of May 25, 2023. The new flight will operate daily during the summer season with the following schedule:

DL92 New York to Berlin departing 8:40PM arriving 10:50AM (+1 day)
DL93 Berlin to New York departing 12:50PM arriving 3:50PM

The 3,973-mile flight is blocked at 8hr10min eastbound and 9hr westbound. Delta will use a Boeing 767-300ER for the route, featuring 216 seats, including Delta One (business class), Premium Select (premium economy), Comfort+ (extra legroom economy), and Main Cabin (economy).

This will be Delta’s first time flying to Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER), as the airline flew to Berlin Tegel Airport (TXL) the last time it served the city, but that airport no longer has commercial traffic. Delta last served Berlin between 2017 and 2019, but the airline has struggled to consistently maintain service in the market, even pre-pandemic.

Delta’s 767 business class

It’s great to see Berlin get more long haul flights

Berlin is by far Germany’s most populous city, but despite that, there has been a lack of consistent transatlantic service to the airport. Fortunately things are finally moving in the right direction. United previously resumed its flight between Newark and Berlin, while Norse Atlantic announced plans to operate flights from Berlin to both New York and Los Angeles as of later this summer.

Now we’re seeing Delta resume flights to Berlin as well, meaning we could potentially see three airlines flying between Germany’s capital and the New York City area.

Why has Berlin struggled so much with maintaining long haul connectivity? There are a variety of factors that have contributed to this:

  • The new Berlin Brandenburg Airport finally opened in late 2020, nearly a decade behind schedule; the old airport wasn’t really equipped for major expansion
  • Unfortunately airberlin liquidated in late 2017, and that’s the airline that operated some long haul routes out of Berlin
  • While Berlin is the biggest city in Germany, Frankfurt and Munich are the business hubs, and also the hubs that Lufthansa has been focused on
  • That means Berlin is largely left with leisure demand (which isn’t going to consistently be lucrative, especially for full service airlines) and government traffic (which is likely to fly with Lufthansa, even if connecting is required)

Berlin is a great city that has so much to offer. The way I view it, it’s really a city that has been screwed by its airport setup in terms of connectivity (unlike so many other cities, which benefit from their oversized airports).

Berlin Brandenburg Airport is finally getting more long haul service

Bottom line

Delta will be bringing back its route between New York and Berlin as of May 2023. The airline last operated this route in 2019, so it’s nice to see it finally return, nearly four years later. Next summer it won’t just be United flying between the New York area and Berlin.

What do you make of Delta’s New York to Berlin flight?

Conversations (39)
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  1. iamhere Guest

    Germany as you pointed out is mostly served by Lufthansa, part of the Star Alliance. One reason it will be tough for Delta to sell seats for that route is a lack of Skyteam connections from there without going through other Skyteam hubs.

  2. Tim Dunn Diamond

    One reason for Delta's return to Berlin might be because Rolls-Royce builds jet engines for both the A350 and a number of business jets in Dahlewitz which is south of Berlin.
    Some of the jet engines made in Dahlewitz end up at Gulfstream in Savannah, GA.
    Also, Delta is an authorized service center for Rolls-Royce engines.

    Delta regularly operates widebody service from JFK to ATL which could help connect air cargo between the...

    One reason for Delta's return to Berlin might be because Rolls-Royce builds jet engines for both the A350 and a number of business jets in Dahlewitz which is south of Berlin.
    Some of the jet engines made in Dahlewitz end up at Gulfstream in Savannah, GA.
    Also, Delta is an authorized service center for Rolls-Royce engines.

    Delta regularly operates widebody service from JFK to ATL which could help connect air cargo between the two hubs.

    Delta's CVG-CDG flight regularly carried GE jet engine cores

    1. Leigh Guest

      Respect your wisdom. However, very few corporate accounts generate enough traffic to support a route…only the likes of financial or tech companies with high volume on city pairs. It’s leisure primarily, supported by government contracts for this route.

      Only been to Berlin once, and it was during horrible weather (last summer). Even my hotel said it was not good and waived my fees to leave early. Hope to experience the city properly one day.

    2. Malcolm Guest

      I know that Credit Suisse and UBS were instrumental in getting Swiss/LOT (both of Lufthansa) to operate a direct flight from Zürich to Wroclaw, Poland where they operate outsourcing centres, so it's not unheard of, but this sounds unlikely.

    3. Leigh Guest

      Yup, that’s an example of my point.

      But I don’t think it’s likely for a US- Berlin flight given factors.

    4. Tim Dunn Diamond

      It is actually the cargo revenue I was referring to.
      I agree w/ you that corporate accounts don't define the success or failure of a route but they can help push a marginal route into one that is solidly profitable.
      Again, Delta's CDG-CVG flight regularly carried jet engine parts for General Electric.

    5. FlyerDon Guest

      I’d really be surprised if an A350’s engine would fit inside a 767’s cargo hold.

  3. Alex Guest

    At this this won’t be flown on a 757. It could also work an a A330, but DL is very careful about where those fly. It’s a shame Boeing has no reasonable offer for the 767 replacement.

  4. Kurt Guest

    Nooooo! It's literally less than two months after I'm scheduled to go to Berlin! But still an exciting new route.

  5. Todd Guest

    FYI, the route will be served by the refurbished 767-300ER (76K) with four cabins: D1, Premium Select, Comfort Plus, and Main Cabin....the seat map for this flight already shows the new configuration....

  6. Lolly Guest

    Why just summer & not autumn and then into Christmas for the Christmas markets?

    1. ECR Guest

      If the route does well I’m sure delta will consider December flights, but with Russia poised to cutoff gas to Germany I think I’d be a little hesitant to start selling those seats.

  7. Erik Guest

    While I root for airports like BER and airlines like ITA, this is a prime example of why Lufthansa is so successful and Alitalia/ITA isn't. LH focuses where the businesses are, FRA and MUC, while the Italian government is too proud to see that Milan is where the business is and Rome only has the tourism and government. Of course Rome has a lot of tourism, but I think everyone here knows business travel makes...

    While I root for airports like BER and airlines like ITA, this is a prime example of why Lufthansa is so successful and Alitalia/ITA isn't. LH focuses where the businesses are, FRA and MUC, while the Italian government is too proud to see that Milan is where the business is and Rome only has the tourism and government. Of course Rome has a lot of tourism, but I think everyone here knows business travel makes airlines money.

    I know Alitalia moved its hub to Milan for a while and then back to Rome, and now ITA is only at FCO with the exception of one daily MXP-JFK. Heres to hoping Lufthansa's bid to purchase x% of ITA is accepted...

    1. Malcolm Guest

      Although I'm a LH Senator and would benefit, I'm surprised the EU is permitting this. It practically hands LH Group the entire European non low-cost domestic airline market, just as DHL owns European logistics.

    2. Ecr Guest

      I’m not sure that’s a great argument though. On any given summer day NYC-Rome gets 8 nonstops, whereas Berlin only had 1 before this flight starts. I think delta will do well here with the scarce competition.

    3. Donna Diamond

      Alitalia never moved its hub to Malpensa. The Malpensa airport was designed to be its hub, but they never moved there. ITA has no plans to move their hub and is half the size of the former AlItalia. Furthermore, if you’ve ever sat in J class on a TATL flight to FCO, as I do regularly as a business traveler, you will instantly notice that premium cabins are filled primarily with tourists. The seasonal flights...

      Alitalia never moved its hub to Malpensa. The Malpensa airport was designed to be its hub, but they never moved there. ITA has no plans to move their hub and is half the size of the former AlItalia. Furthermore, if you’ve ever sat in J class on a TATL flight to FCO, as I do regularly as a business traveler, you will instantly notice that premium cabins are filled primarily with tourists. The seasonal flights to FCO are hugely profitable, largely due to tourism. Even in low season, with fewer flights the density of business travelers into MXP or FCO is not significantly higher in premium cabins.

      As for the success of this new DL route, I predict it will be gone within a year or two. As for LH being so “successful,” one trip in their current J cabin international offerings, will send anyone running to ITA’s premium cabins. Hopefully, LH will not get ITA.

  8. Jan Guest

    Ah, DL 763. The one plane where Premium Economy is literally more preferable than the business class product.

  9. Malcolm Guest

    I live in Berlin so this is an interesting development. I already am a Senator and have joined Skymiles so might use Delta's status match challenge to get Platinum and fly this route to keep it. Surprised there's no first class on an 8 hour longhaul flight. Does Delta have a first class on any flights?

    Unfortunately the BER is anything but accessible. It takes at least 30 minutes to get from the centre. Lounge...

    I live in Berlin so this is an interesting development. I already am a Senator and have joined Skymiles so might use Delta's status match challenge to get Platinum and fly this route to keep it. Surprised there's no first class on an 8 hour longhaul flight. Does Delta have a first class on any flights?

    Unfortunately the BER is anything but accessible. It takes at least 30 minutes to get from the centre. Lounge availability is also not great, although I hear they're planning to open a Senator lounge in 2023 to complement the Business lounge, which is already getting crowded. That would align Berlin with the other LH hubs in Munich and Frankfurt and the old Tegel. Only Hamburg has a Senator lounge besides them.

    1. Ralph4878 Guest

      @Malcolm - DL does not have international "first" like LH and AF (for example) do. Delta One - their international, front-of-the-plane class - is a strong business class product, IMHO, though the soft product isn't close to what one gets on many of the top Asian and Middle Eastern carriers; hard product varies by equipment: the 767-300 they're going to use on this route leaves a lot to be desired, unless they plan on updating...

      @Malcolm - DL does not have international "first" like LH and AF (for example) do. Delta One - their international, front-of-the-plane class - is a strong business class product, IMHO, though the soft product isn't close to what one gets on many of the top Asian and Middle Eastern carriers; hard product varies by equipment: the 767-300 they're going to use on this route leaves a lot to be desired, unless they plan on updating them (like they did to their 767-400s) before launching service. That said, I certainly prefer Delta over AA and UA!

    2. Malcolm Guest

      @Ralph Thanks. How many MQMs could you earn with SM platinum on a return flight? How useful do you think Delta SM's higher status levels are if you live outside the US?

  10. Justin Guest

    By May of 2023, all DL 763's should feature premium economy.

  11. Andy Diamond

    As you say, Ben, this is mainly a leisure destination - in fact a weekend destination for many in Europe who want to have fun (yes, every aspect of fun ;) This works well with ULCC like Eurowings, Easyjet and Ryanair. But I really doubt the typical DL customer will fly there to party over the weekend …

    1. Leigh Guest

      Hi! Funny about the "fun" comment; I think we know what you meant:). For Americans it will not be a weekend destination, but that's not the point...plenty of my friends would use the flight to start or end a longer/multi-destination vacation in Europe. Unless it's London or Paris, Americans travel to multi-destinations on a typical vacation to make the most of their time...but if you're American you can understand this. Take care!

  12. Tim Dunn Diamond

    The reunification of Germany brought the people together but the wealth is and wil be heavily concentrated in former West Germany as evidenced by the failure of Air Berlin and the paucity of air service in the former East.

    Delta's strength in Europe has traditionally been in western continental Europe and in southern Europe so it is good to see them build back their network in northern Europe. They have been
    just about...

    The reunification of Germany brought the people together but the wealth is and wil be heavily concentrated in former West Germany as evidenced by the failure of Air Berlin and the paucity of air service in the former East.

    Delta's strength in Europe has traditionally been in western continental Europe and in southern Europe so it is good to see them build back their network in northern Europe. They have been
    just about the only transatlantic show in town from Stockholm and Copenhagen while SAS has been on strike - which appears to be ending.

    Berlin is the type of city that is best served by the 767. The fact that United also serves Berlin with the 767 - right now their 767-400 - shows that no airline has found a replacement for the 767. Since Delta and United both operate 767-300ERs and -400s and have given no indication of retiring them in totality anytime soon, we will see 767s - and the abililty to serve lots of secondary cities for years to come.

    1. Anthony Diamond

      Can we get an upgrade of the 763s for international route? I actually think they are fine for non-redeye transcons (I fly those all the time with no issue) but the TVs and seats could use an upgrade for these kinds of routes

    2. Tim Dunn Diamond

      Delta is adding premium economy to a bunch of their 767-300ERs and the 767-400s have them.
      A true suite in business class doesn't work because of the 767s width. United has some 767s in 3 abreast and some in 5 abreast that don't even have direct aisle access for everyone in business class. Most of United's 767 fleet doesn't have premium economy.
      Delta is moving toward premium economy on its 767 fleet and...

      Delta is adding premium economy to a bunch of their 767-300ERs and the 767-400s have them.
      A true suite in business class doesn't work because of the 767s width. United has some 767s in 3 abreast and some in 5 abreast that don't even have direct aisle access for everyone in business class. Most of United's 767 fleet doesn't have premium economy.
      Delta is moving toward premium economy on its 767 fleet and has a consistent 4 abreast direct aisle access. I'm not sure that a suite really matters on a 9-10 hour business class flight esp. to markets that do not offer the product on any airline nonstop.
      The 767 has a wider coach seat than 9 abreast 787s so I still would prefer the 767.
      Delta is upgrading the IFE and replacing all of the seats behind business class as it updates the cabins so I expect the 767s will be in service until 2030 or beyond.
      About half of Delta's 767-300ER fleet flies JFK transcons anyway.

    3. AA70 Gold

      All of United's 763s have 1-1-1 seating, and just the small subset of 764s have 2-1-2 which are being reconfigured. Delta easily could have installed a Delta One Suite or a modified Adient Ascent (like Qatar 789s) in a 1-1-1 configuration on these.

    4. thurstontravel Guest

      Germany is in continental Europe, just FYI.

      Air Berlin's failure has nothing to do with a wealth gap between East and West Germany. Air Berlin was a financial mess for years, over extended, and inefficient. It operated twin hubs at DUS and TXL. The DUS hub could have and should have worked, given that it sits in perhaps the wealthiest corner of Germany. TXL was a mess of an operation and historically, has not generated...

      Germany is in continental Europe, just FYI.

      Air Berlin's failure has nothing to do with a wealth gap between East and West Germany. Air Berlin was a financial mess for years, over extended, and inefficient. It operated twin hubs at DUS and TXL. The DUS hub could have and should have worked, given that it sits in perhaps the wealthiest corner of Germany. TXL was a mess of an operation and historically, has not generated enough premium demand to sustain most long haul services. UA inherited EWR-TXL from CO and continues to see success because of the EWR hub connectivity and UA's strong point of sales ex-Germany thanks to its alignment with LH. Delta has generally been able to make US-Germany work from where it flies because of strength in point of sales and a lot of legacy based on the old Pan Am infrastructure it inherited. American has not been able to make Germany work outside of of DFW and Air Berlin was a mediocre partner for them, given the DUS/TXL focus AB had.

      As to the 767s, DL and UA smartly invested in them by extending their life and upgrading the interiors and avionics, unlike AA but these frames are going to have to be replaced in the next 3-5 years as many approach their cycle limits. The 787 is too much plane in some ways but offers efficiencies that partly offset. The A350 is too big as is the A339 for a lot of 767 missions that would otherwise not work without the 76. The 321XLR is not going to be the solution for a lot of 76 routes when it comes on line, except perhaps in winter.

    5. Tim Dunn Diamond

      I completely agree with you other than to note that most people would consider Germany in Central Europe and Berlin in northern Europe.
      The 787 is just too heavy for carrying 240 passengers on a 10 hour flight which is the max for most of the US to Europe because the 787 wing is optimized for 260-300 passengers carried over 6000 miles - which the 787-9 does very well. Add in the higher ownership...

      I completely agree with you other than to note that most people would consider Germany in Central Europe and Berlin in northern Europe.
      The 787 is just too heavy for carrying 240 passengers on a 10 hour flight which is the max for most of the US to Europe because the 787 wing is optimized for 260-300 passengers carried over 6000 miles - which the 787-9 does very well. Add in the higher ownership costs of the 787 compared to older 767s and the economics don't work to replace 767s with 787s esp. when they are used for service to secondary cities.
      The 767 will be the aircraft that DL and UA will use to add "flex capacity" to Europe over the next 8-10 years making cities like Berlin possible.
      The only solution is an all-new mid-size aircraft or a further stretch of single aisle aircraft to put them over 200 passengers in mixed class international configurations. The costs of the extra pilot incrementally add alot of costs when there are only 170 or so passengers - which is what the A321 can carry in mixed class - and when the extra range is only a couple hours outside of 8 hours and the need for a third pilot

    6. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      "The 787 is just too heavy for carrying 240 passengers on a 10 hour flight"

      For clarity, that's per DL's specs. For an airline like BA, who flies 214 and 216 seat 787s on 7-10hr runs, it's a godsend. Can see it in their profits as well, from the leaked doc that was exposed in 2018 on various AvGeek sites: the likes of BNA, MSY, and AUS were three of their most profitable per-segment operations,...

      "The 787 is just too heavy for carrying 240 passengers on a 10 hour flight"

      For clarity, that's per DL's specs. For an airline like BA, who flies 214 and 216 seat 787s on 7-10hr runs, it's a godsend. Can see it in their profits as well, from the leaked doc that was exposed in 2018 on various AvGeek sites: the likes of BNA, MSY, and AUS were three of their most profitable per-segment operations, despite all being secondary (arguably tertiary) cities flown then by the smallest eqp.

    7. Tim Dunn Diamond

      All that says is that those cities are red-hot and BA has the only TATL service from BNA and MSY and AUS has grown well beyond the 787-8.
      The fact that there are routes that can make lots of money using 787-8s doesn't change the fact that a lighter plane would make more money.
      As I noted, there isn't a new generation smaller plane that is lighter than the 787-8 so BA uses...

      All that says is that those cities are red-hot and BA has the only TATL service from BNA and MSY and AUS has grown well beyond the 787-8.
      The fact that there are routes that can make lots of money using 787-8s doesn't change the fact that a lighter plane would make more money.
      As I noted, there isn't a new generation smaller plane that is lighter than the 787-8 so BA uses it.
      The 787-8 weighs far more than the 767-300ER and doesn't gain a cost advantage when factoring in the newer engines and fuselage compared to the debt that would be incurred to acquire new aircraft.
      It is more telling that United moved quickly past the 787-8 for larger models and holds onto its 767s. If the economics favored 787-8s, United would have ditched its 767 fleet.
      As long as Delta and United use their 767s to keep smaller routes on their route maps, I am happy to see them stay as long as they can keep them reliably operating.

    8. KS Guest

      Wrong. Delta has not been the only transatlantic show in town from Stockholm. Finnair has been flying ARN-JFK and ARN-LAX year round along with winter ARN-MIA; which is double the capacity that DL offers.

  13. shoeguy Guest

    It is a relaunch. Delta has operated JFK-TXL seasonally on and off, to moderate success, pre-pandemic.

  14. RetiredATLATC Diamond

    My Favorite city in the world, but what a crap airport and location just outside the A/B ring. What a racket.

    1. Mark Bunse Guest

      Why is the airport crap? Takes me 25 minutes by public transport from my home in Berlin-Mitte to right under the airport. The ticket costs a mere 3,80 € and ist included in the 9 € per month ticket from June to August. Never needed more than 10 minutes for check-in (always flying biz) and 3 to 5 min at the fast lane security. The One World and Lufthansa Lounge both have comfortable seating and a nice view. Frankfurt is definitely a crappier airport.

  15. David Guest

    Bummer. It’s coming back later than I had hoped. Going to Berlin in a couple of months.

  16. Anthony Diamond

    1) While I am happy to see DL add the route, the fact that it is using the 763 shows it is low on the totem pole for transatlantic routes for Delta unfortunately

    2) What's the lounge situation at BER?

    While I generally avoid connections, if I were flying to Berlin on Delta/SkyTeam I would probably still connect through Amsterdam (provided the airport is operational), service seems like it would be more comfortable with lounges and plane options

    1. stogieguy7 Diamond

      Oooooh, beware of AMS! Don't connect there unless you can transit airside without leaving the secured area. Otherwise, you could be in for hours in line, waiting for checkin/bag drop, security, even passport control (though it isn't as bad as the others). I'd avoid it like the plague this summer.

    2. Jan Guest

      Non schengen to schengen transfer in AMS is just fine, having done that on the holiday weekend.
      The real bottleneck in AMS is security checks on departure.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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AA70 Gold

All of United's 763s have 1-1-1 seating, and just the small subset of 764s have 2-1-2 which are being reconfigured. Delta easily could have installed a Delta One Suite or a modified Adient Ascent (like Qatar 789s) in a 1-1-1 configuration on these.

1
stogieguy7 Diamond

Oooooh, beware of AMS! Don't connect there unless you can transit airside without leaving the secured area. Otherwise, you could be in for hours in line, waiting for checkin/bag drop, security, even passport control (though it isn't as bad as the others). I'd avoid it like the plague this summer.

1
Tim Dunn Diamond

Delta is adding premium economy to a bunch of their 767-300ERs and the 767-400s have them. A true suite in business class doesn't work because of the 767s width. United has some 767s in 3 abreast and some in 5 abreast that don't even have direct aisle access for everyone in business class. Most of United's 767 fleet doesn't have premium economy. Delta is moving toward premium economy on its 767 fleet and has a consistent 4 abreast direct aisle access. I'm not sure that a suite really matters on a 9-10 hour business class flight esp. to markets that do not offer the product on any airline nonstop. The 767 has a wider coach seat than 9 abreast 787s so I still would prefer the 767. Delta is upgrading the IFE and replacing all of the seats behind business class as it updates the cabins so I expect the 767s will be in service until 2030 or beyond. About half of Delta's 767-300ER fleet flies JFK transcons anyway.

1
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