Delta Air Lines has just revealed two awesome new international routes out of Boston, and they’re already open for bookings.
Delta’s international expansion out of Boston
As of the summer of 2022, Delta plans to launch flights from Boston (BOS) to both Athens (ATH) and Tel Aviv (TLV).
In the past few years, Delta had plans to serve up to eight transatlantic routes out of Boston, including to Amsterdam, Dublin, Edinburgh, Keflavik, Lisbon, London, Paris, and Rome. With these two additional routes, the airline could have up to 10 transatlantic routes out of Boston by next summer (or perhaps even more — who knows what else is coming).
Let’s go over the details of the two routes.
Delta’s Boston to Athens route
As of May 27, 2022, Delta will launch a route between Boston and Athens. The route will operate with the following schedule:
DL240 Boston to Athens departing 6:55PM arriving 12:30PM (+1 day)
DL241 Athens to Boston departing 2:45PM arriving 7:15PM
The flight will operate 3x weekly, eastbound on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, and westbound on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. The flight will cover a distance of 4,755 miles, and is blocked at 10hr35min eastbound and 11hr30min westbound.
Delta will use an Airbus A330-300 for the route, featuring 293 seats, including 34 business class seats and 259 economy class seats.
This new route complements Delta’s seasonal service to Athens from both Atlanta and New York. No airline has flown nonstop between Boston and Athens in the past decade.
Delta’s Boston to Tel Aviv route
As of May 26, 2022, Delta will launch a route between Boston and Tel Aviv. The route will operate with the following schedule:
DL242 Boston to Tel Aviv departing 4:20PM arriving 9:35AM (+1 day)
DL243 Tel Aviv to Boston departing 11:50AM arriving 4:45PM
The flight will operate 3x weekly, on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays in both directions (presumably there’s some plane swapping happening in Tel Aviv with Delta’s other services). The flight will cover a distance of 5,491 miles, and is blocked at 10hr15min eastbound and 11hr55min westbound.
Delta will use an Airbus A330-900neo for the route, featuring 281 seats, including 29 business class seats, 28 premium economy class seats, and 224 economy class seats.
This new route complements Delta’s year-round service to Tel Aviv from New York. Delta will be going head-to-head against EL AL here, which has historically operated a route between Boston and Tel Aviv.
What’s the motivation for these routes?
There’s really not any guessing required here, it’s pretty evident what the motivation behind these routes is. American Airlines and JetBlue Airways have a new strategic partnership, whereby American plans to add long haul flights out of the Northeast, while JetBlue provides much of the feed.
Because of this partnership, American has recently launched flights from New York to both Athens and Tel Aviv. It sure seems like Delta feared that American might soon do the same in Boston, so Delta decided to beat American to the punch. Talk about a direct competitive response.
The Department of Justice is currently challenging the partnership between American and JetBlue, arguing it’s bad for competition. While there are some areas where I understand the DOJ’s logic, it sure seems to me like this partnership is good for competition in long haul markets. And American and JetBlue can certainly use the launch of these routes as an example of that.
As of the summer of 2022, Delta will be launching 3x weekly flights from Boston to both Athens and Tel Aviv. These are two awesome new routes for Boston flyers to have access to — Athens didn’t have a nonstop link to Boston, while Tel Aviv had service to Boston on EL AL.
This move by Delta is an obvious response to the partnership between American and JetBlue. I’m curious to see if American decides to replicate these routes as well, or if the airline continues to focus its long haul expansion on New York (I’m guessing the latter).
What do you make of Delta’s two new transatlantic routes from Boston?
(Tip of the hat to Zach Griff)