Now that Greece has opened its doors to Americans once again after a year of banning them from its shores, Delta Air Lines has added two routes from the United States to Greece.
Delta said in an announcement that the move was taken as part of its efforts to respond to its customers’ interests in destinations around the world.
The Atlanta-based airline will now operate two seasonal routes to Greece, with one starting on May 28, departing New York for Athens. This represents the earliest start date for any airline operating between the US and Greece this Spring.
Beginning on July 2, Delta will operate a daily flight from Atlanta to Athens as well, which is the first time in a decade that this route will be flown.
Delta also announced that it will be employing the spacious Airbus A330-300s for both routes, which have a total of 293 seats each. This includes reverse herringbone seats in business class, along with Delta’s Comfort+ cabin, which features extra legroom economy seats as well.
Personal televisions are also available at every seat on these flights, along with Wi-Fi.
Greece second most searched-for destination online
Airlines are paying special attention this year to the searches potential customers are making online as they navigate the difficult waters of international travel after the restrictions of the pandemic.
Normally, all summertime transatlantic flights to Europe are completely booked far in advance, but now airlines must pay particular attention to capacities of airliners they intend to use since Americans are not allowed to visit most EU nations at present.
Decisions are being made on an ongoing basis now that Greece has opened up to Americans once more — and a great deal of interest is being shown in online searches for Greek destinations.
Greece is now one of the most-searched summer travel destinations in Europe, according to Sojern, a travel marketing and data analysis company.
After collecting data about searches for airline tickets for the upcoming summer season, Sojern determined Spain was the most-searched travel spot in Europe.
Greece, however, was a close second, followed by Portugal, France, and Italy.
Delta, United add Greece flights for Summer
United Airlines also recently announced more transatlantic flights to Croatia, Greece, and Iceland, all of which have flung open their doors to Americans.
American Airlines stands out amongst the “big three” US airlines (United, Delta and American), since it has not yet announced any additional transatlantic flights at this time.
However, a new wrinkle on international travel was introduced by the State Department this week when it announced that Greece, among many other nations, was at “Level Four,” meaning “Do Not Fly,” regarding its high coronavirus rate at the present time.
The State Department deemed more than 80% of the nations of the world as unfit for travel due to their ongoing coronavirus infection rates; although this does not legally preclude Americans from travel abroad, it does mean that the State Department would like them to seriously reconsider going to these nations at present.
The U.S. State Department added at least 116 countries this week to its “Level Four: Do Not Travel” advisory list, including Greece, the UK, Canada, France, Israel, Mexico, Germany and others, citing a “very high level of COVID-19.”
Greece added to “Do Not Fly” Advisory list
On Monday, the State Department had signaled that it would increase the number of countries receiving its highest advisory rating of Level Four to about 80% of countries around the globe.
Before the end of the day on Tuesday, the State Department had added 34 out of about 200 countries worldwide to its “Do Not Travel” list.
However, the State Department now lists a total of 150 countries with the Level Four advisory. Reuters reports that officials from the Department declined to say when the updates would be completed.
On Wednesday the White House announced that it would surpass its goal to administer 200 million coronavirus inoculations by the end of the first 100 days of the Biden Administration.
Now, just over one-half of the American populace of approximately 320 million individuals has received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.
The State Department announced to reporters on Monday that their move did not imply a reassessment of current health situations in certain countries, but instead “reflects an adjustment in the State Department’s Travel Advisory system to rely more on (the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s) existing epidemiological assessments.”