Delta, one of the major US airlines, announced on Saturday that it will be adding direct flights from Boston to Athens, Greece to its routes. As of the summer of 2022, Delta plans to launch flights from Boston to both Athens and Tel Aviv.
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).
Delta Athens flights part of carrier’s growth
The new flights to Athens and Tel Aviv are not new destinations for Delta but represent a further growth in the carrier’s long-haul international network to complement its other hubs, namely New York and Atlanta.
Next summer, Delta will fly three weekly flights from Boston to Athens International Airport and Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport, respectively. Tel Aviv flights will start on May 26th, while the Athens flights will begin on May 27th.
Delta Air Lines has slowly been building up its presence out of Boston. Its newest hub, the airline has a robust 2022 planned from Boston. The long-haul routes are part of Delta’s hub expansion in Boston.
On the route to Tel Aviv, Delta will fly the Airbus A330-900neo. Delta’s A330neos seat 281 passengers in a three-class configuration. On the Athens flights, it will use an Airbus A330-300 for the route, featuring 293 seats, including 34 business class seats and 259 economy class seats.
The Airbus A330-300 aircraft are currently undergoing a retrofit to feature new Premium Select seats. The route will operate with the following schedule: DL240 Boston to Athens departing at 6:55PM arriving at 12:30PM (+1 day) and DL241 Athens to Boston departing at 2:45PM arriving at 7:15PM.
The flight will operate 3x weekly, eastbound on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, and westbound on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. It will cover a distance of 4,755 miles, and is blocked at 10hr. 35min eastbound and 11hr. 30min westbound.
Delta’s Boston flights complements New York Athens-bound route
The new route complements Delta’s seasonal service to Athens from both Atlanta and New York. No airline has flown nonstop between the city hosting the 17 times NBA champions Boston Celtics and Athens in the past decade.
Boston is also a major city in the Northeast Alliance between American Airlines and JetBlue. Those two airlines have announced some growth out of Boston, but almost all of it has been domestic and short-haul international flying.
American Airlines American has recently launched flights from New York to both Athens and Tel Aviv. It seems like Delta feared that American might soon do the same in Boston, so Delta decided to beat American to the punch.
This move by Delta is an obvious response to the partnership between American and JetBlue. Will American decide to replicate these routes as well, or if the airline continues to focus its long haul expansion on New York? Time will tell.