Delta Air Lines Inc. increased the number of flights that rthey will establish their service in June and July to allow space between passengers, as demand grows.
“Once we get closer to 60% on an individual route, it will be the trigger for us to add more aircraft to the system”CEO Ed Bastian said on Fox Business News Wednesday.
The airline will add 200 flights in June and could add up to 300 in July, he said. Just two days earlier, the airline indicated that it planned to add 100 flights next month.
The airline’s plan to beef up its itinerary reaffirms reports from other airlines that they see a moderate increase in demand, which had been nearly wiped out by the coronavirus pandemic. Those encouraging signs have been tempered by warnings that prospects remain uncertain and that a full recovery may be delayed, especially on international routes.
Also on Wednesday, Scott Kirby, en his first day as CEO of United Airlines Holdings Inc., He said on CNBC that the airline is increasing the size of the planes by 30 to 40 flights a day to promote physical distance, while its number of passengers increases to 40,000 a day, compared to 10,000 in April.
Delta, which has pledged to sell no more than 60% of seats on each plane, cut daily flights to 1,000 and grounded about 650 planes.
Its seat-occupied rate per plane has increased 35-45%, in part because it has reduced flights, Bastian said. The Atlanta-based airline said earlier this week that it would reestablish some flights to Europe, China and the Caribbean next month, along with some domestic routes.