Demand for global air travel is showing encouraging growth as COVID-19 vaccination rates rise and travel restrictions ease in different countries, boosting traveler confidence, industry experts said.
Delta Air Lines, a major Atlanta-based carrier, said its cash burn that averaged USD 11 million per day earlier started to turn positive in March with cash generation of USD 4 million daily.
Starting Saturday, Delta will add significant capacity with renewed seating allowed in its pandemic-era blocked middle seats, a practice that started last year to maintain social distancing.
For US-China flights operated by Delta, making middle seats available again for passengers will increase the total capacity of US-China flights operated by Delta by 19%, it said.
In the 61-day period spanning May and June, Delta will operate four US-China weekly flights. Two flights will originate in Seattle, travel via Seoul and terminate at Shanghai Pudong Airport. The other two flights will originate in Detroit and take the same route to Shanghai.
"Demand has generally been high on the US-China direction since we restarted services last June. There is pent-up demand being held back due to reduced capacity and border restrictions, and we are confident that travel will resume once travel policies begin to relax," said Wong Hong, Delta Air Lines' president in China.
"Currently, our customers are essential travelers, like students, families, and limited corporate customers who need to return home to China."
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