Delta Air Lines has announced plans for the resumption of its popular Minneapolis-St. Paul to Amsterdam flights beginning on October 25. Initially, the Atlanta-based carrier will operate four weekly flights on the route. This will be the first European longhaul route to resume since the cessation of service in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Delta’s other MSP to Europe routes to London Heathrow (LHR) and Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG) are currently slated to return in the spring of 2021, as are its Asia flights to Tokyo’s Haneda International Airport (HND) and Seoul-Inchon (ICN) in South Korea.
Unfortunately, newly arriving U.S. citizens remain barred from most of Europe due to COVID19, but the resumption of the Amsterdam flights became possible when U.S. authorities lifted health screening requirements for many inbound flights to American airports.
During peak season Delta has historically offered three daily non-stops between the Twin Cities and Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. Dutch national carrier KLM, a member of the SkyTeam Alliance with Delta, offers one additional service on the route, but that has also been suspended for the time being. The same is true of SkyTeam member Air France, which also flies a daily non-stop to Paris.
The other foreign carriers serving Minnesota remain in limbo, though Aer Lingus has apparently cancelled its planned Dublin service entirely. Icelandair is expected to return to MSP eventually, but not before sometime next year.
Delta’s flights will utilize Airbus A330 aircraft, with extensive connections available at both Schiphol, KLM’s huge hub airport, and for inbound passengers, at MSP, where Delta has been gradually building back its hub operation. Air travel remains depressed around the world, but Delta’s surprise announcement is a very welcome bright spot in an otherwise dismal airline industry.