Working with internal staff, Delta’s Flight Products team has created an additional layer of safety at airports for its customers, as well as the airline’s staff. Plexiglass safety barriers have been installed in airport check-in lobbies, at each departure gate, as well as at Delta Sky Club check-in counters.
The Atlanta-based carrier has often amazed the industry with its ability to move quickly to make major changes, and the manufacturing of more than 150 barriers daily in order to update all of its airport locations was no small feat.
As COVID-19 vaccination rates continue to climb in the U.S. and Europe, several countries are now permitting Americans to plan summer vacations, which seemed an impossibility just a couple of months ago. As European borders begin to reopen, Delta Air Lines has announced schedule expansions that will allow travelers starved for an international getaway the opportunity to plan their trip.
Slowly but surely, more international destinations are becoming available for vaccinated Americans to visit. Effective June 9th, France will welcome U.S. citizens who have received Astra Zeneca, Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
With airlines working around the clock to ramp up service as quickly as possible, there are also new airlines emerging that hope to take advantage of the pent-up demand to get out of town. With COVID-19 cases reduced to levels not seen since nearly a year ago and multiple vaccines available to anyone who wants one, the U.S. is slowly but surely returning to some degree of normalcy.
Enter Breeze Airways, a new entrant point-to-point carrier that flew its inaugural flights on May 27th with a single trip from Tampa International Airport to Charleston, South Carolina, and another flight from Charleston to Bradley International Airport which serves Hartford, CT and Springfield, MA. Breeze’s founder, David Neeleman, has a long history of starting new carriers, including Morris Air, which was sold long ago to Southwest Airlines, Azul in South America, and the wildly successful Queens, N.Y.-based carrier, JetBlue.
Breeze plans to offer non-stop service in underserved markets, avoiding the major hubs dominated by United, American, Delta and Southwest Airlines. By late July Breeze expects to offer 39 routes from cities like New Orleans, Columbus, Louisville, Huntsville (Alabama) and Tulsa. Other cities expecting Breeze flights in the not-too-distant future include Providence, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Oklahoma City, Richmond and Norfolk.
The airline’s simple and inexpensive model will surely be welcomed by travelers. Fares start as low as $39 one-way, checked and carry-on bags each cost $20 per flight, and the aircraft being utilized, Embraer E-190 and E195 twinjets feature an all-economy configuration with 2×2 seating, with no one having to be scrunched into a middle seat.
Just because this blog is named “iFlyMSP” doesn’t mean that I don’t often take note of exciting new services offered from other airports. And the May 19 long-anticipated announcement of JetBlue’s first transatlantic non-stops from JFK International Airport to not only close-in London Heathrow Airport, but also to London Gatwick on the south side of the region, is well worth noting.
At long last, we’ve done it. After booking, cancelling, rebooking, cancelling again, rebooking a third time and cancelling a third time, we’ve decided to change destinations for our long awaited next trip overseas. So, instead of discovering my wife’s family’s Austrian roots this year, we’re jetting off to Iceland in September. Given that Iceland now admits Americans who can show proof of vaccination from Covid-19, and we can, we’re comfortable that this trip will actually materialize.