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There are now 21 long-haul routes to Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe and far South America that U.S. airlines are flying.
The dramatic pull back of long-haul international air service by U.S. airlines hit bottom in April, but American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines and United Airlines are bringing back several routes in May with plans for further service resumptions over the summer.
After weeks of cuts, American, Delta and United flew just 15 long-haul international routes in April. Nearly all flights to Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe and far South America were grounded as governments put up restrictions on international arrivals to limit the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Domestic markets will be the first to reopen,” Brian Pearce, chief economist at the International Air Transport Association (IATA), said in April. “The problem of imported cases means that opening international travel restrictions is more problematic until we see a solution to the health issues.”
The organization expects a phased relaxation of international travel restrictions but does not have a timeline for when that will occur.
In the meantime, airlines are adapting the patchwork of restrictions and keeping an eye on travel demand as they look to bring back flights. American, for example, had planned to resume service between Miami (MIA) and three South American capitals this month but delayed them as COVID-19 arrival restrictions remain in place.
For now, however, U.S. airlines are trying to rebuild their international flights schedules.
For May, these are the 21 long-haul routes to Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe and far South America that U.S. carriers are flying with passengers, though there are some additional cargo-only routes.
- Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) – London Heathrow (LHR), Madrid (MAD) and Tokyo Narita (NRT)
- Miami (MIA) – London Heathrow
- Atlanta (ATL) – Amsterdam (AMS), Lima (LIM) and Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG)
- Detroit (DTW) – Amsterdam, Seoul Incheon (ICN) and Tokyo Haneda (HND)
- Seattle/Tacoma (SEA) – Seoul Incheon and Tokyo Haneda
- Chicago O’Hare (ORD) – London Heathrow
- Houston Intercontinental (IAH) – São Paulo Guarulhos (GRU)
- Newark (EWR) – Amsterdam, Frankfurt (FRA), London Heathrow and Tel Aviv (TLV)
- San Francisco (SFO) – Sydney (SYD) and Tokyo Narita
- Washington Dulles (IAD) – Frankfurt
In addition, United continues to operate its island-hopper service between Guam (GUM) and Honolulu (HNL), as well as nonstop service between Hawaii and the U.S. territory.
More long-haul international routes will come back in June. American is due to resume select flights between both Chicago O’Hare and Dallas/Fort Worth and select European cities, and will bring back flights between Miami and Buenos Aires (EZE), Santiago (SCL) and São Paulo.
United is due to resume limited service between Newark and both Paris Charles de Gaulle and Tokyo Narita, and San Francisco and London Heathrow in June.
A broad resumption of long-haul international flying, as Pearce pointed out, is not expected until more travel restrictions are eased and people feel safe from the coronavirus.