Another border is open again when flying on Delta Air Lines. The airline announced on Friday that, starting on May 16th, passengers can fly to Italy on Delta’s COVID-tested flights, be exempted from quarantine, and visit for nonessential purposes. Alongside this, Delta is expanding services to Italy this summer.
Italy reopens for COVID-tested travelers
Effective Sunday, passengers can take one of Delta Air Lines’ COVID-tested flights between the US and Italy for nonessential leisure tourism purposes. This reopens the country for Americans for the first time in over a year as Delta continues to push for a European reopning.
Alain Bellemare, Delta’s EVP and President – International, stated the following on the development:
“Delta was the first U.S. airline to launch quarantine-free service to Italy, and our COVID-tested flights have proved a viable means to restart international travel safely. It is encouraging that the Italian government has taken this step forward to reopen the country to leisure travelers from the U.S. on our dedicated protocol flights and further supporting economic recovery from the global pandemic.”
There are several current services in operation between the US and Italy on one of these COVID-tested flights:
- Five-times-per-week flights between Atlanta (ATL) and Rome (FCO)
- Daily service between New York (JFK) and Milan (MXP)
- Three-times-per-week services between JFK and FCO
Passengers who fly on one a COVID-tested flight will need to complete preflight testing and arrival testing, regardless of vaccination status. Negative test results will release passengers from quarantine obligations, allowing for freedom of movement within Italy, subject to local restrictions.
Delta expands Italy services
Along with the reopening for leisure tourism, Delta is growing its offerings to the country. From May 26th, Atlanta to Rome flights will upgauge to daily services. And New York to Rome flights will go daily from July 1st.
Three more nonstop routes will also be in operation this summer. Delta will resume its New York to Venice (VCE) flight from July 2nd. Atlanta to Venice and Boston (BOS) to Rome will start on August 5th. This will make Delta the largest airline flying between the US and Italy.
Existing services to Rome and Milan will operate using the Airbus A330-300. These aircraft offer 293 seats, with 34 in lie-flat business class, branded as Delta One, 40 in extra-legroom economy, branded as Comfort+, and 219 economy seats, branded as Main Cabin.
The new flights will run on 226-seat Boeing 767-300ERs. These planes feature 26 seats in Delta One, 35 in Comfort+, and 165 in Main Cabin. Delta has not currently indicated that it will offer a retrofitted Boeing 767 with Premium Select on any of the routes.
Transatlantic travel is starting to come back
Border restrictions were, arguably, one of the largest forces restricting movement between the US and Italy. With those borders down for passengers on Delta’s COVID-tested flights, this is another sign of the end of the crisis as vaccines roll out and testing becomes far more widespread.
Italy is the fourth European destination open to Americans, though only on those flying on a COVID-tested flight. Iceland, Greece, and Croatia are also reopening or have reopened for leisure travel. Delta will fly to all four countries this summer, targeting leisure hotspots for pent-up demand.
Are you going to take any of Delta’s quarantine-free COVID-tested flights to Italy this summer? Let us know in the comments!