Delta Air Lines is adding seasonal nonstop service between Minneapolis-St. Paul and Rome beginning next summer.
The daily round-trip flight marks Delta’s fifth long-haul international destination from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, one of the carrier’s largest North American hubs.
Delta will open the route on May 26 and continue daily service through the peak summer months until near Labor Day. The Atlanta-based carrier will fly a 226-seat Boeing 767 aircraft for the flights to and from Italy.
Departures will takeoff at 5:25 p.m. and arrive in Rome the following day at 10 a.m. Return flights will leave Rome at 11:45 a.m. and land at MSP at 3:45 p.m.
Delta on Monday also announced new nonstop summer service between Detroit and Munich as the airline expands its summer international route offerings from several of its U.S. ports.
In addition to Rome, Delta offers nonstop service from Minneapolis-St. Paul to Amsterdam, London, Paris and Tokyo-Narita.
“Rome is one of Europe’s oldest cities, with tremendous historical, cultural and commercial appeal. It is also the most popular destination in Europe not to already have direct service from MSP International Airport,” said Jeff Hamiel, executive director of the Metropolitan Airports Commission.
The announcement is welcome news in the Twin Cities, where concern persists over Delta’s commitment and comparisons are made with the airline’s larger hub in Detroit.
“With the investments in our facilities and the addition of Rome service, our partnership with the MSP market is strong,” said Bob Cortelyou, Delta’s senior vice president of network planning, in a news release.
Last fall, Richard Anderson, Delta’s chief executive, alluded to a potential new nonstop flight between MSP and Asia, likely China, but nothing has materialized.
Cortelyou kept the international conversation open Monday, adding that “we look forward to partnering with the community and the airport authority to meet the growing needs of our customers in the Twin Cities.”
Meanwhile, Delta will resume next month its winter nonstop service from MSP to Honolulu, suspended in 2011.