Delta Air Lines said Tuesday it will resume daily flights between Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and three Canadian cities.
The move marks the first uptick in international service by the dominant carrier at MSP since rapidly contracting its schedule in late March, after travel demand evaporated because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Daily service to and from Winnipeg resumes Wednesday, and Delta will have daily flights to and from Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta, starting June 1. The airline has had less than daily service to all three Canadian cities for nearly two months.
The Atlanta-based carrier also said it would increase the frequency of some other international flights from its hubs in Atlanta, Detroit and Seattle next month. But it expects its overall schedule to be about 85% smaller than it was last June.
"While the June schedule is significantly reduced in comparison to last year, customers will see the return of several major routes, both U.S. domestic and international, which were previously suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic," the airline said.
Delta said most of the additions in June will be to routes in Atlanta, New York and between its domestic hubs.
The airline is flying far less frequently on most routes and has temporarily canceled service to some smaller U.S. cities. It has parked about 600 of its 900 planes in Atlanta, Kansas City, Mo., and at small depot airports in Arizona and California.
Delta in late March canceled its routes between MSP, its second-largest hub after Atlanta, and places in Asia and Europe. The airline gave no indication when those routes might resume. Delta had been flying to Amsterdam, London, Paris, Seoul and Tokyo and more than a dozen non-U. S. destinations in North America from MSP.
At present, Delta passengers from MSP have to go to Atlanta or Detroit for flights to Europe, and to Detroit or Seattle for flights to Asia.
The airline's executives last week announced they would retire Delta's 18 Boeing 777 airplanes, about 25% of its fleet of widebody aircraft chiefly used on international flights. In addition to saving costs, that decision showed that Delta executives expect international travel demand to be constrained into next year.