Delta Air Lines said on Monday that it would resume passenger flights between the U.S. and China this week. The company said it’s the first U.S. airline to do so since February after flights were suspended as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The twice-weekly flights from Seattle will travel through Seoul, South Korea, before reaching Shanghai, with the first one departing Thursday, according to a statement from Delta. The company said its service to China will expand in July to include Detroit as well.
A major sign of the easing of travel restrictions between the two countries came last week when the U.S. Department of Transportation said that China and the U.S. would allow American and Chinese carriers, respectively, to schedule four weekly flights between the two countries.
Later in the week, the department rejected China’s proposal for additional flights.
In its statement, Delta highlighted the strict safety measures it will be taking to prevent spread of the coronavirus, including “electrostatic spraying” before departure, capping main cabin seating at 60% and the use of “state-of-the-art” air circulation systems.
Delta has been hit hard financially by the coronavirus.
In May, Delta’s CEO said the company was burning through $50 million per day.
The Fortune 500 company also decided to retire its Boeing 777 model from its fleet in response to financial pressure. Delta’s stock price is above $29 as of Monday afternoon, a rebound from a low of $19 in May but still about half of its price from the beginning of 2020.