Delta Air Lines on Thursday said it would ban smoking on all trans-Atlantic trips beginning next year, the latest step in the airline industry's trend toward smoke-free flights.
Delta said a survey of its trans-Atlantic passengers showed the airline would risk losing 7 percent of them because of the policy. But Delta said it expects a higher percentage of passengers would be attracted to Delta by the smoke-free policy.Delta, with more than 250 daily flights across the Atlantic, became one of the United States' largest carriers to Europe when it bought the routes from Pan Am.
The former Pan Am routes have been a drag on Delta since the airline bought them and Delta has been looking for ways to distinguish itself from other airlines flying to and from Europe.
Other airlines have been offering a few smoke-free flights on a handful of routes, but Delta is the first U.S. airline to ban smoking altogether in such a large market.
Delta's policy also applies to flights within Europe and between New York's Kennedy airport and Mexico. Delta decided against implementing the policy on trans-Pacific routes because it risked losing too many passengers.