Airlines expect uptick in flights as industry recovers from oil downturn

Delta Airlines has seen a drop in international travel to oil and gas areas as energy companies have cut back on international travel to their drilling sites.

The company has suspended some flights to energy-rich regions around the world, but that travel is starting to pick up again as oil prices have risen, said Chad Brossman, the head of district sales for Delta in Houston.

Delta, Air France and the Dutch airline KLM had a joint booth on the OTC trade show floor, where each ushered passers-by into new business class airline chairs that fully recline. The joint partnership between the airlines services 45 oil and gas destinations in North America,  as well as dozens of cities and countries in Europe, Asia and Africa.

United’s Atlanta flight to Lagos — the only direct flight on a U.S. carrier — was one that was cutback in the wake of the downturn, after oil prices plunged from to $26 early last year from more than $100 in 2014, said Bobby Bryan, Delta’s director of sales for East and West Africa. By the end of May, Delta will add a daily 12-hour flight direct to Lagos, Bryan said.