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August 04, 2021

PHL resumes Air Canada, Lufthansa Airlines service after more than a year

Other airlines suspended flights during the pandemic, including Aer Lingus and Iceland Air

Travel International
PHL airport Germany Canada Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

Philadelphia International Airport resumed operations with Lufthansa Airlines to Frankfurt, Germany, and its daily service to Toronto with Air Canada this week for the first time in more than a year.

Philadelphia International Airport announced it has resumed operations with Lufthansa Airlines to Frankfurt, Germany, and its daily service to Toronto with Air Canada this week after more than a year of suspension during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Lufthansa has been flying out of PHL since 1965, and the airline was going to celebrate its 55th anniversary with PHL in 2020, but the flights were halted due to the pandemic. 

"We are grateful that Lufthansa has returned to PHL during what continues to be a challenging time. The direct service Lufthansa offers between Philadelphia and our sister city Frankfurt is critical for our region’s business. Many local companies are headquartered in both cities," said PHL CEO Chellie Cameron. "In addition to carrying passengers, the flights will be used for transporting cargo between the U.S. and Europe."

Air Canada's operations resumed Aug. 2, and Lufthansa's Aug. 3. 

International travel is starting to gear back up across the country, but with the threat of the fast-spreading Delta variant of COVID-19, traveling has become a maze of COVID tests, paperwork and quarantines.

"All travelers, whether taking domestic or international trips, should check with their airline, as well as the CDC and the Department of Health for their destination's most up-to-date travel guidance," PHL spokesperson Heather Redfern told PhillyVoice.

International service from Philadelphia to Mexico, Toronto and the Caribbean were operating through American Airlines throughout the pandemic.

British Airways and Qatar Airways have been operating international flights out of Philadelphia to London Heathrow and Doha, respectively, since last September. In July 2021, Qatar Airways resumed its daily services.

British Airways is set to resume daily flights to London out of Philadelphia sometime soon, Redfern said.

In March 2021, American Airlines added back its flights to London and Dublin. Then in May, it resumed flights to Amsterdam and is set to resume service to Athens on Aug. 17.

The remaining international airlines, Aer Lingus and Iceland Air, have yet to get back to their pre-pandemic international services.

Tips for international travel

• Consider travel insurance to keep yourself covered if the unexpected happens.

• Some destinations, like the U.K. and Ireland, are allowing fully vaccinated Americans to visit without having to take a COVID-19 test before traveling or quarantine upon arrival. 

• Other locations require a negative test regardless of vaccination status, and require mandatory paperwork or international travelers to compete prior to their trips.

• Americans returning to the U.S. from international destinations must get a COVID test no more than 72 hours before boarding the flight.

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