Delta Air Lines planes are seen at John F. Kennedy International Airport on the July 4th weekend in Queens, New York City
Delta Air has designed a special route for its passengers to witness the total solar eclipse this year | Photo: AFP Reuters

On Monday, Delta Air Lines announced it had added a special flight to its schedule that would allow its passengers to witness a total solar eclipse from the air in April. The flight is certainly not cheap as the starting fare for the main cabin ticket is $579 (£457).

The phenomenon of the moon passing between the sun and Earth, blocking the sun's face, is expected to happen on April 8, 2024.

The Delta flight designated for the eclipse viewing is Flight 1218, which will take off from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) at 12: 15 PM CDT on April 8 for Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Metropolitan Airport (DTW).

The special flight, however, was already fully reserved on Tuesday, just one day after news of the special flight was announced, according to reports in the local media.

Additional flight routes for eclipse viewing

Apart from the specifically designed flight, Delta has come up with five additional routes on April 8 that may give passengers a view of the natural phenomenon:

DL 5699, DTW-HPN, 2:59 PM EST departure, ERJ-175

DL 924, LAX-DFW, 8:40 AM PST departure, A320

DL 2869, LAX-SAT, 9:00 AM PST departure, A319

DL 1001, SLC-SAT, 10:08 AM MST departure, A220-300

DL 1683, SLC-AUS, 9:55 AM MST departure, A320

Passengers gearing up to witness the solar eclipse from these Delta flights must remember to pack their protective viewing glasses.

Over 31 million people in the US will be able to watch the solar eclipse along a route extending from Texas to parts of the Midwest and sections of the East Coast.

To be able to have the best view of the total solar eclipse, a person needs to be within a 115-mile wide path of totality. The path stretches from Mexico to Texas to Maine. Unless a person is within the path of totality, they will only see a partial eclipse.

However, hotel prices at the destinations along this path have been skyrocketing and securing affordable accommodation for April 8 won't be an easy task.

Dallas, a city in the US state of Texas, is believed to be one of the best viewing cities for the magical event. While people on the ground in Dallas are expected to get around four minutes of totality, the flight route designed by Delta is going to give its passengers much more time to witness the solar eclipse.

Delta Air to use Airbus A220-300 for eclipse flight

To offer its passengers a better chance of taking amazing photos of the eclipse, Delta is reportedly going to use an Airbus A220-300 aircraft for the special route as the said plane has larger windows when compared to other jets.

"This eclipse will last more than twice as long as the one that occurred in 2017, and the path is nearly twice as wide," said Warren Weston, lead meteorologist for Delta Air Lines.

The airline also said that a lot of detailed work had gone into determining the best time to view the solar eclipse at its peak safely.

"This flight is the result of significant collaboration and exemplifies the close teamwork Delta is known for – from selecting an aircraft with larger windows to determining the exact departure time from Austin and the experiences at the gate and in the air," said Eric Beck, managing director of Delta Air Lines' domestic network planning.

The upcoming total solar eclipse is turning out to be an even bigger event than the one people in the US experienced in 2017. During the said event, seven years ago, many striking pictures came from flights, including Alaska Airlines Flight 9671, which departed from Oregon's Portland International Airport (PDX) on August 21, 2017.

It has also been reported that the April 8 eclipse is the last total eclipse to travel across North America until 2044.