May 15 (UPI) -- Delta Air Lines plans to reopen new international routes -- including one to the Middle East it shut down two years ago -- thanks a new diplomatic deal this week between the United States and United Arab Emirates.
Delta CEO Ed Bastian said the deal will allow the carrier to re-launch flights from Atlanta to Dubai, which it discontinued in 2016 due to heavy competition.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Monday agreed to resolve transparency concerns involving UAE carriers Emirates and Etihad Airways and Australia's Qatar receiving government subsidies.
Both governments agreed the subsidies hurt competition under the Open Skies agreements, which aims to create a global free market for the airline industry. They also agreed to issue annual audited financial reports.
The diplomats said the deal is aimed at "ensuring a level playing field in the global aviation sector."
"We're going to have the opportunity to once again go back into parts of the world that we've been run out of," Bastian told the Atlanta-Journal Constitution.
"[Dubai] was one of the markets that we've been run out of," Bastian added.
Earlier this week, the airline revealed it will roll out new Boeing 777s with business class suites by July. The all-suite seating will be featured on routes from Detroit to Beijing this summer, and Los Angeles to Sydney by next spring.