Next May, the American carrier Delta will begin daily non-stop flights between Berlin and New York, giving the German capital its first direct connection to the United States in three years. Delta had previously had a direct flight to Berlin, but closed it in 1998, citing a lack of demand. German airline Lufthansa experimented with a daily Berlin-Washington service starting in March 2001, but discontinued the flights shortly after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 of that year. Berlin's mayor, Klaus Wowereit, welcomed the plan by Delta, saying the city suffered due to the need for visitors to take connecting flights to reach the city from the US. Berlin is often seen as something of a transportation backwater. Its three small airports have few long-haul flights and most travellers flying outside of Europe have to fly through larger international airports before reaching their destination. Delta has said the inaugural flight will take off on May 2, 2005.