Airlines are redrawing their route maps, betting that business travelers who have largely stayed put in the past year will return despite fresh worries about the highly infectious Delta variant of Covid-19 spreading in the U.S.

Delta Air Lines Inc. is adding back flights this fall in business centers such as New York and Boston, while cutting back on flying many of the vacation routes that became popular over the summer.

“We’re pivoting our capacity to now supplying more business seats,” said Joe Esposito, Delta’s senior vice president of network planning.

Delta has been polling corporate customers to ensure it gets the timing right. “We don’t want to put the seats in before they fly,” Mr. Esposito said. “We want to put the seats in when they’re ready to get back in the air.”

Vacation travel typically slows when summer ends, while business travelers start to hit…

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