Delta Air Lines has been growing in Seattle for a number of years and even pre-merger Seattle was an important focus city for NWA with a number of international flights. Before the merger, Northwest Airlines and Alaska Airlines had a strategic partnership in place in Seattle, allowing Northwest Airlines to offer non-stop flights from Seattle to destinations such as Tokyo, Amsterdam, London, Osaka and they had announced service to Beijing. The partnership allowed for not only frequent flyer benefits and codeshares, but allowed each airline to align their schedules, allowing for easy connections between Alaska’s Network and Northwest Airlines’ International Network. Now, Delta has further deepened this partnership and has announced new services from Seattle.
Today, Delta announces a number of upgrades to their focus city, Seattle, including two new destinations! Seattle will be getting nonstop service to Shanghai PVG airport and Tokyo’s Business Center airport Haneda. I had previous announced that Delta would be moving service to HND from Detroit to Seattle, but this makes it official, UNLESS the DOT rejects.
Delta plans to operate the Shanghai flight with 208-seat Boeing 767-300ER aircraft featuring 36 full flat-bed seats in BusinessElite, 29 seats in Economy Comfort and 143 Economy class seats. The aircraft features in-flight entertainment in every seat throughout the aircraft. The proposed schedule for the new route:
|Seattle at 2:45 p.m.||Shanghai at 6:20 p.m. (next day)||June 17, 2013||Boeing 767-300ER|
|Shanghai at 12:20 p.m.||Seattle at 8:35 a.m.||June 19, 2013||Boeing 767-300ER|
The Haneda flight would be operated with Boeing 767-300ER aircraft, and would begin service March 31, 2013. The proposed schedule for the new route:
|Seattle at 7:35 p.m.||Tokyo-Haneda at 10 p.m. (next day)||March 30, 2013||Boeing 767-300ER|
|Tokyo-Haneda at 12 a.m.||Seattle at 5 p.m.||April 1, 2013||Boeing 767-300ER|
Furthermore, Delta will be expanding service between Seattle and JFK and adding Business Elite aircrafts between the two cities, offering the same higher end domestic business class experience between the two cities that only LAX-JFK and SFO-JFK currently offer. This will make Delta the only airline offering more premium cabin between the two cities! Also, not only will Business class service be upgraded, but with the upgrade comes new aircraft. Delta will replace 4 daily trips on a mixture of 737 and 757s to 5 daily roundtrips on a mix of 757-200s and 767-300ers, meaning more seats and better service from coast to coast!
If these upgrades were not enough, Delta also announced they will be bringing the 747 to Seattle on June 1, 2014! Delta will be one of only two airlines offering service aboard the jumbo jet, and the only one offering double deck service to Japan’s Tokyo Narita airport from Seattle!
“Delta will be the only U.S. passenger airline operating the iconic Boeing 747 in Seattle. Dubbed the “Queen of the Skies,” the 747 is one of the world’s most recognizable aircraft due to the graceful curve of its upper deck.”
Replacing the A330 with the refurnished 747-400, Delta will be able to compete more effectively against ANA’s B787 and offer full flat seats in Business Class.
Finally, Delta also said the old and dated B767s will also be getting a facelift and the older aircrafts will be pulled from service this month!! This means that new service to Shanghai, and existing service to Beijing, Osaka, and Paris will all be replaced with refurbished B767-300 which also offers lay flat seats in business class. Effectively October 28, all planes will be replaced!
By the time Delta makes all of these adjustments, Delta will be flying refurbished aircraft will full-flat seats on ALL international routes from Seattle, except for Seattle-Amsterdam which still uses the A330. I believe this will truly help Delta grow in the Seattle market when it comes to international travel!
Quick Recap of all new announcements today:
- Proposed new nonstop Delta service between Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and Shanghai Pu Dong International Airport, pending approval by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).
- Proposed new nonstop Delta service between Seattle and Haneda Airport in Tokyo, pending DOT approval.
- The deployment of Delta’s flagship Boeing 747-400 jet on flights between Seattle and Narita Airport in Tokyo, featuring afully upgraded interior with full flat-bed seats in BusinessElite, individual in-flight entertainment in every seat throughout the aircraft, expanded overhead bins and other amenities.
- Newly upgraded Boeing 767-300 aircraft on Delta’s flights between Seattle and Paris, Beijing and Osaka, Japan, also offering full flat-bed seats in BusinessElite and upgraded amenities.
- Additional nonstop Delta service between Seattle and John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.
- Upgraded BusinessElite service on all Delta Seattle-JFK flights to match the product and amenities of Delta’s JFK service from Los Angeles and San Francisco.
- Sea-Tac airport improvements including a new Delta Sky Club, new power ports throughout Delta’s facilities, expanded ticket counters, lobby renovations and other improvements.
- An ongoing partnership between Delta and Alaska that includes codesharing in Seattle and shared customer benefits including reciprocal lounge access and frequent flier programs.
This is ALL Great news for Seattle flyers! More flights, More Options, Better Service and more ways to get around the globe from the Northwest! By next summer Delta will offer over 40 daily flights to 15 destinations all from Seattle! Right now over 1,200 passengers connect from Alaska to Delta or vice versa daily in Seattle. I’m willing to bet by next summer this number almost doubles with all the new international options and Alaska’s continually growing foot print in the Seattle market.