Delta Airlines will start flying its new A350 on its Atlanta-Seoul Incheon service beginning March 24 next year, making this the second Delta route to the South Korean capital that will see the wide-body aircraft.
The US carrier’s first Seoul-bound service to see the A350 will be Detroit starting this November, coming after its worldwide debut on October 30 on Delta’s Detroit-Tokyo Narita service. Both these routes will be followed by Beijing in January next year.
The deployment of the wide-body aircraft on its Asia-Pacific routes comes as Delta looks to expand its presence in the region, with Seoul in particular being a key gateway. The airline’s Atlanta-Seoul route itself is new, having only launched in June, and ties in with a wider strategic partnership with South Korea’s flag carrier Korean Air, which began in March.
“We’re very excited that our flagship international product on the new A350 will link customers across these two important hubs across the Pacific,” said Steve Sear, Delta’s president – international and executive vice president of global sales. “Delta is focused on improving the customer experience in-flight through our innovative and thoughtful products and services.”
This includes the addition of the airline’s Delta Premium Select seats, of which the A350 has 276. The two-class wide-body aircraft also has 32 Delta One suites with lie-flat beds and full-height doors.
These will replace the 37 Delta One, 36 Delta Comfort+ and 218 main cabin seats available on its B777-200LR, which currently flies the route.
The US carrier’s Asia-Pacific expansion isn’t just limited to A350 deployments, however. Last month it announced it would be connecting its main Atlanta hub with Shanghai directly next March, joining its other three Shanghai services from Detroit, Seattle and Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, rival carrier American Airlines recently submitted a filing to the US Department of Transport (DoT) regarding a schedule for its proposed Los Angeles-Beijing non-stop service – a route that Delta has also expressed an interest in launching should American Airlines be unable to do so.