Delta Air Lines is carrying out a series of schedule moves to strengthen its international network for summer 2010.
The changes ― which will create increased service in 17 cities ― make use of Delta’s joint venture with Air France-KLM, as well as its alliance relationship with Alaska Air Group and the increased fleet flexibility Delta has gained from its merger with Northwest.
Delta’s 2010 changes are part of the first fully consolidated schedule it has published following Delta’s merger with Northwest, allowing the airline to reallocate existing capacity to new routes. Delta also will maintain many of the international route reductions it announced in June in response to decreased global demand.
Delta’s new and expanded nonstop routes for summer 2010 will be focused in three regions: transpacific routes, transatlantic services and Africa.
Transpacific Route Changes
In the transpacific region, Delta Air Lines will begin five-times weekly service between Seattle and Beijing on June 4 with Boeing 767-300ERs. It also will start daily Seattle-Osaka service, on June 7, with 767-300ERs.
The new nonstop flights from Seattle to Beijing and Osaka will be timed to make convenient connections with Delta’s and Alaska Airlines’ 267 combined daily departures to 64 destinations from Seattle, and will complement Delta’s existing daily service from Seattle to Tokyo Narita. Delta and Alaska Airlines offer customers reciprocal codeshare, lounge and frequent flyer benefits at Seattle to make it easier to connect between the airlines’ domestic and international networks.
Delta will also start five-times-weekly Detroit-Hong Kong flights on June 2 with Boeing 777-200LRs; and Detroit-Seoul Incheon flights with 777-200ERs on June 1. Additionally, from June 1 Delta will increase its Detroit-Shanghai Boeing 777-200ER schedule from five flights a week to seven.
The airline says it is continuing to position Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport as a major gateway to Asia thanks to the airport’s strategic geographic position for millions of customers who travel between the U.S. East Coast and Asia. At Detroit, Delta offers customers 477 peak-day departures to more than 130 nonstop destinations.
At Tokyo Narita, Delta will resume seasonal nonstop service between Tokyo and Salt Lake City (operating five times weekly); resume three-times-weekly summer flights between Tokyo and Atlanta to complement daily year-round service; increase capacity on its daily flight between Tokyo and New York-JFK by upgrading from Boeing 777-200ERs to 747-400s; and expand service between Tokyo and Los Angeles with four additional weekly 777-200ER flights to complement its daily, year-round A330-200 service. With these changes, Delta will offer Narita customers more than 25 daily departures to more than 20 nonstop destinations.
In the transatlantic market, Delta will add daily New York JFK-Copenhagen and New York JFK-Stockholm services on May 27, 2010, using Boeing 757-200s. On June 3, it will increase capacity on its daily New York JFK-Tel Aviv service by replacing 767-300ERs on the flights with Boeing 747-400s. On June 1, Delta will expand its seven-times-weekly Seattle-Amsterdam services (operated with Airbus A330-300s and Boeing 767-300ERs) to 10 flights a week.
By June 2010, the Delta-Air France-KLM joint venture will also reintroduce seasonal service on more than a dozen transatlantic routes. Seasonal reintroductions include additional daily flights between joint venture hubs and added service to meet seasonal demand on routes such as Atlanta to Athens; Atlanta to Venice; New York-JFK to Zurich; and Detroit to Rome. (A complete list of Delta’s summer 2010 seasonal service is available at news.delta.com.)
Delta says its new service between New York JFK and Copenhagen will be the only nonstop flight between the two airports, filling a gap to the largest travel market from New York JFK without nonstop service. Stockholm, which is among the largest travel markets to and from New York, also will benefit from its only nonstop service to New York JFK. (Star Alliance carrier Scandinavian Airlines operates multiple daily flights from both Stockholm and Copenhagen to JFK’s near-neighbor Newark, using Airbus A330-300s.)
In total, claims Delta, the Delta-Air France-KLM joint venture will offer the industry’s leading transatlantic flight schedule for summer 2010, its capacity representing approximately 25 per cent of the total transatlantic market.
Since beginning a dramatic restructuring of its international network in 2005, Delta has grown from approximately 45 daily round-trip U.S. to Europe flights in summer 2005 to more than 100 daily flights scheduled by the Delta-Air France-KLM joint venture for summer 2010.
Africa Market Additions
The airline will also increase its presence on routes between the U.S. and Africa, starting June 1. On that day ― subject to receiving foreign government approval in time ― Delta will complement its existing New York JFK-Accra, Ghana service by beginning three-times weekly service from Atlanta to Accra, using Boeing 767-300ERs. Delta also will replace its one-stop, three-times-weekly Boeing 757-200 services from New York JFK to Abuja in Nigeria with nonstop 767-300ER flights.
Delta says it intends to serve as many as 10 African destinations from the United States next summer, including flights to Malabo, Equatorial Guinea; Monrovia, Liberia; Nairobi, Kenya; and Luanda, Angola, each of which are pending U.S. and foreign government approvals. The airline says it has aircraft ready to serve each of these markets as soon as it receives the necessary approvals.
“Traffic between the United States and Africa is projected to grow more than 5 percent annually through 2027,” says Glen Hauenstein,Delta’s executive vice president ― network planning and revenue management. “With demand for travel to Africa spread across the United States, Delta is uniquely positioned to continue to collect this growing base of traffic through the world’s largest passenger hub in Atlanta, as well as via the top U.S. market in New York.”
Delta says its African expansion will trim several hours off average travel times between the U.S. and Africa, benefiting customers.
Routes that Delta operates with its new Boeing 777-200LRs offer BusinessElite customers a fully flat, six-foot, three-inch bed in a one-two-one row configuration, which provides every customer with direct aisle access.
With next summer’s schedule, Delta will fly its 777-200LRs on its longest flights, including Atlanta to Dubai; Atlanta to Tel Aviv; Atlanta to Johannesburg; Los Angeles to Tokyo-Narita; Los Angeles to Sydney; and Detroit to Hong Kong. Summer 2010 will mark the first time the 777-200LR has flown in scheduled service from Tokyo Narita, with Delta’s service to Atlanta and Los Angeles.