Delta Air Lines has expanded its Asia-Pacific network with the addition of new nonstop flights between Japan and two Pacific-island vacation destinations – Honolulu...

Delta Air Lines has expanded its Asia-Pacific network with the addition of new nonstop flights between Japan and two Pacific-island vacation destinations – Honolulu on the Hawaiian island Oahu, and Koror in the island nation of Palau.

The airline’s new Tokyo Narita-Palau service brings to 17 the number of Asia-Pacific destinations offered by Delta Air Lines. The Nagoya-Honolulu route establishes a new competitive option for customers traveling between the two cities.

“Delta has been a leader in providing service from Japan to attractive beach-resort destinations including Guam, Saipan and Hawaii for many years,” says Jeff Bernier, Delta’s managing director – Pacific sales and affairs. “Our new service to Palau and expanded service to Honolulu underscore our commitment to providing more travel options to customers in Japan.”

The airline’s new service between its Tokyo hub at Narita International Airport (NRT) and Palau operates four times weekly and Delta says it is the only service connecting the two airports.

Palau, an island nation in the Pacific Ocean that lies 500 miles east of the Philippines and 2,000 miles south of Tokyo, is a popular scuba-diving destination. In addition to divers, the island has been attracting eco-tourists interested in its well-preserved natural environment. Nearly 30,000 Japanese tourists visit Palau each year, according to Delta Air Lines.

Delta’s Tokyo-Palau flight, which the carrier operates with 182-seat Boeing 757-200s featuring 20 BusinessElite seats and 162 seats in Economy, features the flight number DL607.

Delta Air Lines plans to spend $1 billion on fleet-efficiency and customer-experience improvements from 2010 through mid-2013. The improvement programs will include installing blended winglets on more than 170 Boeing 767-300ERs, 757-200s and 737-800s to extend aircraft range and improve fuel efficiency by up to 5 per cent

The flight operates on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays and it departs NRT at 3:50 p.m. and arrives at Palau’s Roman Tmetuchl International Airport (ROR) at 9:10 p.m. local time. The airport is on the island of Babeldaob (also known as Babelthuap), which serves Koror, an island chain which comprises the most populous state in the Palau archipelago.

In the other direction, flight DL608 is timed to depart ROR at 4:05 a.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and to land at NRT at 9 :15 a.m. local time. The first ROR-NRT flight takes place on December 23.

From April 1, 2011, Delta will adjust its flight schedules to improve connections for customers flying from the U.S. via Tokyo to Palau. The flight from NRT will have a revised departure time of 6:30 p.m. to enable connections from all of Delta’s U.S. gateways via Tokyo. The re-timed flight will arrive at Palau at 11:45 p.m.

Delta’s nonstop service between Nagoya’s Chubu Centrair International Airport (NGO) and Honolulu International Airport (HNL) expands the carrier’s reach from Nagoya. Delta says it now offers more service from Nagoya than any U.S. airline, with nonstop flights to six cities – Detroit, Guam, Honolulu, Manila, Saipan and Tokyo Narita.

The new flights also improve options for customers traveling nonstop between Nagoya and Honolulu, by adding a second competitor on the route. Japan Airlines already operates nonstop flights on the route.

“Delta’s new service provides more travel opportunities to our customers in the Chubu region,” says Bernier. “Delta continues to be committed to the Chubu market, and we will continue to work with Nagoya Centrair International Airport, local government, businesses and industry partners to offer a broader portfolio to better meet the needs of the local market.”

The airline is operating its daily Nagoya-Honolulu service with 216-seat Boeing 767-300ERs featuring 35 BusinessElite seats and 181 seats in Economy.

Delta’s Nagoya-Honolulu flight DL612 is timed to push back from the gate at NGO at 7:50 p.m. and to reach HNL at 8:05 a.m. the same day, local time. (The two destinations are on different sides of the International Date Line.) In the other direction, flight DL611 is scheduled to depart HNL at 10:40 a.m. and arrive at NGO at 4:20 p.m. the next day, local time.

The new flights are part of Delta’s continuing expansion in Asia, where the airline says it recently has seen revenue growth of more than 50 per cent.  In addition to added service to Honolulu and Palau, Delta plans to add new routes to Guangzhou and Tokyo Haneda in 2011 and expand service to Beijing, Manila and Shanghai.

Delta now serves 17 cities across the Asia-Pacific region – Tokyo-Narita , Nagoya, Osaka, Pusan, Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Manila, Singapore, Palau, Guam, Saipan, Sydney and Tahiti (this last service is a codeshare on Air France’s flights to Tahiti).

During the last three years, Delta has achieved more than a five-fold increase in Asia-Pacific markets through its acquisition of Northwest Airlines, as well as through organic growth.

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