Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) this week begins nonstop flights from its Detroit Metropolitan Airport hub to Seoul-Incheon and Hong Kong. The new routes, along with expanded service to Shanghai, continue Delta’s development of Detroit as a major gateway to Asia thanks to its strategic geographic position for millions of customers who travel between the U.S. East Coast and Asia. On a year-round basis, Delta offers Detroit customers service to 158 nonstop destinations, including 28 international destinations and five in Asia.
“Delta’s development of Detroit as a major international hub and gateway to Asia has been a boon for our customers and this community,” said Andrea Fischer Newman, Delta’s senior vice president – Government Affairs. “With service to 12 small- and medium-sized Michigan communities, Delta connects not only Detroit but customers statewide to the world with one convenient connection at one of the world’s top-rated airports for customer satisfaction.”
Delta in October will inaugurate twice weekly service from Detroit to Sao Paulo, South America’s largest business market. The new Detroit service will create a second competitive gateway to Brazil from the Midwest region. Delta plans to add service from Detroit to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport complementing the airline’s current service connecting Detroit to Tokyo at Narita. Service to Tokyo-Haneda is pending final U.S. government approval.
The new and expanded service from Detroit is part of Delta’s summer 2010 schedule, the first fully consolidated schedule published following Delta’s merger with Northwest. Compared to Northwest’s 2007 schedule, Delta has introduced 15 new nonstop destinations from Detroit including eight new international destinations. The merger combined Delta’s broad network to Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America with Northwest’s Asian network providing single airline access to the world.
Delta customers flying at Detroit Metropolitan Airport enjoy 579 peak-day departures from the state-of-the-art, 121-gate terminal designed specifically for international connections. Detroit’s airport recently was ranked No. 1 among large airports in overall customer satisfaction by J.D. Power and Associates.
Customers on the new flights will have the opportunity to experience Delta’s award-winning BusinessElite service, including innovative food offerings from celebrity chef Michelle Bernstein and original wine selections chosen by Delta’s Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson. BusinessElite also features on-demand personal in-seat entertainment boasting more than 20 first-run and popular classic movies, a variety of TV programs, thousands of music titles and a suite of video games.
Routes operated with Delta’s new Boeing 777-200LR aircraft, including Detroit to Hong Kong, offer BusinessElite customers a fully flat, six-foot, three-inch bed in a one-two-one configuration, which provides every customer with direct aisle access.
As previously announced, Delta will invest $1 billion, or about $300 million per year, through mid-2013 to improve the customer experience in the air and on the ground. The product investment includes installing full flat-bed seats in BusinessElite on 90 trans-oceanic aircraft, including 14 Boeing 767-400ERs, 52 Boeing 767-300ERs, 16 Boeing 747-400s and eight Boeing 777-200ERs. Upon completion, each of these fleets will have full flat-bed seats on all aircraft. Delta also will add in-seat audio and video on demand throughout Economy Class on 16 Boeing 747-400 and 52 Boeing 767-300ER aircraft. With these additions, Delta will offer personal, in-seat entertainment for both BusinessElite and Economy class customers on all wide-body aircraft. Additional information about these product investments is available at http://news.delta.com/index.php?s=43&item=870.
The new service in Detroit is part of a series of Delta schedule enhancements this summer to strengthen its international network for summer 2010. The changes - which will expand service for customers in 17 cities - leverage Delta’s industry-leading joint venture with Air France-KLM, growing alliance relationship with Alaska Air Group and increased fleet flexibility gained from its merger with Northwest. A complete list of Delta’s summer 2010 seasonal service is available at http://news.delta.com/index.php?DB=mr4enh_delta&s=11. The airline’s expanding global network also benefits Delta Cargo customers, opening up more opportunities to ship directly to more markets than any carrier in the world. More information is available at deltacargo.com.