Delta Air Lines is renovating its Boeing 747-400 aircraft fleet to include full flat-bed seats in the BusinessElite cabin and new “slim line” seats offering more personal space and individual in-seat entertainment throughout the Economy cabin. The airline already has taken delivery of the first modified aircraft, which operated its first flight on Jan. 26, 2012 from Tokyo-Narita to Detroit. As modifications are completed throughout 2012, customers will increasingly see the upgraded aircraft on various routes across the Pacific and Atlantic. Customers will experience the new interiors on each 747 flown by Delta by October, 2012.
Each 747 will have 48 BusinessElite full flat-bed seats on the upper and lower deck of the aircraft featuring direct aisle access for every seat, a 110-volt universal power outlet, USB port and a personal LED reading lamp. In addition, each seat comes with a 15.4 inch widescreen video monitor with instant access to more than 1,000 entertainment options - more than any other U.S. carrier - including more than 300 films, 88 hours of television programming, nearly 100 hours of premium programming from HBO and Showtime, 27 video games and more than 5,000 digital music tracks.
Delta already offers more direct-aisle access seats than any other U.S. carrier. The new 747 BusinessElite seat, manufactured by Zodiac Aerospace, are approximately 80 inches in length and 20.5 inches wide, and will be arranged in an angled herringbone layout, similar to the flat-bed product currently offered on Delta’s 777 fleet. Window seats will face outward, while center seats are angled toward each other. The new seats are 20 percent wider than those they replace and include a large dining table and side console. There are no middle or rear-facing seats.
“Our best customers want a full flat-bed seat with direct aisle access and the new BusinessElite configuration of our 747s provides them with an industry leading experience as they fly across the globe,” said Glen Hauenstein, executive vice president – Marketing, Network and Revenue Management. “The days of having to step over a sleeping customer in the seat next to you are over. These upgrades will make the 747 the premier aircraft in our international fleet and customers will immediately notice the improved experience.”
To date, more than one-third of Delta’s widebody international fleet has been upgraded with direct-aisle access full flat-bed seats and the airline’s entire widebody international fleet of more than 140 aircraft will be flying with full flat-bed seats in BusinessElite by 2014. Already Delta’s fleet of 18 Boeing 777 aircraft, each with 45 BusinessElite seats per plane, and all 21 Boeing 767-400ER aircraft with 40 BusinessElite seats per plane have been retrofitted with full flat-bed seats. Seven Boeing 767-300ER with 36 full flat-bed seats and new interiors are currently flying, with the entire fleet scheduled for completion by the end of 2013.
Like all of Delta’s international fleet, the 747s also will feature the Economy Comfort product in its Economy cabin which includes up to four additional inches of legroom for 35 full inches of seat pitch and 50 percent more recline. Delta’s 747 aircraft each have 42 Economy Comfort seats.
The product, which is similar to upgraded Economy services currently available on flights operated by Delta’s joint venture partners Air France-KLM and Alitalia, is located in the first few rows of the Economy cabin on more than 160 Boeing 747, 757, 767, 777 and Airbus A330 aircraft.
In addition to more leg room and recline, customers seated in Economy Comfort will enjoy priority boarding and complimentary spirits throughout the flight. These benefits are in addition to Delta’s standard international Economy class amenities, including complimentary meals, beer, wine, entertainment, blankets and pillows.
Changes to the Economy cabin will be immediately evident as Delta transitions to a “slim line” seat, providing customers with up to two inches of additional knee clearance. All seats feature a headrest with adjustable wings, height and tilt, USB power and an industry-leading nine-inch touchscreen featuring personal on-demand entertainment including the same extensive library of entertainment choices as those offered in BusinessElite.
Installing full flat-bed seats on Delta’s widebody international aircraft is a major component of the $2 billion investment Delta is making in its product and customer experience. Delta’s investment also includes work underway on Delta’s new Terminal 4 at New York-JFK, opening in 2013, and the new Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal in Atlanta, opening in April of this year. Delta also will spend more than $100 million to expand, renovate and consolidate terminals C and D at LaGuardia. Customers also will see Delta’s investment in its more than 50 Delta Sky Clubs throughout the system, power poles at dozens of airports, mobile apps which include features such as baggage tracking and WiFi on more than 800 aircraft.