Delta announced yesterday that they’ll begin cutting BusinessElite seats from much of their longhaul fleet. They’ll apparently be removing 14 BusinessElite seats from some of their 767 aircraft (of which they have 97), adding a net of 20 coach seats. Meanwhile they’ll be removing seven BusinessElite seats from their 777 aircraft (of which they have 18), adding a net of 23 coach seats.
While it seems like this change will be happening on all their 777s, they haven’t made clear yet how many 767s they plan on reconfiguring. Delta’s 777s presently have 45 BusinessElite seats, so the reduction of seven seats isn’t huge (at least compared to the 767 changes). Meanwhile Delta has 36-40 BusinessElite seats on most of their 767s, so taking out 14 BusinessElite seats will be huge.
I’d expect that the reconfigured 767 aircraft won’t be operating flights to key business markets like London or Paris, but instead more leisure destinations like Athens, Istanbul, etc.
Bloomberg has some interesting info on how much BusinessElite Delta is currently selling:
The share of premium seats filled by paying passengers on the affected flights averages in the high 60 percent range, Chief Revenue Officer Glen Hauenstein said at a Delta investor meeting Wednesday in New York. That figure drops from the low 90s on Saturdays into the upper 40s on midweek days, he said.
It’s interesting that this news comes around the same time that Delta announced they’ll be introducing their first useful systemwide upgrade benefit for top tier Diamond Medallion benefits.
Anyway, Delta seems to be have their operations together, though it always cracks me up how many subfleets they have, and this will only add even more subfleets. I mean, after all, this is the airline that has six subfleets of the 767-300.
Or even more entertaining is that they have eight subfleets of the 757.
How they perform so well operationally is beyond me!