Rumor: Delta’s First A350 Route To Be Detroit To Tokyo Narita As Of October 2017

This year we’re seeing two airlines introduce fully enclosed business class suites for the first time ever. It’s ironic that those two airlines are Delta and Qatar, given how much they hate one another.

Qatar Airways will first be rolling out their new business class product between Doha and London as of next week, and it looks like a really solid product. Of the two products, this is certainly the one that looks revolutionary.

Qatar-New-Business-3

Delta is also introducing their fully enclosed business class suite, which will be available on their new A350s, and then will eventually be retrofitted on their 777 fleet as well. While I’m super excited about this product, I’m not convinced it will be all that spacious, as it’s essentially a modified Vantage XL seat.

Delta-One-Suite

Still, I’m excited about flying it once it’s introduced. Just a couple of days ago I was looking to see if there was any update about the first route the plane will be on, and saw nothing. Delta’s first A350 has just rolled out of the factory in the past few days.

https://twitter.com/Frenchpainter/status/874498756212908032

Of course it’ll still be a few weeks before it gets delivered, then wifi needs to be installed, and then typically airlines don’t start longhaul service with a new plane type on day one. Instead they typically first operate these planes on shorthaul/domestic routes so they can familiarize crews before it’s “prime time.”

But it looks like we may now have a clue as to when Delta’s A350 will be flying internationally. Wandering Aramean shares that Delta’s internal system apparently reflects Detroit to Tokyo Narita as being operated by an A350 as of October 30, 2017 (though the GDS doesn’t reflect this yet).

The route is operated by a 747 through October 27, 2017, and after that it shows a 777 as of now. What’s telling is that Delta isn’t selling Comfort+ on the flight as of October 28, 2017. Through October 27 the flight has Comfort+ for sale.

Meanwhile as of October 28, it doesn’t.

Keep in mind that Delta’s A350s won’t have Comfort+ (instead they’re introducing a new premium economy product), so that makes sense. In fairness, Delta’s reconfigured 777s won’t have Comfort+ either, but we don’t have an exact timeline for that yet, and it seems strange that they’d stop selling Comfort+ on just one 777 route.

delta-premium

Bottom line

While nothing is official (and even if it were, it’s too far out to rely on this 100%), it seems safe to bet that Delta’s first longhaul A350 route will be Detroit to Tokyo Narita, and that it will launch around late October. I wouldn’t put too much weight on the October 30 date specifically, and also keep in mind that there are good odds the plane will be flown domestically first.

I’ll be keeping an eye out for good fares on this route, as I really do want to fly Delta’s A350 this year.

Anyone excited to try Delta’s new A350 business class?

Comments

  1. Hi Lucky, speaking of new products, when do you think Singapore Airlines will introduce their new Business Class?

  2. Delta deploys the 747-400 on the DTW-NRT route. It used to service NRT-MNL as well but now downgraded to 767. I wonder if their A350 will also take the NRT-MNL leg.

  3. Pretty sure we are going to see an A350 do Singapore to Seattle non-stop in the not too distant future given the draw-down of the NRT hub and Delta needing a non-stop to the US to be competitive with UA and SQ.

    Although I will miss the NRT-SIN flight as they had extremely good fares on that route and it was a great way to get to Tokyo cheaply (I took the flight earlier this week and it was actually solidly full).

  4. It doesn’t make much sense since Delta has being focusing to move flights away from Narita into Haneda. Why would they use their brand new plane on a route that is supposedly not priority for them?

  5. It’s arguable that Jetblue’s Mint product is also a fully enclosed suite (for 4 for of them). 😉
    I’m looking forward to seeing how DL and QR’s J products compare. I’m quite excited! I still wish DL never got rid of their JFK-NRT route though.

  6. You said “Meanwhile as of October 28, it doesn’t.” But your pictures shows DL275 landing at October 31st…

  7. That A350 in the photo sure looks a lot like a Delta 757 to me…would love to see the two types side-by-side.

  8. @Lucky, for cheap J fares, keep an eye on flights ex-YYZ/YUL to TYO via DTW. They were selling this route for ~US$1,800 last year.

  9. “It’s ironic that those two airlines are Delta and Qatar, given how much they hate one another.”

    This seems more coincidental than ironic.

  10. Try booking Premium Select but with a domestic segment in front of it, like ORD-DTW-NRT. It books the domestic segment in first class which seems to run against the grain of the industry and is certain to stir the pot.

  11. +1 for SEA-SIN on an A350 with suites, I would love to avoid LAX and save some time in the air to boot. Plus it looks like this product is the only thing that could be competitive to SQ business class out of the US.

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