Earlier I wrote about how Delta announced two additional A350 routes out of Detroit Airport. With those additions, Delta has now announced their first five A350 routes, all of which are out of Detroit. The details of those are as follows:
- Detroit to Tokyo Narita as of October 30, 2017
- Detroit to Seoul Incheon as of November 18, 2017
- Detroit to Beijing as of January 17, 2018
- Detroit to Amsterdam as of March 31, 2018
- Detroit to Shanghai as of April 19, 2018
There are synergies to basing an aircraft type at one hub, including better aircraft utilization, lower maintenance costs, and lower costs to crew the plane (in terms of the number of people that need to be trained, the number of reserves that need to be available, etc.).
However, it looks like Detroit won’t be the only US airport to which they’ll fly A350s. Somehow I missed this, but back in August Delta announced that they’ll fly the A350 between Atlanta and Seoul Incheon as of March 24, 2018.
The route is presently operated by a Boeing 777-200LR, which features 37 Delta One seats, 36 Comfort+ seats, and 218 main cabin seats. Meanwhile the new A350 will feature 32 Delta One Suites, 48 Premium Select seats, and 226 main cabin seats. So the aircraft change will represent a capacity decrease in business class, the addition of a premium economy cabin, and a slight increase in the number of main cabin seats.
I’ll be curious to see if Delta actually bases the A350 in Atlanta, or if they instead operate this flight as a rotation where the plane is still Detroit based, where it would fly from Detroit to Incheon to Atlanta to Incheon to Detroit. I suspect it depends whether Delta plans to add more A350 routes out of Atlanta long term or not. I imagine they will eventually given that they have 25 of the planes on order, though it may be a while before they’re able to add more routes.
(Tip of the hat to Gabriel)