Delta Quietly Takes Delivery of Its First Airbus A350
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Delta’s first Airbus A350 is coming! Oh, no, wait… it’s here? Yup — yesterday, with absolutely no fanfare, the first US carrier to operate Airbus’ latest wide-body jet took possession of its first aircraft in Toulouse, France.
When Singapore Airlines took delivery of an A350-900 at TLS last year, airline executives, partners, crew members and journalists flew in, including TPG and myself, with some journeying from as far as Australia. There were several days of tours and events, culminating in a nonstop flight to Singapore (SIN) on the factory-fresh plane.
Now, granted, a good deal of that excitement centered around Airbus’ 10,000th delivery, but even Iran Air has celebrated recent Airbus milestones, celebrating with partners and welcoming journalists on board for a tour. Delta, however, has been entirely mum — without so much as a tweet to celebrate the occasion, with the exception of one photo from a product development manager who apparently managed to be one of the lucky few present this week in Toulouse:
Why did Delta opt to avoid celebrating one of its most significant aircraft deliveries to date? That’s not entirely clear, though the plane’s busy schedule may have something to do with it — according to A350Blog, this particular plane is getting outfitted with Gogo’s new 2Ku Wi-Fi before it finally makes its journey to the US on August 4. So perhaps Delta will show off its new A350 once it arrives in Atlanta, instead.
Even though Delta’s not making a fuss, we’re pretty excited about this plane. It’ll be the first in the airline’s fleet to feature the new all-suite business-class cabin (with a closing door at each seat, a la Qatar Qsuite and JetBlue Mint).
The A350 has 32 Delta One suites arranged in a staggered 1-2-1 configuration, in addition to 48 Premium Select (premium economy) seats and 226 seats in the main cabin.
While the A350 may be used for domestic service at first, it’s expected to launch international service between Detroit (DTW) and Tokyo (NRT) on October 30, followed by DTW to Seoul (ICN) on November 18 and DTW to Beijing (PEK) on January 17, 2018.
Delta’s ordered a total of 25 Airbus A350s, so we should expect more destinations to be announced soon, though 10 of those orders were deferred in May. You can now book some of these initial routes with cash or SkyMiles today.
Are you planning to fly Delta’s A350 soon?
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,600
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.