Delta furthers Boston expansion with A321neo inaugural, A220 routes
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Delta Air Lines is on a roll in Boston.
The carrier loaded five new high-profile routes from the city’s Logan Airport in the timetables over the weekend, including two brand-new international destinations — Athens and Tel Aviv. Now, the airline is back with more good news for the Massachusetts capital: next year, the carrier will station its newest jets at its Boston hub.
Delta is slated to inaugurate service with a brand-new fleet of Airbus A321neos in the spring, and now the airline has confirmed that those planes will initially launch on transcontinental routes from Boston.
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While the A321neo might look like a standard domestic jet on the outside, it’ll be loaded with enhancements on the inside, including a brand-new first-class product with extra privacy, the airline’s fastest Wi-Fi connection and power outlets throughout.
It wasn’t immediately clear which transcon routes will feature the new A321neo, but Delta only serves four West Coast cities from Boston (Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle), according to Cirium schedules.
Los Angeles has historically been served by the Boeing 757-200 with 16 lie-flat Delta One biz pods in the pointy end of the plane, so the A321neo will likely make its debut on one of the other three routes.
Along with the A321neo, Delta will double the number of Airbus A220 flights from Boston. This single-aisle jet is one of the most popular with flyers thanks to its 2-3 coach configuration, oversized windows and large overhead bins. Delta didn’t load the A220 onto additional routes this weekend, so we’ll have to wait to see which routes get the upgraded plane.
Delta’s long-haul service from Boston is also getting a big upgrade, and not just in the number of destinations (nine European and Middle Eastern cities are on the schedule for next summer).
For those flights, Delta has prioritized Boston as one of the first markets to receive its recently retrofitted jets. Last week, the carrier scheduled the first two routes with its revamped Boeing 767-300, and now the retrofitted A330s are finding a home in Boston as well on the new Athens route.
Additionally, with the A330neo serving Tel Aviv, it’ll mark the introduction of the airline’s well-regarded Delta One Suites cabin to the city.
With more premium cabin seats, both in biz and premium economy, Delta is sending a message that it’s serious about offering an elevated onboard experience for Boston-based travelers.
“Boston is a fast-growing market with a booming economy, and we’re committed to offering customers significant choice and better convenience when making their travel plans, in addition to Delta’s superior products and experience,” Joe Esposito, Delta’s senior vice president of network planning, said in a statement.
Adding its newest and upgraded jets to Boston comes as Delta faces fierce competition in the Boston market. American Airlines’ and JetBlue’s new Northeast Alliance is focused on growth in New York and Boston, and the Atlanta-based carrier is likely feeling competitive pressure from its rivals.
To date, American and JetBlue have tried to differentiate themselves not only on network, but also on the onboard product. JetBlue took delivery of its first Airbus A220 this year and has since based the plane in Boston to better compete in the market. Additionally, American and JetBlue have touted their all-lie-flat premium transcon product as one of the key reasons to fly with them.
Delta’s competitive response comes as the Northeast Alliance has faced increased scrutiny from regulators, culminating in an anti-trust lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice last month. In the suit, the DOJ argues that the pact allows for anti-competitive coordination between the two carriers.
Well, one thing is clear: Delta isn’t waiting for the lawsuit to get its day in court — it’s going to fight hard to become Boston’s number one carrier.
Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy
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