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As we approach the 10-year anniversary of the merger between Delta Air Lines and Northwest, Delta is giving a nod to the former NW hub by submitting a proposal to launch Minnesota’s first-ever nonstop flight to China. The carrier has announced its intentions to connect its Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) hub and Shanghai (PVG) starting in June 2020, assuming all goes well with government approvals.
Better yet, the route will serve as yet another option to enjoy a Delta One Suite on the flagship Airbus A350-900. Currently, the A350 is primarily flying to Asia from Detroit (DTW), Atlanta (ATL) and Los Angeles (LAX), with Seattle (SEA) to be added once service between that hub and Tokyo (NRT) commences in March 2019. We’ve included the full list of Delta’s A350 routes below for those seeking to try out one of the most spacious and private business class products in the sky.
Routes (and inaugural flight dates):
- Detroit (DTW)-Tokyo Narita (NRT) — since October 30, 2017
- Detroit (DTW)-Seoul (ICN) — since November 18, 2017
- Detroit (DTW)-Beijing (PEK) — since January 17, 2018
- Detroit (DTW)-Amsterdam (AMS) — since March 2018
- Atlanta (ATL)-Seoul (ICN) — since March 24, 2018
- Detroit (DTW)-Shanghai (PVG) — since April 19, 2018
- Los Angeles (LAX)-Shanghai (PVG) — since July 2, 2018
- Seattle (SEA)-Tokyo Narita (NRT) — starting March 1, 2019
- Los Angeles (LAX)-Tokyo Haneda (HND) — starting March 31, 2019
- Minneapolis (MSP)-Shanghai (PVG) — starting June 2020 (proposed)
Ed Bastian, Delta’s chief executive officer, had this to say about the proposed route: “In addition to our Twin Cities customers, this new route will benefit travelers across the US with more competition and options for service to Shanghai thanks to our connecting hub at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.”
Brian Ryks, executive director and CEO of the Metropolitan Airports Commission, shed light on the route’s importance: “Shanghai is the largest Asian market without direct service from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Direct service to China would be a tremendous benefit to the Minnesota business and hospitality communities. By seeking federal approval to fly the route, Delta is once again reaffirming its ongoing commitment to the Twin Cities and creating opportunities for people and businesses throughout the region.”
Delta’s A350-900 aircraft has 306 total seats, including 32 Delta One Suites, 48 seats in the Delta Premium Select cabin, and 226 Main Cabin seats. All seats offer personal inflight entertainment, power ports and ample overhead bin space, and all cabins of service include complimentary meals, snacks and beverages.
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