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Delta took delivery of its first Airbus A330-900neo at the end of last month and was scheduled to become the first US airline too operate the new aircraft on a long-haul route in a little under a month’s time.
Well, based on what the Delta reservation system is currently showing, Delta will still be the first airline to operate the A330-900neo but the aircraft will no longer be entering service on 1 July as had been expected.
While doing some research for a post that’s coming out later today I noticed that the Seattle – Shanghai route still shows a Boeing 767-300 operating the route at a time when the A330-900neo was expected to have taken over.
As things stand, it looks as if Delta will continue operating a 767 on this route for the first two weeks of July with the A330-900neo now not entering service until 15 July for departures from Seattle and 17 July for departures from Shanghai.
Here’s ExpertFlyer showing a 767 operating to Shanghai on 14 July and the A330-900neo operating on 15 July….
…and here’s ExpertFlyer showing a 767 operating from Shanghai to Seattle up to 16 July with the A330-900neo taking over the return route on 17 July:
At the time of writing, the date for the introduction of the A330-900neo on the Seattle – Seoul route (1 August) and the date for the introduction of the aircraft on the Seattle – Tokyo Narita route (31 August) have not changed.
To the best of my knowledge Delta hasn’t offered up a reason for the delay in introducing the A330-900neo into long-haul service so I’m left to speculate that the airline doesn’t think a month is enough time in which to get its crews up to speed on the new aircraft.
I haven’t spotted any domestic routes on which Delta has scheduled its new aircraft for crew orientation flights but, presumably, we should soon see the new A330-900neo flying a number of intra-US routes as Delta gets its crews ready to operate the aircraft on its routes across the Pacific.
Sadly, if you’re booked to fly Delta’s Seattle – Shanghai service in the first two weeks of July you won’t be flying in the airline’s latest aircraft and, unless you’ve booked a refundable fare, you will not be able to change your flights without incurring a penalty.
Were any readers set to fly the inaugural A330-900neo flight on 1 July?