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Delta started taking delivery of the new Airbus A330-900neo back at the end of May and it has been operating the latest-generation aircraft on routes out of Seattle since July. So far we’ve seen the aircraft operating to Seoul, Shanghai and Tokyo Narita but a recent schedule update shows Delta adding more A330-900neo service out of Seattle in 2020.
From 24 October 2020 Delta will deploy its Airbus A330-900neo on two further routes out of Seattle and the aircraft swaps make for interesting reading.
Seattle – Tokyo Haneda
As things stand, Delta operates an Airbus A350 on its route between Seattle and Tokyo Haneda but from 24 October 2020 an A330-900neo will be taking over.
DL167 SEA 11:25 – 14:10+1 day HND (Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri & Sat)
DL167 SEA 12:25 – 15:10 HND (Mon & Sun)
DL166 HND 16:45 – 09:40 SEA (Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri & Sat)
DL166 HND 17:20 – 10:05 SEA (Mon & Sun)
The schedule currently shows the A330-900neo only operating on select days of the week but the plan is for the aircraft to take over the route entirely.
Overall this is probably a slight downgrade for this route as the outgoing Airbus A350 offers more premium cabin seating than the incoming A330-900neo.
- Where the A350 offers 32 Delta One Suites the A330 offers 29
- Where the A350 offers 48 Premium Select seats the A330 offers 28
On a positive note, it’s worth pointing out that the A350 doesn’t offer Delta’s Comfort+ seating onboard while passengers on the A330-900neo have a choice of 56 such seats which offer up to 34″ of seat pitch.
Seattle – Beijing Capital
Delta currently operates an antiquated Boeing 767-300ER on its route between Seattle and Beijing but from 24 October 2020 that starts to change as an A330-900neo comes in to take over.
DL167 SEA 16:20 – 18:55+1 day PEK (Daily)
DL166 PEK 11:45 – 07:59 SEA (Daily)
As with the Seatle – Haneda route, the route to Beijing shows both an A330-900neo and the older 767-300ER operating on this route from late October but eventually the newer aircraft will operate 7 days of the week.
This is a big upgrade for the Seattle – Beijing route even though there will be a drop in the number of Business Class seats on offer.
- The A330-900neo offers 29 Delta One Suites where the 767 offers 36 of the much older and considerably more cramped Delta Business Class seats.
- The A330-900neo offers 28 Premium Select seats where the 767 has none
- The A330-900neo is home to 56 Delta Comfort+ seats where the 767 has just 35
The route will be losing 7 Business Class seats but gaining 28 Premium Economy seats and 21 Comfort+ seats so, on balance, this should be good news for most travelers.
With the A330-900neo offering Delta’s best Business Class cabin, a good-size Premium Economy cabin and an impressive number of extra-legroom seats in Economy Class it’s good to see it appearing on more routes.
No doubt regular premium cabin flyers on the Seattle – Tokyo Haneda route will be disappointed to be losing the A350 with its larger Delta One and Premium Select cabins (it will be interesting to see which route will be getting this aircraft) but at least Economy Class passengers will now benefit from a large number of Comfort+ seats.
Do you fly on either of these routes with any frequency? What do you think of this news?
[HT: Routes Online]