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Delta may well be the best run of the 3 US legacy airlines and its customer service may be considered the best out of the 3 too, but its international premium cabins still lag those offered by one of its bigger rivals – American Airlines.
Delta’s international Business Class product on its A330 aircraft is great and the introduction of the Delta One Suites on the airline’s A350s has been a big success, but Delta also has a lot of 767 aircraft flying its network (78 of them to be precise) and these aircraft offer a Business Class cabin that has seen better days.
I flew in the Business Class cabin of a Delta 767 a few years ago and while I found the cabin crew and the service to be excellent I found the seat to be very average…and that was back then.
Delta told us last month that it will be refitting some of its 767 aircraft (the -400 variety) with new Business Class seats but, apart from the fact I’m not convinced the new seat will be a huge improvement, this still left us with the older 767-300 on quite a few international routes…until now.
In what can only be described as good news (for Business Class flyers) Delta’s latest schedule update shows 767-300 and 767-400 aircraft being taken off 8 international routes and being replaced with the superior Airbus A330-200.
For the summer 2020 season these are the routes getting A330-200 service (per Routes Online):
Effective from 29 March 2020:
- Atlanta – Brussels: A330-200 replaces 767-300ER
- Atlanta – Frankfurt: A330-200 replaces 767-300ER
- Atlanta – Munich: A330-200 replaces 767-300ER
- New York JFK – Brussels: A330-200 replaces 767-300ER
- New York JFK – Dublin: A330-300 replaces 767-400ER
- New York JFK – Frankfurt: A330-200 replaces 767-300ER
- Portland OR – Tokyo Narita: A330-200 replaces 767-300ER
Effective from 1 April 2020:
- New York JFK – Nice – A330-200 replaces 767-400ER
Delta’s Airbus A330-200 aircraft’s Business Class cabin isn’t exactly new but it does offer a reverse herringbone Business Class cabin which is a noticeable step up from the Business Class cabin offered by the 767 aircraft.
As far as Business Class seat numbers go the news is mixed.
Here are the seat counts for the various Delta aircraft operating the 8 routes under discussion:
- Boeing 767-400: 40 Delta One Business Class seats
- Boeing 767-300: 26 – 36 Delta One Business Class seats
- Airbus A330-200: 34 Business Class seats
As a result of the aircraft swaps the routes to Dublin and Nice out of New York JFK will see the number of Business Class seats drop by 6 while the routes currently operated by 767-300s will see a mixture of increases and decreases:
- Atlanta – Brussels: +8 Delta One seats
- Atlanta – Frankfurt: -2 Delta One seats
- Atlanta – Munich: +8 Delta One seats
- New York JFK – Brussels: +8 Delta One seats
- New York JFK – Frankfurt: -2 Delta One seats
- Portland OR – Tokyo Narita: +8 Delta One seats
4 routes will see fewer Business Class seats on offer and 4 routes will see more Business Class seats on offer so, overall, this is probably a wash….although your personal view will clearly vary depending on which routes you fly most.
Overall this is very good news for Business Class travelers as the Business Class product on all 8 routes will be noticeably better in Summer 2020 than it is right now.
Yes, 4 routes will offer fewer Business Class seats thanks to the equipment swaps and this will probably make awards and upgrades harder to come by….but the overall number of Business Class seats between the US and Europe is increasing as is the number of Business Class seats across the Pacific so those factors should help to ease the pain.