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Back in May, it was suggested that Delta would be restarting services to China from the beginning of this month but 1 June came and went and there was no sign that Delta was ready to head back to China. Now, in an announcement put out today, Delta has confirmed that it’s restarting operations to Shanghai later this week…but they’re restarting with a twist.
From 25 June 2020 (this Thursday), Delta will re-start services between Seattle and Shanghai using its Airbus A350 aircraft…but the 1x/week flight will not be non-stop. Delta will be serving Shanghai via Seoul Incheon airport for the immediate future.
Here’s the planned schedule per Delta:
Delta also plans to re-start service between Detroit (DTW) and Shanghai using its A350 aircraft starting from July 2020 and, once again, the airline plans to operate this route via Seoul. Here’s the schedule Delta has published:
Here’s what Delta’s President (Greater China & Singapore) had to say about the re-starting of these routes:
“We are excited to resume our services between the U.S. and China, as economic and social activities start to recover. With a mission to connect the world, Delta is committed to getting our customers to their destinations safely and confidently, especially at this critical time. We are implementing unprecedented health and safety measures and practices, so customers are assured of ease and safety at all points of their journey.”
With flights due to start in just a few days time you’d expect Delta’s website to be selling fares already but, despite Delta’s statement claiming that “tickets are open for booking on all channels including Delta.com, Fly Delta app, agencies and online travel agencies“, all I get is this error message when I search for seats in July:
When I search for availability in August, I get quoted ridiculously high fares that include travel with ANA through Haneda. Hopefully this will all be rectified in the next few hours.
Assuming Delta’s IT department gets its act together, the airline will soon be selling fares to Shanghai for departures from Seattle and Detroit. We’re still quite a way from being back to “normal” as flights will be routing through Seoul and will only be operating once per week….but this is a start.