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Delta is the first and only US airline to have installed suites into some of its long-haul aircraft and it’s a move which has seen the airline go from having one of the older Business Class products on the market to an airline offering one of the best.
As things stand the Delta One suite is only to be found on the airline’s new Airbus A350 aircraft and on a select number of its 777s but, if a clever bit of sleuthing turns out to be correct, 29 Delta One suites will soon be coming to another of Delta’s aircraft.
AUBT has noticed that Airbus has filed an authorization request with the US FAA as it looks to get permission to fit 29 Business Class “mini suites” in its A330-900 aircraft.
That doesn’t appear to tell us all that much except for the fact that if you take a look at Airbus’ North America order book….
…you can clearly see that Delta is the only North American customer that has the A330-900 on order.
This actually makes a lot of sense.
Airbus was the manufacturer that successfully fitted the Delta One suite to the A350 so why wouldn’t Delta install the very popular suite in the next set of long-haul aircraft that Airbus is set to deliver?
Sure, United came up with a vastly improved Business Class product (Polaris) and then promptly introduced a significant number of new aircraft with an older-style Business Class cabin installed so, technically, there’s nothing stopping Delta from doing the same.
Delta currently offers a good reverse herringbone Business Class cabin in its A330 aircraft so it’s always possible that this will end up being the seat on the newer A330-900…
…but I don’t think Delta will do this. That would be a backward step and Delta doesn’t appear to be an airline that goes backwards.
While sometimes it’s hard to believe that United isn’t being run by lower primates, Delta’s operations appear to go from strength to strength and management seems to have a firm grasp on its vision for the airline – I can’t imagine Delta ordering new aircraft and then following United’s lead.
How Does’s 29 Delta One Suites Compare?
Delta’s Airbus A350 aircraft come equipped with 32 Delta One Suites while the refitted 777s offer 28….
…so 29 seats seems reasonable for the new A330-900s.
The airline’s 767s (which are the aircraft I suspect the A330-900s are being bought to replace) offer up to 40 Business Class seats onboard so the Business Class cabins on the newer aircraft will be a lot smaller…presumably because the A330-900s will also come with a Premium Economy cabin (something the 767s don’t have).
We don’t yet know when Delta intends to start taking deliveries of its A330-900 but, when it does, it looks like they’ll come with a fantastic Business Class cabin installed…and that’s very good news for the airline’s Business Class passengers.
The one downside that appears to be heading our way is that the newer aircraft will have considerably fewer Business Class seats than their aircraft they’ll be replacing. This means that awards will be harder to find and upgrades will be harder to clear – what Delta gives with one hand it takes away with the other 🙂