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Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) and Alaska Airlines (NYSE: ALK) will expand international service and customer enhancements in Seattle, growth that benefits customers of both airlines thanks to the alliance between the two carriers.
The growth and customer enhancements include:
Proposed new nonstop Delta service between Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and Shanghai Pu Dong International Airport, pending approval by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Proposed new nonstop Delta service between Seattle and Haneda Airport in Tokyo, pending DOT approval. The deployment of Delta's flagship Boeing 747-400 jet on flights between Seattle and Narita Airport in Tokyo, featuring a fully upgraded interior with full flat-bed seats in BusinessElite, individual in-flight entertainment in every seat throughout the aircraft, expanded overhead bins and other amenities.
Newly upgraded Boeing 767-300 aircraft on Delta's flights between Seattle and Paris, Beijing and Osaka, Japan, also offering full flat-bed seats in BusinessElite and upgraded amenities. Additional nonstop Delta service between Seattle and John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. Upgraded BusinessElite service on all Delta Seattle-JFK flights to match the product and amenities of Delta's JFK service from Los Angeles and San Francisco. Sea-Tac airport improvements including a new Delta Sky Club, new power ports throughout Delta's facilities, expanded ticket counters, lobby renovations and other improvements. An ongoing partnership between Delta and Alaska that includes codesharing in Seattle and shared customer benefits including reciprocal lounge access and frequent flier programs.
"Delta's expansion in Seattle will link this important West Coast city even closer with key markets in Asia, boosting its economy, creating jobs and providing benefits to travelers across the Pacific Northwest region," said Richard Anderson, Delta's chief executive. "This kind of international growth is possible only because of our partnership with Alaska, and customers of both our airlines will benefit from this newly strengthened relationship."
"About 1,200 travelers connect on Alaska and Delta flights in Seattle every day," Alaska Airlines CEO Brad Tilden said. "We're very pleased to offer them a seamless flying experience, highlighted by our renowned customer service. We're also looking forward to providing travelers with new flying options to Asia on Delta that will feature significantly enhanced onboard amenities."
Expanded Asia Service
Delta today filed an application with the DOT to offer daily nonstop service between Seattle and Shanghai, effective June 17, 2013. The proposed new flight will be Delta's second route between Seattle and China, following Beijing service which began in 2010.
Delta plans to operate the Shanghai flight with 208-seat Boeing 767-300ER aircraft featuring 36 full flat-bed seats in BusinessElite, 29 seats in Economy Comfort and 143 Economy class seats. The aircraft features in-flight entertainment in every seat throughout the aircraft.
The proposed schedule for the new route:
Seattle at 2:45 p.m.
Shanghai at 6:20 p.m. (next day)
June 17, 2013
Shanghai at 12:20 p.m.
Seattle at 8:35 a.m.
June 19, 2013
In addition, Delta filed an application this summer to begin nonstop service between Seattle and Haneda Airport in Tokyo. DOT is currently considering Delta's Seattle-Haneda application along with competing Haneda requests by other carriers. The proposed Seattle-Haneda flight would complement Delta's existing service between Seattle and Narita Airport in Tokyo.
The Haneda flight would be operated with Boeing 767-300ER aircraft, and would begin service March 31, 2013.
The proposed schedule for the new route:
Seattle at 7:35 p.m.
Tokyo-Haneda at 10 p.m. (next day)
March 30, 2013
Tokyo-Haneda at 12 a.m.
Seattle at 5 p.m.
April 1, 2013
The proposed Shanghai and Tokyo-Haneda flights add to Delta's growing Asian gateway in Seattle. The airline also operates nonstop service to Beijing, Tokyo-Narita and Osaka, Japan.
In addition, Delta offers nonstop service to Paris and Amsterdam from Seattle. By next summer the airline will operate more than 40 daily flights to 15 destinations worldwide from Seattle.
The partnership between Delta and Alaska is a major factor in enabling Delta to operate international flights from Seattle. The new Haneda service, for example, will benefit from easy connections to 55 U.S. cities on Delta and Alaska's domestic networks.
Improved In-Flight Experience
Delta also announced it will deploy its flagship Boeing 747-400 aircraft on flights between Seattle and Tokyo-Narita.
The 376-seat aircraft features 48 full flat-bed seats in BusinessElite, 42 Economy Comfort seats and 286 economy seats, and has been retrofitted to feature significant upgrades in its onboard experience, including individual in-flight entertainment in every seat throughout the aircraft, expanded overhead bins and other amenities.
Delta will be the only U.S. passenger airline operating the iconic Boeing 747 in Seattle. Dubbed the "Queen of the Skies," the 747 is one of the world's most recognizable aircraft due to the graceful curve of its upper deck.
The aircraft will begin flying the Tokyo route on June 1, 2013.
In addition to bringing the 747 to Seattle, Delta will deploy Boeing 767-300 jets with fully upgraded interiors on flights to Paris, Beijing and Osaka, Japan, effective Oct. 28. Those aircraft feature the same in-flight amenities as the Boeing 747, including full flat-bed seats in BusinessElite, expanded overhead bin space and individual in-flight entertainment throughout the aircraft.
New York Expansion
Delta will add a fifth daily nonstop flight between Seattle and New York-JFK, effective June 1, 2013. In addition to providing convenient service and an additional option for New York-bound travelers, the flight offers another opportunity for connections to international flights via Delta's hub at JFK.
From JFK, Delta flies to more than 40 international destinations in Europe, Africa, Latin America and Asia on a seasonal and year-round basis.
In addition, Delta is upgrading its Seattle-JFK flights to offer its BusinessElite service in June 2013, matching what the airline offers on trans-continental flight from Los Angeles and San Francisco to New York. Delta's BusinessElite service provides an accelerated and streamlined trip with shorter lines, early boarding and priority baggage service, as well as comfortable seats, world-class dining, state-of-the-art entertainment and complimentary access to more than 50 Delta Sky Club locations and 150 partner lounges worldwide.
Delta's upgraded Seattle-New York service will be operated with Boeing 757-200ER and Boeing 767-300ER aircraft.
The international expansion and customer enhancements in Seattle are driven by a strategic partnership between Delta and Alaska that benefits customers of both carriers and creates more competition and travel options for consumers in the Pacific Northwest region.
Under an extensive codesharing agreement, Delta customers can access more than 50 markets beyond Seattle via Alaska's domestic hub, while Alaska customers in the Pacific Northwest have access to more than 60 domestic Delta destinations, including extensive options over Delta's Atlanta and Minneapolis-St. Paul hubs.
The two carriers review connecting flight schedules and make timing adjustments to shorten passenger connection times. And customers of both carriers enjoy reciprocal access to Delta's Sky Club and Alaska's Board Room airport lounges, as well as reciprocal frequent flier benefits.
From its Seattle hub, Alaska provides service to more than 70 cities throughout North America. Delta, meanwhile, offers international service from Seattle to five cities: Amsterdam, Paris, Tokyo, Beijing and Osaka, Japan.
More than 200,000 international passengers connected between Alaska and Delta flights during the past year.
"Our partnership combines Delta's industry-leading international network and Alaska's hub in Seattle, creating more travel choices and competition in one of the nation's most important markets," Anderson said. "It's another example of innovative thinking that exemplifies how both Delta and Alaska do business every day."
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