Delta Charter flight 8925 touched down at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport just after 12:30 p.m., returning the newly-crowned NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers from Oakland, Calif., following their brief, 6-hour stopover in Las Vegas to celebrate.
The win proved to be one of the most defining championships in sports, as the Cavaliers made NBA history by overcoming a 3-1 Finals deficit to defeat the defending champion Golden State Warriors. The win was the city's first sports title in more than 50 years.
"What an exciting end to the NBA season, and how fitting that our Delta employees got to carry the champion Cavaliers on the final leg of their journey home," said Bill Wernecke, Managing Director – Charter Operations. "Our entire operating team deserves congratulations for safely and successfully executing every day over the entire season."
The Cavaliers flew home on one of Delta's newly retrofitted 757-200s, which was first introduced in January and is one of 11 new 757-200 aircraft reconfigured to replace the current charter fleet of A319s. The redesigned interiors feature 72 business class seats with bin-less overhead spacing, an oversized lavatory, sleeper seats, high-speed WiFi and club seating.
Delta transported 11 of 16 participating teams into postseason competition, including the final four: Cleveland, Golden State, Oklahoma City Thunder and Toronto Raptors.
Additionally, Delta carried the Atlanta Hawks, Los Angeles Clippers, San Antonio Spurs, Charlotte Hornets, Portland Trail Blazers, Indiana Pacers and Memphis Grizzlies. Delta has carried the past three NBA Champions and nine of the last 17 title winners.
During the regular season and playoffs, Delta generated more than $65M in revenue and operated more than 1,700 flights.