SEOUL — Delta's newest international flagship aircraft, the Airbus A350-900, arrived at Incheon International Airport on Nov.19 as Flight 159 from Detroit-DTW to Seoul-ICN, and departed this morning as Flight 158 non-stop to DTW, making its official debut in Korea — one of the most important markets in Asia for Delta.
The aircraft features the award-winning Delta One Suite and an all-new cabin of service, Delta Premium Select, as well as an enhanced Main Cabin. Delta is the North American launch carrier for the A350.
"The A350 introduction on the Seoul-Incheon – Detroit route is very exciting news for Delta and our customers in Korea," said Matteo Curcio, Delta's Vice President — Asia Pacific. "Seoul is our strategic hub in Asia and we're delighted to bring our flagship aircraft to the market as well as enhanced customer experience and excellent operational efficiency to the route. This comes just two days after the Delta and Korean Air Joint Venture was granted approval by DOT, which marks another significant milestone in creation of leading joint ventures between the United States and Asia."
Before the departure of Flight 158, Delta had a ceremony to commemorate the debut of A350 in Korea, with Delta leaders including Matteo Curcio, Vice President — Asia Pacific, Andrew Kim, Director — Korea Sales and ICN airport authority Mina Choi, Executive Director in attendance.
Passengers received A350 postcards, first flight certificates and special welcome packets while boarding, which included A350 first flyer pins, notebooks and pens, as well as gifts from Starbucks.
Delta also hosted an Airbus A350 VIP launch event on Nov. 15 with attended by 160 key stakeholders from the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea, U.S. Embassy, Korean Air, VIP corporate and agency clients, Brand USA, media and employees. Delta One Suites and Delta Premium Select were highlighted throughout the event in various ways including an artistic Virtual Reality drawing performance.
Highlights of Delta's A350 include:
Delta One Suite
The award-winning Delta One Suites offer up to 32 customers a private, personal experience, with a full-height door at every suite for enhanced privacy and comfort. Each suite features a fully flat-bed seat with direct aisle access, as well as more stowage for personal items, larger in-flight entertainment screens and memory foam enhanced comfort cushions.
Delta Premium Select
Designed with comfort in mind, Delta Premium Select offers more personal space with up to 38 inches of pitch, seat width of 18.5 inches, seven inches of recline and adjustable leg and head rests. Customers will arrive well-rested thanks to upgraded pillows, blankets and amenity kits to give them all the travel essentials they need to settle in.
Customers benefit from free seatback in-flight entertainment on high definition screens, in-seat power ports at every row and high capacity overhead bins. Meanwhile, the A350 features larger windows and optimized cabin pressure, temperature and humidity to help customers feel more refreshed after a long-haul flight.
The aircraft is equipped with high-speed 2Ku internet connectivity and customers will have access to free mobile messaging while on board through iMessage, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
The Delta One suite and Delta Premium Select will be subsequently retrofitted on Delta's entire Boeing 777 fleet starting in 2018.
Delta's operation in Korea
Delta currently operates nonstop flights from Seoul-Incheon International Airport to three U.S. gateways: Atlanta, Detroit, and Seattle. Delta is the only U.S. carrier operating nonstop flights from Seoul to three U.S. gateway cities, where passengers can connect to over 200 U.S. cities as well as an extensive network to Latin America. The airline also implemented a codeshare expansion plan with its partner Korean Air in 2016.