Delta Announces A350 Flights To Amsterdam & Shanghai

Filed Under: Delta

Later this month Delta will inaugurate international service with their A350. The airline has 25 Airbus A350s on order, which they’ll be taking delivery of through 2022. So far Delta has announced three longhaul routes with this plane over the coming months, all of which are between Detroit and Asia. Launch dates for international A350 service are as follows:

  • Detroit to Tokyo Narita as of October 30, 2017
  • Detroit to Seoul Incheon as of November 18, 2017
  • Detroit to Beijing as of January 17, 2018

Well, today Delta has announced their next two international A350 routes. They’re both out of Detroit, and include an additional Asian gateway, as well as the Delta A350’s first route to Europe. Specifically, the following additional routes will be operated by the A350:

  • Detroit to Amsterdam as of March 31, 2018
  • Detroit to Shanghai as of April 19, 2018

Delta has four daily flights between Detroit and Amsterdam, and they haven’t yet announced which one of them will feature the A350. All of Delta’s other A350 routes are once daily.

That means by next April Delta’s longhaul A350 route network will look like this:

There are a couple of things that make the A350 unique as far as Delta’s onboard product goes. First of all, the A350 will be the first plane with the new Delta One Suite, which features a configuration with doors at every seat. On one hand this is an exciting development, though I’m not sold on the seat as such.

The Delta One Suite is based on the Vantage XL seat, which is a slightly above average business class hard product. So while the added privacy of the door is nice, I suspect this will be a pretty claustrophobic seat, and I’m not sure how much better it is than the reverse herringbone seat that they otherwise used for these flights to Asia. I certainly want to test it out myself.

On top of that, the A350 features Delta Premium, which is the name of their new premium economy product. This will eventually be offered on other longhaul aircraft as well.

The one thing to be aware of with the A350 is that Delta added a special surcharge for those booking their A350 Delta One Suites. Those on discounted business class tickets have to pay an additional $500 one-way for this product over other products, while those on more expensive fares have to pay an additional $250. So even if you find a good business class fare to begin with, you’ll end up paying an additional $1,000 roundtrip if the ticket is on an A350.

I’ve seen some situations where the surcharge hasn’t applied, so I’m not sure if Delta is slowly starting to reconfigure this policy, or what.

What do you make of Delta flying the A350 to Amsterdam and Shanghai?

  1. Seems very strange that all of these are going out of Detroit and not Atlanta/LAX… any insight into why they are doing it this way?

  2. I get that everyone has their opinion, but I feel like Lucky unnecessarily hates on the Vantage XL seat. I, for one, dislike reverse herringbone seats because you feel like your head is jetted out into the aisle. Now, it’s a fair question as to what the door will do to the ‘spaciousness’ of the seat, but the Vantage XL (or other forward facing business class seats not including the original Vantage on Delta 767s) tends to be my favorite way to fly.

  3. @murcia yes but why? I know it was a NW HUB but as a NY’er and Delta Diamond Wlitr member I’m not connecting in rust town tonfky to Asia when I can fly direct on any number of great airlines. None of which are SkyTeam Delta’s partner airlines to Asia are terrible – China Eastern? No thanks. Korean and Air China have terrible safety records and a mixed onboard experience. I’d love someone to explain to me why the premier legacy carrier has not 1 direct flight to Asia on their own metal out of JFK? And that their fancy (expensive) new A350 flies exclusively out of Detroit – a nearly bankrupted moribund manufacturing town? I just don’t understand. It makes me kind of angry because I’d love to fly it direct to Tokyo or Hong Kong nonstop from the largest city in country, but instead I have to fly Star Alliance or One World? Ah well guess they know what they are doing and NYC just isn’t their focus.

  4. Since the A350 fleet is mainly for Asia, AMS is probably just getting the A350 due to utilization efficiency

  5. Wow Nick do you think you could be more elitist and snobby? Obviously you haven’t spent anytime in Detroit, but go ahead and continue to look down your nose as a high and mighty New Yorker… ugh.

  6. I laugh whenever Lucky mentions this seat as claustrophobic…try sitting in the back of the plane and you’ll learn what that means. or just leave the dumb door open the entire time…

  7. Seems like the door will make the seats closer to the aisle more palatable at least (feel less exposed, prevent bumping from aisle).

  8. Nick,

    New York is a poor connecting city because of the split airports. Delta probably believes it can only fill these routes with connections. Delta is the most logical solution geographically. It’s actually a great airport.

  9. @Anthony : and yet UA knows how to fly NYC – NRT PEK PVG HKG TLV DEL BOM, all nonstop, on their own metal, not counting any JV or partners.

  10. Henry LAX

    UA doesn’t fly NYC – NRT PEK PVG HKG TLV DEL BOM


    While not that geographically different, it’s a world away in terms of airline operations compared to JFK.

    AA doesn’t fly directly to most of Asia either, because they are in the same position at Delta.

    – NYC based flier

  11. @Anthony : if you wanna troll, try harder. this stupid and tired “EWR is not NYC” is exactly why both AA and DL have pathetic-to-nonexistent NYC-Asia route networks while UA is eating their lunch every day, and twice a day to TLV.

  12. @Anthony : and ps, this is an anonymous comment section anyway, so anyone can claim they’re a NYC flier to pretend they have street cred.

  13. Wow, henry is fired up about this

    I’m pretty sure Delta does better than United in terms of O&D passengers across the three major airports, so more people flying to or from NYC are choosing Delta despite United’s apparent advantage with its international flights

    – AA flyer based in NYC

  14. @Anthony : still lying about being a NYC flier ?

    and you haven’t shown a single ounce of data on how DL is higher O&D other than “i’m pretty sure”.

    and the truly sad thing is that if you’re actually living in NYC and picking the airline with the worst network offering out of NYC among the Big 3, then you must be uber smart to shoot yourself in the foot like that.

  15. @Mike not snobby just confused and my characterization of Detroit is I think very accurate: The city of Detroit, Michigan, filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy on July 18, 2013. It is the largest municipal bankruptcy filing in U.S. history by debt, estimated at $18–20 billion.

    Compared to a huge city like NYC where there is tons of money and people it just seems a strange choice to me. Both to ignore the market in lieu of a much smaller one and to make all their Asia destinations 1 or 2 stops when flying from here. I grew up near Detroit I’m well aware of it’s history and reality – my point is simply it can’t possible offer the potential for revenue as a big city can.

  16. @Nick, your facts create the answer:

    Delta isn’t dumb. They have done the analysis and said that the NYC market is so saturated with non-stop service to Asia that it would be difficult for them to consistently fill every plane.

    Remember everyone that we aren’t talking 1990s strategy anymore. While southwest may be okay with flying empty planes to nowhere, other carriers require a conservatively guaranteed minimum capacity, and clearly Delta does not think JFK can support it.

    I am sure from an emotional POV, NY is on the top of their list.

  17. @Nick then you’d know DTW isn’t even in Detroit and nearly all the big companies are in the suburbs. stop embarassing uself

  18. I just wish MSP got more love. Always Atlanta, Detroit.

    As for NY… ever tried connecting through NY? Yikes.

    Delta is using middle of country hubs because connecting through JFK is the most awful experience that Air Satan ever invented

  19. People who live in New York will never understand this, but most people outside New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will go out of their way to avoid JFK/LGA/EWR as a connecting point. It’s not glamorous or exciting – it’s miserable – the reasons are many and obvious to anyone from outside the area. In 20 years New York might have a terminal as nice as the Delta terminal in Detroit today. Detroit is a great choice to focus a premier hub for the 94% of America that does not live in the NY metro area. Better for people going to Asia from: the south, the midwest, New England, the mid-atlantic. Better for people going to Europe from: the midwest, and the west.

    New Yorkers have plenty of other options from JFK anyway. Sure there’s lot of businesses there, but it is well served as it is. Same reason AA is shifting their focus to Philadelphia and LAX. JFK is for foreign airlines that need a marquis route to sell back home. JFK may not have Delta’s A350 but they will always have have the Ukraine International Airlines 767.

  20. As a New Yorker, totally agree that the three NYC airports are not made for interline transfers, however the Delta hub at JFK handles a huge number of intl transfers every day.
    While i don’t like the mile long walk of the expanded Term 4, it’s still shorter than anything at ATL.
    The new combined Terms 2&3, are not bad.
    Delta makes it easy to get between the new 2,3 & 4, while staying on the airside.
    The luggage drop outside of customs is also about as easy as it gets.

    The far bigger issue for me is the constant devaluation of any loyalty. In their drive to shake every last nickel from their frequent flyers, they may wake up one day to discover they have managed to transform the airline into the most expensive LCC of all time.

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