Delta’s official launch of its brand new A330neo has been pushed back by two weeks. Originally scheduled to operate between Seattle and Shanghai the new A330-neo will now depart Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on July 15th rather than at the beginning of the month.
Delta blames the delay on the late arrival of the aircraft from the Airbus factory in Toulouse, France. It assures passengers that none of the other inaugural A330neo flights will be affected.
The Points Guy confirms Delta’s official statement on the matter, saying:
“Because Delta is taking delivery of new A330neo aircraft later than initially expected, Delta will debut the industry-leading Widebody aircraft on scheduled Seattle-Shanghai service on July 15 instead of July 1. Delta will work with customers on a case-by-case basis to find alternate flights if needed, but Seattle-Shanghai service will continue with Boeing 767-300ER aircraft.”
Delta plans to use the Widebody jets from its Seattle hub with Shanghai now scheduled to begin service on the 15th of July. Seoul, Incheon will be the next route starting on August 1st and Tokyo, Narita on August 31st.
What can passengers expect aboard Delta’s A330neo?
The all-new 281 seat aircraft will feature Delta’s latest seats and amenities.
Business class passengers can enjoy one of 29 luxurious Delta One Suites laid out in a 1-2-1 configuration with direct aisle access and a privacy door. Each seat transforms into a fully flat bed and comes with an 18-inch entertainment screen.
The long-haul jet will also offer premium-economy seating with each of the 28, 18.5 inch wide seats offing 38 inches of pitch laid out in a 2-3-2 arrangement. 56 seats are classed as being Delta Comfort+ offering a slightly larger pitch over economy seating with four inches of recline.
The main economy cabin has 168 seats offering 33 inches of pitch with five inches of recline arranged in a compact 2-4-2 pattern. Delta’s new A330-900neo will also be the first of the airline’s plane’s to use a new wireless entertainment system that comes with 2Ku high-speed Internet access.
Why did Delta select the A330neo?
Besides needing to replace older Boeing 767-300ER aircraft that are nearing the end of their life span, Delta wanted to offer their passengers all the latest in terms of technology and comfort.
Investors cannot help but love the A330neo as well with fuel savings said to be 20% better than some of the current aircraft they have in service.
“Expanding our A330 order book not only ensures that Delta’s near-to-medium-term Widebody needs are taken care of but also drives our strategic, measured international growth,” said Gil West, Delta’s Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. “The next-generation engine technology from Rolls-Royce which powers the A330neo provides compelling operating economics, superior fuel performance and the range and coverage for our transoceanic needs going forward.”
These changes are consistent with Delta’s long-term philosophy of investing 50 percent of operating cash flow back into the business, West said.
Which other airlines are flying the A330neo?
While taking a good look at their long haul business and future needs in the coming years, several airlines have placed orders for the A330-900neo.
TAP Portugal was the first to fly the A330-900neo between its Lisbon hub and Sao Paulo, Brazil. On March 1st the fuel-efficient plane began flying the popular Miami-Lisbon route and will become the Portuguese airlines go to aircraft for its North and South American routes.
In total Airbus has 238 orders of the A330-900neo from 15 different airlines that include Garuda Indonesia, Kuwait Airlines and Air Asia X.