Delta’s Airbus A330-900neo Will Debut To Shanghai Tomorrow

Lucky passengers jetting between Seattle and Shanghai on Delta DL589 on Wednesday July 10th 2019 will be be in for a pleasant surprise. FlightRadar24 is showing the flight as being operated by one of  Delta’s brand new A330-900neos. 

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Is Delta running their first A330-900neo flight to Shanghai tomorrow? Photo: Delta Air Lines

Delta’s website says the flight is being operated by a Boeing 767-300.

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Source: Delta Air Lines

But click on the seat map and it indicates the aircraft type as the A330-900neo, complete with the Delta One suites.

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Source: Delta Air Lines

Delta has confirmed that the flight will be operated by their new A330-900neo, noting that they are ready to go. Bringing them online earlier than scheduled allows the 767-300s to be redeployed elsewhere.

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Delta are busy ramping up its capacity to soak up demand around the United States as other airlines continue to cancel flights owing to the 737 MAX groundings.

It has taken a little time

Delta took delivery of its first A330-900neo in the second half of May 2019. The airline has ordered 35 from Airbus. Delta has always said that they were going to base their first A330-900neos in Seattle and initially use them on flights across to Asia. 

When Delta’s first A330-900neo was delivered, Delta scheduled the first revenue flight for July 1st 2019, flying between Seattle and Shanghai.

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Delta have received their first A330neo! Photo: Delta Air Lines

But days later that inaugural A330-900neo flight to Shanghai was pushed back to July 15th 2019. Delta said this was because they took delivery of the aircraft later than expected.

Just two weeks ago, Delta confirmed to Routes Online that the first Shanghai A330-900neo flight was on track for July 15th. Now, Delta is quietly running the A330-900neo across to China before the official launch day. Delta’s DL589 is scheduled to push back from Seattle at 3.35pm on July 10 for the 13 hour trek to Shanghai.

A big step up for passengers

If correct, it will be a big step up for regular Delta passengers on the route. The Boeing 767’s have their fans but the aircraft are old and the cabin product is dated. The 767-300 carries 226 passengers, 26 passengers in a 1-2-1 configuration in Delta One suites, 29 Delta comfort passengers in a 2-3-2 configuration, and 171 passengers in economy in a 2-3-2 configuration.

In June, the Delta ceased operating its Boeing 767-300 on US domestic routes. 

On-board the Delta A330-900neos, there are 29 superb Delta One Suites. Simple Flying’s Jay reckons they are the best way to cross the Atlantic. .

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The Delta One Suite is Delta’s newest onboard hard product. Photo: Delta

In addition, there are 28 premium select seats on the A330-900neos, 56 Delta comfort seats, and 168 seats in the main economy cabin – 281 seats in total.

Delta’s A339-900neo seat map reveals Delta One passengers on-board the A330-900neo will enjoy the all important 1-2-1 configuration with direct aisle access for every passenger. In the premium select cabin the configuration is 2-3-2. In the Delta comfort and main economy cabins the configuration is 2-4-2.

While some economy passengers may miss the more passenger friendly configuration in the 767-300, the A330-900neo seats themselves are a serious upgrade, offering better IFE, ergonomics, and comfort.

Simple Flying thank the alert reader who tipped us off! We tip our hats to you.

3 comments
  1. A couple serious mistakes in this article. While few would argue the 767-300 is a competitive product. The Delta One business class cabin is a 1-2-1 configuration. Not the 2-2-2 the author mistakenly claims. The DL 2-2-2 premium cabin was only found on domestic first class versions that were retired earlier.

    Also, The 2-3-2 Economy class cabin configuration is better on the 767-300 then the 2-4-2 on the A330.

    The real improvement is the addition of Premium Economy with 2-3-2 configuration on the A330-900NEO.

    I think Simple Flying could do a lot better with fact checking and editing as this is significant compared to the articles mistakes.

    1. Hi Albert

      Thankyou for pointing out the issue with the seat layouts on the 767. It has been sorted.

      Which economy cabin is better is really subjective. While the configuration in the 767 is more user friendly, my point is that the seat itself, its design and ergonomics are going to be better on the A330neo. Again that’s my subjective view

      1. Thank you for your update and corrections.

        As I stated there is little doubt that the A330-900NEO offers a nicer experience in Business class with the Delta One “Suite” product compared to the no privacy lay flat on the 767-300ER and the addition of premium economy the addition of 50% more middle seats in economy is a negative. Coupled with the new seats with less padding as an additional negative. The only Pro is better availability of power ports for devices and a larger IFE screen and better Wifi (Of course that is when it works as the A330-900NEO and A350 aircraft at Delta while offering higher speeds also have a higher rate of malfunction/inop WiFi.)

        Thank you for the correction

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