Delta today will take formal delivery of their A350 in Atlanta. The airline had previously accepted the aircraft in a nominal ceremony while the plane was still in testing. Delta will receive the plane in Atlanta after the A350 flies from Toulouse. This is a momentous occasion, given that they are the first operators of the A350 in the US.
Where Will it Fly?
For the first few weeks/months we should expect Delta’s A350 to be kept for crew training. Once the crews are familiarized with the cabin, service etc, we should see the plane make a few rounds within the US. These flights will probably be between Delta’s hubs. Namely Atlanta and Detroit, given the plane arrives in Atlanta, and will fly from Detroit. Once it begins international service, the A350 will begin to fly to Tokyo-Narita, Seoul, and Beijing. After the start of 2018, and as Delta receives more aircraft, we should see more routes added.
What to Expect
Delta’s A350 will be their new flagship aircraft. The airline will debut their new business class suite, Delta One Suites. These seats will be fully enclosed, lie flat seats in business class. They announced their product before the famous Qatar Qsuites, but Qatar beat them to the initial launch. The A350 will also come with Premium Economy. Delta has named their P/E Premium Select. They follow American Airlines’ introduction of Premium Economy on their 787-9. American is in the process of installing P/E on their fleet, and we should expect Delta will try to catch up. Their seats will have 38 inches of pitch, and leg rests. They are very similar to what you would expect in First Class on a domestic flight. They will continue to offer Comfort+ on these aircraft.
People who are looking to book flights on the A350 should note that the cost in miles (in my opinion) is exorbitant. TPG reports that the cost for a one way Delta One Suites ticket is 160,000 miles (yes, about the same as an American AAnytime Award seat). Premium Economy is going for 65,000 miles one way. This for me is too much, but hopefully Delta will release “saver” awards at some point. It is also worth noting, that those who book flights on Premium Select will be booked in first class on their connecting flights within the US or where P/E is not offered.
I have flown on one A350, and I found the experience to be awesome. The new era of jetliners ushered in by the 787 and the A350 make flying much more comfortable. Delta is leading the pack when it comes to the A350 in the US. Their new business class is revolutionary, and will put them solidly as the best business class in the US. I hope to see them launch more flights with the A350, and hopefully open up saver seats for those who don’t want to (or don’t have) 160,000 Skymiles.
What do you think? Are you excited for Delta’s A350? Where will you fly it first? Let us know!
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