Delta Air Lines will finally resume flights to China as tensions between the two nations begin to cool down. After the halt in service due to the COVID-19 pandemic in February 2020, the United States and Chinese aviation authorities had a tiff when the Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC) banned US carriers from flying to China. This, however, was finally lifted after the United States threatened to do the same.
Delta will use their flagship A350 for this route. Photo by Brandon Ravelo | AeroNewsX
Delta Air Lines will become the first US carrier to begin flights to mainland China on June 25th, 2020. Delta Airlines flight 287 will depart Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) at 23:30 bound for Shanghai Pudong (PVG), with a stop-over at Seoul Incheon (ICN). The flight will be operated using an Airbus A350-900 until August 2020, when it will shift back to the usual Airbus A330-900neo.
“We are excited to resume our services between the U.S. and China, as economic and social activities start to recover. With a mission to connect the world, Delta is committed to getting our customers to their destinations safely and confidently, especially at this critical time. We are implementing unprecedented health and safety measures and practices, so customers are assured of ease and safety at all points of their journey,” said Delta President for Greater China and Singapore, Wong Hong.
The A350 is fitted with 306 seats, with 32 in the Delta One Suites, 48 in Delta Premium Select and 226 in Economy. Apart from basic social distancing and mandatory face masks at all times, the airline will be using a host of other health and safety measures for the safety of the passengers and crew. Other measures include using HEPA Air Filters onboard aircraft to purify 99.99% of particles in the air, encouraging passengers to bring packed food and beverages to reduce physical contact as well as blocking the middle seats and limiting the number of passengers per cabin.
Delta also wants to fly to Beijing soon and other destinations in China. United on the other hand is yet to finalize a date for the resumption of service to China.