Delta Air Lines is launching flights from Atlanta on what it calls its new flagship aircraft, the Airbus A350.
Starting Saturday, Delta will fly its Atlanta-Seoul flights with the A350. The new Airbus jet replaces the Boeing 777 on the route launched last June.
Atlanta-based Delta is the first airline in North America to operate the Airbus A350.
The airline said it adjusted the schedule for its Atlanta-Seoul route to better complement flights operated on the same route by its joint venture partner Korean Air.
The A350 is designed to fly some of Delta’s longest routes, often on flights that are more than 12 hours long. The aircraft is built for a lower-pressure, higher-humidity cabin to reduce the effects of jet lag. Delta chief operating officer Gil West has said the A350 would “set a whole new standard for our flying experience.”
The Delta A350 has 306 seats, including new business class suites with a sliding door and a seat that reclines to a bed. Also on the A350 are new international premium economy seats called premium select.
The airline first launched the A350 last October on its Detroit-Tokyo Narita, then put the A350 on flights from Detroit to Seoul and to Beijing, before starting to use it on the Atlanta-Seoul route.
In Seoul, Delta also has connections to 80 other cities in Asia including Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta through its partnership with Korean Air.
The shift to the A350 and more luxurious international business class and premium economy seats comes as U.S. airlines like Delta increasingly compete against posh foreign carriers like Singapore Airlines and Emirates for the world’s international travelers.
U.S. airlines had fallen behind compared to some Middle Eastern and Asian carriers that fly high-profile aircraft like the super-jumbo Airbus A380 jet.
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AJC Business reporter Kelly Yamanouchi keeps you updated on the latest news about Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Delta Air Lines and the airline industry in metro Atlanta and beyond. You'll find more on myAJC.com, including these stories:
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