Delta embarks on major long-haul product upgrade
Delta Air Lines has announced a major investment in its international fleet with plans to introduce a premium economy section - Economy Comfort - on all long-haul international flights in summer 2011. The new seats will feature up to four additional inches of legroom and 50 percent more recline than Delta’s standard international Economy class seats.
The product, which is similar to upgraded Economy services currently available on flights operated by Delta’s joint venture partner Air France-KLM, will be installed in the first few rows of the Economy cabin on more than 160 Boeing 747, 757, 767, 777 and Airbus A330 aircraft by this summer.
Customers who have purchased an international Economy ticket on Delta will be able to choose Economy Comfort seats for an additional fee of US$80-160 one-way. Members of Delta’s SkyMiles loyalty scheme will be offered special promotions on the new class.
“Just as Delta is investing in BusinessElite, which is among the industry’s most competitive premium products, it makes sense to offer enhancements to our Economy Class service that provide additional comfort,” said Glen Hauenstein, Delta’s Executive Vice President of Network Planning, Revenue Management and Marketing. “Economy Comfort is one of many elements Delta is committed to delivering to our customers as part of a more than US$2 billion investment we are making in the air and on the ground to improve the customer experience and position Delta as a leader in customer service.”
Economy Comfort passengers will also be able to board early and enjoy complimentary spirits throughout the flight. These benefits are in addition to Delta’s standard international Economy class amenities, which include complimentary meals, beer, wine, entertainment, blankets and pillows. In-seat power will also be available on aircraft equipped with personal entertainment systems, while the seats will come equipped with a specially-designed seat cover.
In addition to investing in the international Economy cabin, Delta today announced it now plans to install 34 horizontal flat-bed BusinessElite seats with direct aisle access in each of its 32 Airbus A330 aircraft by 2013. With this announcement, Delta now plans to offer full flat-bed seating in BusinessElite on all international widebody flights, or more than 150 aircraft, by 2013.
The new A330 seat, manufactured by Weber Aircraft LLC, will be 81.7 inches in length and 20.5 inches wide, similar to the flat-bed product currently offered on Delta’s 777 fleet. It also will feature a 120-volt universal power outlet, USB port, personal LED reading lamp and a 15.4 inch personal video monitor with instant access to 250 new and classic movies, premium programming from HBO and Showtime, other television programming, video games and more than 4,000 digital music tracks.
Today’s announcements are the latest in Delta’s previously announced plan to invest more than US$2 billion in enhanced global products, services and airport facilities through 2013. Delta is also upgrading its domestic fleet with more First Class seats and in-seat entertainment, adding personal, in-seat entertainment for both BusinessElite and Economy class customers on all long-haul international flights, as well as in-flight Wi-Fi services and building new terminal facilities for international customers at its two largest global gateways - Atlanta and New York-JFK.