Delta Air Lines has unveiled plans for the
complete revitalization of its fleet of Boeing 747-400 aircraft
flying primarily from the Tokyo-Narita hub.
Between summer 2011
and 2012, Delta will equip each of its 16 747-400s with new fully
horizontal flat-bed seats in the BusinessElite cabin and new
Economy class seats featuring personal, on-demand entertainment,
increased personal space and added under-seat storage.
The investments are the latest in Delta's previously announced
plan to invest more than $1 billion in enhanced global products
and services through 2013.
When complete, Delta will offer full
flat-bed seats on more than 100 trans-oceanic aircraft, including
all Boeing 777s, 767s and 747s, and will feature personal, in-seat
entertainment for both BusinessElite and Economy class customers
on all widebody flights.
"The multimillion dollar investment we
are making to completely revitalize our trans-oceanic fleet speaks
to our strong commitment to the Asian market," said Delta President Ed
Bastian. "While we have
solidly positioned ourselves as the leading U.S. carrier across
the Pacific in terms of flights and destinations, we are now
taking steps to enhance the products and services offered across
our Asia Pacific network to position Delta as a leader in
upgrades promise substantial changes to both decks of the
aircraft's BusinessElite cabin. The new, custom-designed product will feature 48 horizontal flat-bed seats with direct aisle access
at each seat. Window seats will face the window for improved
privacy and center seats will be angled toward each other for the
convenience of customers traveling together.
The new seat,
manufactured by Weber Aircraft, will be 81.7 inches in length
and 20.5 inches wide, similar to the flat-bed product currently
offered on Delta's 777-200LR fleet. It also will feature a
120-volt universal power outlet, USB port, personal LED reading
lamp and Panasonic's 15.4 inch personal video monitors with
instant access to 250 new and classic movies, premium programming
from HBO and Showtime, video games and more than 4,000 digital
"The design of our flat-bed product meets
customers' desire for comfortable sleep, direct aisle access and
ample storage and work space when they travel on long-haul
flights," Bastian said. "We have had great success from a customer
service and business standpoint with flat-bed service since it
first rolled out on our 777 fleet, and we expect similar results
when customers experience our new trans- Pacific 747 and 767 BusinessElite product beginning next year."
In the last year,
Delta has improved meal service in BusinessElite across the
Pacific with the introduction of personal, hand-served entrees,
signature dishes created by celebrity chef Michele Bernstein and
master sommelier Andrea Robinson, expanded dessert options and
improved Japanese meal options created by Delta's flight kitchen
Economy Class Improvements
Customers in Economy
class on the 747-400 will benefit from the industry's first seat
designed collaboratively by a seat manufacturer and an inflight
entertainment company, Weber Aircraft and Panasonic Avionics
Corporation, to fully incorporate seat and entertainment functionality into one product.
Using a nine-inch screen, the new
seat's embedded touch-screen entertainment system will offer each customer access to 250 movie titles, hundreds of television shows,
4,000 digital music tracks, personalized music playlists, more
than a dozen interactive games and a USB port to charge iPods and
other personal electronic devices.
The new seats offer up to
1.5 inches more personal space and increased under-seat storage
through a "slimline" design that more efficiently uses cabin space
than the older, heavier seats they replace. The upgraded seats
also feature adjustable headrests and deliver environmental
benefits through the Panasonic Eco 9i Integrated Smart Monitors
that use 30% less energy and are 60% lighter than
entertainment systems installed on other Delta aircraft.
Delta's 747s are dedicated largely to trans-Pacific and intra-Asia
flights to and from the Tokyo-Narita hub, including routes
connecting Tokyo to Detroit, Honolulu, Manila, Minneapolis/St.
Paul, New York-JFK and Shanghai.
When reconfigured, the 747s
will accommodate 386 customers with 48 BusinessElite seats and 338
Economy class seats.
Delta in Asia
During the last several
years, Delta has significantly increased its service across
Asia Pacific, expanding from 222 weekly departures in summer 2006
to 275 in summer 2010.
Recently added routes include Tokyo-Narita
to New York-JFK and Salt Lake City (June 2009); Shanghai to
Detroit (June 2009); Sydney to Los Angeles (July 2009); Osaka to
Seattle (June 2010); Beijing to Seattle (June 2010); Seoul- Incheon
to Detroit (June 2010); Hong Kong to Detroit (June 2010); Nagoya
to Honolulu (December 2010); and Tokyo-Narita to Palau (December
2010). Delta also has plans to begin new nonstop
service between Tokyo-Haneda and Detroit and Los Angeles in 2011.
"Our history of
investment in the region is underscored by our more than 2,300
Pacific-based employees in nine countries and our continued
commitment to expansion and product renewal," added Bastian.
Delta continues to expand its alliance relationships across the
region with Vietnam Airlines joining the global SkyTeam alliance
in June and the announcement that China Eastern Airlines will join
the alliance in 2011.
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