Monday, March 14, 2016

Delta to launch non-stop LAX-Beijing service

In a continuation of its rapid expansion of service from the U.S. West Coast, Atlanta-headquartered Delta Air Lines has announced plans to begin daily nonstop service between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Beijing Capital International Airport (BJS) before the end of the year.

Los Angeles, the largest market for service to Asia, drives 21 percent of all U.S.-Asia demand, according to the airline’s statement announcing the new service. The start of Beijing service marks Delta's (NYSE:DAL) fifth daily nonstop flight to the Asia-Pacific region in addition to Tokyo-Narita (NRT), Tokyo-Haneda (HND), Shanghai (PVG) and Sydney, Australia (SYD).

"Delta's new nonstop service to Beijing continues our expansion in China, providing our business customers with access to Beijing and beyond through our partnerships with the market's leading carriers, China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines," Ranjan Goswami, Delta's VP Sales, West, said in the statement.

The Dec. 16 launch of service, which is timed to capture peak holiday and Chinese New Year traffic, is subject to pending U.S. Department of Transportation and foreign government approval.

Delta's Los Angeles-Beijing flight will offer customers connections to more than 39 cities in China including Chengdu (CTU), Shenyang (SHE), Qingdao (TAO), Xian (XIY) and Hangzhou (HGH) on it SkyTeam partners. The Beijing- Los Angeles flight will enable key connections to Denver (DEN), Las Vegas (LAS), Portland (PDX), San Diego (SDO) and Phoenix (PHX) as well as 35 other markets throughout the U.S., Canada and Latin America.

Delta flight departing Sea-Tac Airport
The carrier added service to Shanghai in July 2015. As a result, when Beijing service begins in December, Delta will be the only carrier to offer service to both Beijing and Shanghai from Los Angeles.

Delta will operate a 291-seat Boeing (NYSE:BA) 777-200ER aircraft with 37 full flat-bed seats in Delta One, 36 seats in Delta Comfort+ and 218 seats in the main cabin. Flights will leave LAX at 12:30 p.m., arriving at PEK at 5:45 p.m. the following day due to crossing the international dateline. Eastbound flights will leave PEK at 7:30 p.m. and arrive at LAX at 3:45 p.m.

Combined with its hubs in Seattle and Detroit, Delta will operate 21 weekly departures to China's capital. In addition, Delta offers 28 weekly departures to China's global financial center, Shanghai, from its key markets and hubs in Los Angeles, Detroit (DET), Seattle and Tokyo-Narita.

Delta's seat growth in Los Angeles has grown more than 99 percent since 2009, the most of any carrier. As of this writing, its service from LAX includes 162 peak-day departures. The carrier has also recently completed a $229-million facilities enhancement of Terminal 5 at LAX that features a remodeled Delta Sky Club, a renovated Sky Priority lobby and a new premium check-in experience, Delta ONE, at LAX.

About that…

Delta’s marketing department deserves huge kudos for the one-minute, wordless video it created to showcase its Delta ONE departure experience at LAX. You can view that video here.

As a veteran of television and radio, I have a special appreciation for this video because, while obviously choreographed, it was shot and is presented as a short one-act play without a single discernable edit. It opens on a woman stepping out of her car at the curb, flows seamlessly from one character to the next as it takes viewers through the check-in experience, then ends on the same character that opened the mini-novella.

Even if you are not flying Delta One out of Los Angeles, it is well worth a look.

Visit my main page at TheTravelPro.us for more news, reviews, and personal observations on the world of upmarket travel.



Photo by Carl Dombek
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