Delta is getting even closer to becoming the first airline in North America to operate the Airbus A350XWB after the first aircraft completed its second test flight and first in the airline’s livery. Once delivered in July, the aircraft will fly its first scheduled flight between Detroit (DTW) and Tokyo Narita (NRT) on October 30.
The airline is planning to base its first A350-900XWB aircraft in Detroit, the current hub of Delta’s 747 fleet. As Delta takes delivery of its brand new aircraft, it is also in the process of retiring the iconic Queen of the Skies.
With an average age of 25.9 years old, the 747 is the oldest aircraft currently flying in Delta’s fleet. The 747 currently flies to Tokyo, Shanghai, and Seoul from Detroit.
As Delta prepares to welcome a new aircraft to its fleet, it will also be introducing the new Delta One Suite onboard the A350. The suite will initially be flying between the U.S. and Asia until other aircraft in Delta’s fleet are retrofitted with the new configuration. Delta’s new international Premium Economy will also be introduced on the A350.
Additional routes for Delta’s A350 have also been announced. Flights between Detroit and Seoul (ICN) will be operated on the new aircraft on alternating days beginning on November 18. The airline will also commence A350 service on alternating days between Detroit and Beijing (PEK) on Jan.17, 2018, until commencing daily flights on February 23.