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A Delta A350-900XWB in Los Angeles. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

Delta Becomes First U.S. Carrier to Restart China Flights

Delta will resume service from Seattle and Detroit to Shanghai via Seoul on June 25 and July 1 respectively, operating twice a week. Despite the tensions and disputes between the U.S. government and China over operating flights between the two countries, Delta will be the first U.S. airline to reconnect both countries since the temporary suspension began in February due to the CO-VID 19 outbreak. 

Wong Hong, President – Greater China and Singapore for Delta, stated the airline’s excitement and continued commitment to getting its passengers safely to their destinations, even during this difficult time period.

“We are excited to resume our services between the U.S. and China, as economic and social activities start to recover,” Hong said. “With a mission to connect the world, Delta is committed to getting our customers to their destinations safely and confidently, especially at this critical time. We are implementing unprecedented health and safety measures and practices, so customers are assured of ease and safety at all points of their journey.”

The flights operating from Seattle and Detroit to Shanghai via Seoul will be served by Delta’s flagship aircraft, the Airbus A350 with the airline’s updated cleaning and safety services, to safeguard the passengers and crew. The Atlanta-based carrier aims to improve its health and safety measures based on expert medical advice and feedback from its passengers. 

Delta’s high cleanliness standards on the ground and in the air include sanitizing all aircraft, adjusting the boarding process to back-to-front, streamlining onboard food and beverage service, requiring everyone to wear a mask and providing complimentary hand sanitizer.  All of these measures are to ensure that all passengers and crew have a comfortable and safe journey, especially as Delta’s routes to China resume during this global pandemic. 

The airline’s flight operations from Seattle will operate on Thursdays and Saturdays, while the flight from Detroit will operate on Fridays and Sundays. In addition, the flights from Seattle will switch over to the Airbus A330-900neo beginning on Aug. 1 while still operating twice a week.

The carrier encourages passengers to check entry policies regarding health screening and COVID-19 testing for China. Delta’s flight resumptions to China comes after a series of heated disputes between the U.S. government and China over allowing U.S. carriers to fly to China and Chinese carriers restarting their routes to the U.S. Since then, the Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC) has been gradually revising and reviewing its policy, in order to accommodate more flights by U.S. airlines. 

The Atlanta-based carrier’s upcoming schedule reflects the current route-policy between the two countries. For now, the policy stands at allowing U.S. carriers to offer two round-trip flights per week. The current policy could possibly prompt other major U.S. airlines to resume flights to China, as time moves forward. 

Benjamin Pham
Benjamin Pham
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