US major Delta Air Lines plans to begin a daily non-stop service between Los Angeles International Airport and Beijing Capital International Airport from December 16, 2016, pending US Department of Transportation and foreign government approval.
The Los Angeles – Beijing market is already served on an up to three times daily basis by Air China offering upwards of 1,850 seats a day on the city pair, but Delta believes the power of the Los Angeles market, its own network from Los Angeles International Airport and its onward offering from the Chinese capital through SkyTeam members China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines will help support this fourth daily rotation.
This will be Delta’s fifth daily nonstop flight to the Asia-Pacific region and will add to existing links to Shanghai, Sydney and Tokyo; the latter being served by flights to both Haneda and Narita airports. The Shanghai service was only added in July 2015, and Delta will be the only carrier to offer service to both of China’s biggest cities from Los Angeles.
It will serve the Beijing route using a 291-seat Boeing 777-200ER aircraft with 37 full flat-bed seats in Delta One, 36 seats in Delta Comfort+ and 218 seats in Main Cabin. The flight has been scheduled to launch to capture peak holiday and Chinese New Year traffic.
"Delta's new non-stop 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," said Ranjan Goswami, Vice President – Sales, West, Delta Air Lines.
Through its Asian SkyTeam partners, Delta will provide convenient one-stop connections from the USA to more than 39 cities in China, including - Chengdu, Shenyang, Qingdao, Xian and Hangzhou, while in its local market efficient connection options will be available to Denver, Las Vegas, Portland, San Diego and Phoenix as well as 35 other markets throughout the US, Canada and Latin America.
Combined with its hubs in Seattle and Detroit, subject to regulatory approval, Delta will operate 21 weekly departures to China's capital, Beijing. Additionally, Delta offers 28 weekly departures to China's global financial centre, Shanghai from its key markets and hubs in Los Angeles, Detroit, Seattle and Tokyo Narita.
Delta claims that Los Angeles is the largest market for service to Asia and drives 21 percent of all US-Asia demand. Our own analysis of MIDT data shows that of the 15.3 million passengers that flew between the US and Asian markets in the first half of last year, around 2.4 million (approximately 15.8 per cent) began or ended their journeys in Los Angeles, however many more connected via the City of Angels and could explain the more inflated figure from the carrier.
Los Angeles is the largest origin and destination market in the US for traffic to and from Asia with monthly flows of over 200,000 passengers. The New York, San Francisco and Honolulu markets also generate average monthly flows of over 100,000 passengers, while Chicago, Washington, Seattle and Newark have flows of around 50,000 monthly passengers.