Delta Air Strains is the one one of many large three US airways to not fly to Hong Kong. Whereas United and American each function a number of every day flights, Delta pulled out of the market in 2018. Right here’s why.
Delta Air Strains final flew to Hong Kong in 2018 with Boeing 777 plane. Picture: Getty ImagesDelta’s launch of Hong Kong companies
Again in 2014, Delta Air Strains was busy build up its Seattle hub. With no true transpacific gateway, Delta was falling behind in comparison with a few of its rivals, particularly with United’s huge San Francisco hub. So, the airline turned to Seattle and went up in opposition to companion Alaska Airways, though Alaska doesn’t function long-haul worldwide flights with widebodies.
Concurrently, Delta introduced two transpacific routes out of Seattle (SEA) to each Seoul (ICN) and Hong Kong (HKG). On the time, Mike Medeiros, Delta’s vice chairman – Seattle, acknowledged the next:
“By offering new service from Seattle to Seoul and Hong Kong, Delta will now offer customers service to the top five destinations in Asia. Our expanding Seattle network, combined with investments in our aircraft, the airport and the community shows our commitment to become Seattle’s premier international carrier.”
Delta solely began to construct up its Seattle hub within the final decade. Picture: Delta Air LinesThe Seoul and Hong Kong flights have been along with Delta’s transpacific flights to Shanghai, Beijing, and Tokyo. To begin, Delta Air Strains used a 210-seater Boeing 767-300ER on flights to Seoul whereas, to Hong Kong, Delta flew former Northwest Airways 234-seater Airbus A330-200s. Delta additionally used to fly between Detroit and Hong Kong.
Ending Hong Kong flights
Seattle was the one gateway the place Delta flew to Hong Kong. In late-2018, Delta introduced it could be including nonstop flights from Seattle to Osaka-Kansai (KIX) utilizing a Boeing 767-300ER. Citing the airline’s partnership with Korean Air, the airline believed this route would work nicely and complement the provider’s Osaka to Honolulu companies.
Delta introduced 767-300ER Osaka flights on the identical time it minimize Hong Kong flights. Picture: Getty ImagesHowever, whereas including flights to Osaka, Delta additionally introduced it could finish Seattle to Hong Kong service, as a substitute funneling passengers there by way of its three way partnership companion, Korean Air. On the time, Delta was flying a Boeing 777-200ER between Seattle and Hong Kong.
Will the airline serve the route once more?
Delta Air Strains has been, traditionally, fairly conservative in the case of launching and working its personal long-haul flights. The airline has, as a substitute, chosen to funnel passengers via its personal and companion hubs, the place the provider can higher assure increased load components.
Even with out Hong Kong, Delta nonetheless serves a few of Asia’s largest markets from Seattle, together with Beijing, Shanghai, and Tokyo. Nonetheless, the lack of Hong Kong from Delta’s community is worth it to notice.
If Delta desires to fly to Hong Kong once more, it might use its Airbus A350-900s, although it may need extra capability than the market would demand. Picture: Getty ImagesFirst and foremost, United and American have been far bigger airways in Hong Kong than Delta. American additionally has a codeshare settlement with Cathay Pacific, headquartered in Hong Kong, which permits it to supply onward connections. Actually, American’s longest route is its flight between Hong Kong and Dallas (DFW).
United additionally traditionally had probably the most intensive route map of a US airline in East Asia, with a number of every day flights leaving a number of hubs heading to cities like Singapore, Shanghai, Chengdu, Osaka, and so forth.
Delta, in the meantime, has lagged behind its rivals since dismantling its Tokyo-Narita hub inherited from its merger with Northwest Airways. Though, it’s to be famous that Delta has an unusually robust market place in Tokyo-Haneda, the place the airline doesn’t have a serious companion.
As for if Delta will return to Hong Kong, if it couldn’t make the flights work in the most effective of instances, it probably won’t function it within the subsequent few years because the airline recovers from the worst of instances. However, come 2025 or so, when the airline can return to build up its worldwide route community, it may have the ability to leverage its place in Seattle with a brand new flight to Hong Kong. Though, one hiccup may be that, quickly after Delta minimize Seattle flights, Cathay Pacific introduced plans to fly to Seattle from Hong Kong.
Do you suppose Delta ought to return to Hong Kong? Tell us within the feedback!