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Delta Begins Full Flat-bed Seat Installations on B747-400s

Delta Begins Full Flat-bed Seat Installations on B747-400s

Delta Air Lines is renovating its Boeing 747-400 aircraft fleet to include full flat-bed seats in the BusinessElite cabin and new ‘slim line’ seats offering more personal space and individual in-seat entertainment throughout the Economy cabin. The airline has already taken delivery of the first modified aircraft. As modifications are completed throughout 2012, customers will increasingly see the upgraded aircraft on various routes across the Pacific and Atlantic. Customers will experience the new interiors on each B747 flown by Delta by October 2012.

Delta Air Lines

BusinessElite

Each B747 will have 48 BusinessElite full flat-bed seats on the upper and lower deck of the aircraft featuring direct aisle access for every seat, a 110V universal power outlet, USB port and a personal LED reading lamp. In addition, each seat comes with a 15.4” widescreen video monitor with instant access to more than 1,000 entertainment options – more than any other US carrier – including more than 300 films, 88 hours of television programming, nearly 100 hours of premium programming from HBO and Showtime, 27 video games and more than 5,000 digital music tracks.

The new BusinessElite seats, manufactured by Zodiac Aerospace, are approximately 80” in length and 20.5” wide, and will be arranged in an angled herringbone layout, similar to the flat-bed product currently offered on Delta’s B777 fleet. Window seats will face outward, while centre seats are angled toward each other. The new seats are 20% wider than those they replace and include a large dining table and side console. There are no middle or rear-facing seats.

“Our best customers want a full flat-bed seat with direct aisle access and the new BusinessElite configuration of our 747s provides them with an industry leading experience as they fly across the globe,” said Glen Hauenstein, Executive Vice President – Marketing, Network and Revenue Management. “The days of having to step over a sleeping customer in the seat next to you are over. These upgrades will make the 747 the premier aircraft in our international fleet and customers will immediately notice the improved experience.”

To date, more than one-third of Delta’s widebody international fleet has been upgraded with direct-aisle access full flat-bed seats and the airline’s entire widebody international fleet of more than 140 aircraft will be flying with full flat-bed seats in BusinessElite by 2014. Already Delta’s fleet of 18 Boeing 777 aircraft, each with 45 BusinessElite seats per plane, and all 21 Boeing 767-400ER aircraft with 40 BusinessElite seats per plane, have been retrofitted with full flat-bed seats. Seven Boeing 767-300ER with 36 full flat-bed seats and new interiors are currently flying, with the entire fleet scheduled for completion by the end of 2013.

Economy Comfort

Like all of Delta’s international fleet, the B747s also will feature the Economy Comfort product in its Economy cabin, which includes up to four additional inches of legroom for 35 full inches of seat pitch and 50% more recline. Delta’s B747 aircraft each have 42 Economy Comfort seats.

The product, which is similar to upgraded Economy services currently available on flights operated by Delta’s joint venture partners Air France-KLM and Alitalia, is located in the first few rows of the Economy cabin on more than 160 Boeing 747, 757, 767, 777 and Airbus A330 aircraft.

In addition to more leg room and recline, customers seated in Economy Comfort will enjoy priority boarding and complimentary spirits throughout the flight. These benefits are in addition to Delta’s standard international Economy class amenities, including complimentary meals, beer, wine, entertainment, blankets and pillows.

Economy

Changes to the Economy cabin will be immediately evident as Delta transitions to a ‘slim line’ seat, providing customers with up to two inches of additional knee clearance. All seats feature a headrest with adjustable wings, height and tilt, USB power and an industry-leading 9” touchscreen featuring personal on-demand entertainment including the same extensive library of entertainment choices as those offered in BusinessElite.

Investment

Installing full flat-bed seats on Delta’s widebody international aircraft is a major component of the $2 billion investment Delta is making in its product and customer experience. Delta’s investment also includes work underway on Delta’s new Terminal 4 at New York-JFK, opening in 2013, and the new Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal in Atlanta, opening in April of this year.

Delta will also spend more than $100 million to expand, renovate and consolidate terminals C and D at LaGuardia. Customers will also see Delta’s investment in its more than 50 Delta Sky Clubs throughout the system, power poles at dozens of airports, mobile apps that include features such as baggage tracking, and wi-fi on more than 800 aircraft.

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NEIL STEEDMAN has been a trade journalist, copywriter, editor and proofreader for 50 years, and News & Features Editor for ‘Irish Travel Trade News’ for the past 40 years.

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