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Delta Air Lines Moves To Shanghai Pudong Satellite Terminal, Eyeing Further Strategic Expansion

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Delta B777


Delta Air Lines officially announced on 30th September that it will relocate from Shanghai Pudong International Airport Terminal 1 to the new S1 satellite hall. The relocation of Delta Air Lines is coordinated with China Eastern Airlines to create a more seamless and convenient transit and travel experience for passengers alliance-wide.

Shanghai Pudong International Airport Terminal Layout
Shanghai Pudong International Airport Terminal Layout

In the future, all Delta flights can be bridged to a S1 Terminal gate, thus completely abandoning the need to take the shuttle bus, which greatly enhance passengers’ boarding experience.


Shanghai Pudong Airport S1 Terminal
Shanghai Pudong Airport S1 Terminal
PVG S1 Terminal Interior
PVG S1 Terminal Interior

Changes to Departure & Arrival Flow At Shanghai PVG:

Delta Air Lines Moves To New Home In Shanghai Pudong Airport
Delta Air Lines Moves To New Home In Shanghai Pudong Airport

Delta Air Lines currently operates four direct flights to major US hub airports from Shanghai Pudong International Airport, flights run daily to and from Detroit, Seattle, Los Angeles and Atlanta.

Through strategic cooperation with China Eastern Airlines, Delta Air Lines provides passengers with more than 1,350 domestic codeshare flights per week, covering more than 40 cities in China. Through the deployment of Delta and China Eastern Airlines in the S1 satellite hall, passengers will enjoy a smooth and seamless experience, whether it is an international transfer or a domestic transfer.


Delta & China Eastern - Equity & Code Share
Delta & China Eastern – Equity & Code Share From 2017

On July 27, 2015, Delta Air Lines invested approximately 3.489 billion Hong Kong dollars (US$450 million, 2.75 billion RMB) to acquire 3.55% stake in China Eastern Airlines on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. This investment was the largest foreign investment in Delta’s history.

The total investment was expected to account for approximately 10% of China Eastern Airlines’ H shares in Hong Kong and 3.55% of the total share capital. Delta will then have the right to obtain an observer seat on CEA’s board of directors.

After the share purchase, Delta Air Lines became the largest external shareholder of China Eastern.


“Delta is committed to continuously investing to improve customers’ on-the-ground and in-flight experience,This move is part of our broader strategy to collaborate with China Eastern to better address the growing needs of the U.S.-China market.”

Wong Hong, Delta’s President – Greater China and Singapore.
Delta One Suite 1A
Delta One Suite 1A

The Chinese market is vital for Delta’s long-term global expansion strategy. Ten years ago, Delta did not fly to any destinations directly from the United States to China. And today, Delta Air Lines has six direct routes between China and the United States, including Seattle to Shanghai and Beijing, Detroit to Shanghai and Beijing, and Los Angeles to Shanghai, as well as direct flights from Atlanta to Shanghai started in July 2018.

Delta A350-900
Delta A350-900

Delta is serving the Chinese market with a generation of new aircrafts, such as the A330-900-NEO that provides passengers with a variety of travel options in four different cabin classes. In addition, Delta deploys their flagship Airbus A350 planes on flights between Detroit and Los Angeles to Shanghai.

The new Airbus A330-900 Neo Picture from Delta News Hub by Chris Rank/ Rank Studios
The new Airbus A330-900 Neo Picture from Delta News Hub by Chris Rank/ Rank Studios

At the end of the year, the newly retro-fitted Boeing B-777 aircraft will fly between Shanghai and Atlanta. By then, all of Delta’s Sino-US routes will be carried out by the newly-configured aircraft models, bringing the best service concepts Delta has to offer to all passengers across the pacific ocean.

Delta One Suite Business Class
Delta One Suite Business Class

All models serving Shanghai are also equipped with a new generation of Delta One® Suites Business Class and Delta Premium Select premium economy class products.

Delta A330-900 Neo Delta Premium Select
Delta A330-900 Neo Delta Premium Select

Eyeing Further Strategic Expansion:

Delta Air Lines plans to connect its Minneapolis-St. Paul hub and China for the first time in 2020, with a proposed route to Shanghai operated with its state-of-the-art Airbus A350-900 aircraft, which currently subject to government approvals from the United States and China.


Delta Air Lines’ Routes From Shanghai Pudong International Airport
Shanghai ​(PVG)​ Atlanta ​(ATL)​
Non-stop Delta Air Lines 7,688 mi
Shanghai ​(PVG)​ — Detroit ​(DTW)​
Non-stop Delta Air Lines 7,161 mi
Shanghai ​(PVG)​ Los Angeles ​(LAX)​
Non-stop
Delta Air Lines 6,508 mi
Shanghai ​(PVG)​ — Seattle/Tacoma ​(SEA)​
Non-stop Delta Air Lines 5,741 mi
Shanghai ​(PVG)​ — Minneapolis ​(MSP)​
Non-stop (Daily) Delta Air Lines

*Proposed from June 2020 on A350 planes, pending government approval.

“Shanghai is the largest Asian market without direct service from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, direct service to China would be a tremendous benefit to the Minnesota business and hospitality communities. By seeking federal approval to fly the route, Delta is once again reaffirming its ongoing commitment to the Twin Cities and creating opportunities for people and businesses throughout the region.”

Brian Ryks, Executive Director and CEO of the Metropolitan Airports Commission.

Delta Airbus A350-900
Delta Airbus A350-900

The US and China does not have an “Open Sky” agreement thus flight slots to and from China are restricted. According to the 2007 Air Route Authority Agreement between China and the United States, The US has up to 161 weekly frequencies or 23 flights a day for operating flights to Zone 1 Tier 1 Chinese cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. US carriers have used 133/161 of all available slots, while in reality only 4 weekly frequencies are available as of now due to various reasons*. Although 4 slots are better than nothing for any airline who wishes to operate more flights to China, but the US Department of Transportation won’t grant it to any carrier before new talks on slots expansion are in session.

Delta Air Lines has been eyeing the potential slots opening up ever since American Airlines‘ decision on stop its service on the route between Chicago and Shanghai.

Despite objections from both Delta Air Lines and United Airlines, the DOT granted American Airlines an extension on the sought-after frequencies in February this year; with hopes of resuming flights to China in the future, American Airlines eventually stopped flight services both from Beijing an Shanghai to Chicago while continue holding on to those idled 14 weekly frequencies on June 28 this year.

Those idled frequencies would allow Delta to open up a new daily route directly from the former Northwest Airlines’ biggest hub – Minneapolis (MSP) to Shanghai (PVG), which can further strengthen Delta’s competitiveness by penetrating deeper into SkyTeam’s biggest hub in Asia.


*What Happened In 2018?


In April 2018, United Airlines canceled its Shanghai – Guam route, and its three times weekly Zone 1 Tier 1 Chinese cities air rights was returned to the air rights allocation pool on April 1, 2018.


In August 2018, American Airlines decided to stop flying the Shanghai Pudong – Chicago route after October 26, and 12th of the same month, Hawaiian Airlines suspended the Honolulu – Beijing route.


On October 11th, the day before the suspension of the route, the US Department of Transportation (DOT) received relevant documents from Hawaiian Airlines. Since there are tight restrictions on the frequencies of US carriers flying to Beijing, despite Hawaiian Airlines‘ long-term plan includes the Chinese market, The DOT believed that the scarce frequencies should be fully utilised on the grounds of lacking clear short term plan on Hawaiian’s side. Therefore, Hawaiian Airlines should return their air rights of this route from October 12,


On October 19th, American Airlines applied to retain air rights for the 14 weekly frequencies for its Beijing – Chicago, Shanghai – Chicago routes for a 90-day dormancy period until November 1, 2019, while hoping the market will be in more favourable situations before the deadline for them to restore these services. American Airlines believed that such exemption will be in the public interest as it will allow the US aviation market quickly restores these services while also avoiding delays caused by reapplying for air rights allocation.

During that time, US carriers had 7 frequencies remaining to Zone 1 cities in China in addition to the 14 frequencies that American Airlines applied for exemption.


On October 22, Delta submitted an application to the US Department of Transportation for the opening of a new route from Shanghai to Minneapolis. Delta Air Lines indicated in its application that it plans to cooperate with China Eastern Airlines and Shanghai Airlines on the route. Delta Air Lines pointed out that because frequencies for Tier 1 cities is difficult to obtain, it needed sufficient lead time to apply for the route.


On October 30, Delta Air Lines submitted information to the US Department of Transportation, expressing dissatisfaction with the application filed by American Airlines on October 19. Although Delta Air Lines does not object to the relief sought by American Airlines. However, judging by the overall condition of lacking available frequencies to Tier 1 cities in China, Delta believed that the DOT shouldn’t grant American’s applications at this time.

  • If the DOT agreed in whole or in part with the application of American Airlines, it will prevent the Ministry of Communications from promptly approving Delta Air Lines‘ application for its Minneapolis to Shanghai route. Delta Air Lines thus would oppose the DOT’s exemption for American Airlines.
  • With then 7 unallocated Zone 1 frequencies sufficient enough to support Delta’s proposed daily flights; If granted, Delta Air Lines would then not to object American Airlines’ application for exemption. However, if another US carrier submits a competitive application to use the 7 frequencies, Delta would demand the DOT to redistribute all 21 assignable frequencies.

On November 2rd, United submitted information to the US Department of Transportation suspecting that American Airlines would be returning to Beijing and Shanghai in November. United does not object to Delta‘s application earlier as long as it does not sacrifice United‘s future plan for China. United Airlines agreed with Delta‘s stance that airlines need to begin planning for new services to China in the next 18 to 24 months. Thus United asked the DOT to veto American Airlines’ exemption request, and immediately assigned the 14 weekly air rights to other airlines and both Delta and United should be able to apply for it.

United Airlines would apply for 7 flights a week to add a second daily flight between Newark and Shanghai with the 7 frequencies requested to remain valid indefinitely. United also believed that United’s and Delta’s applications are not mutually exclusive, thus the Department of Transportation should be able to grant both airlines’ air rights at the same time.


On November 6, American Airlines objected to the air rights application for Delta Air Lines‘ Minneapolis – Shanghai Pudong route. American Airlines believed that the new route application submitted by Delta and United conflicts with the air rights exemption applied to itself.

On the same day, Hawaiian Airlines also submitted a response stating that it does not object to Delta’s and United’s usage of air rights to open new routes, but disputed the date for the launch of Delta’s and United’s route is too far. In addition, Hawaiian demanded that airlines should open the route no later than six months after the application is filed.


On November 7, American Airlines applied to extend its air rights of route AA826 between Chicago and Beijing. American Airlines said that as long as it continues to hold the route management rights, its 7 weekly air rights will be valid indefinitely.



REFERENCES


4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Delta Medallian Life Time Diamond

    October 2, 2019 at 12:11 pm

    Holy S**t, this is a well written article !!! Keep it up!

  2. DL-UA-AA in that order

    October 2, 2019 at 1:02 pm

    This took me back to 2018 when AA fails to make any routes work, they’ve just been sticking to their Dallas hub while other carriers been focusing on many new markets and establish newer hubs

  3. Aldina

    October 3, 2019 at 12:29 am

    Hope ticket price could be cheaper as well?

    Meh

  4. Justin

    October 16, 2019 at 10:55 am

    thats much has happended damn

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Route Network

Emirates To Resume Flights To Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Harare and Mauritius, Boosting Global Network To 92 Destinations

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Emirates Boeing777-300er

Emirates has announced on 24 September 2020 that it will resume flights to Johannesburg (1 October), Cape Town (1 October), Durban (4 October) in South Africa; Harare in Zimbabwe (1 October); and Mauritius (3 October). The addition of the five points will expand the Emirates’ global network to 92 destinations, as the airline gradually resumes its operations while prioritising the safety of its customers, crew and the communities it serves around the world. 

Emirates’ African network will also now extend to 19 cities.

Customers flying in and out of Emirates’ three South African gateways can safely connect to Dubai and to an array of onwards connections to Europe, the Far East, Middle East, West Asia and Australasia.


  • Johannesburg (1 October) in South Africa;
  • Cape Town (1 October) in South Africa;
  • Durban (4 October) in South Africa;
  • Harare in Zimbabwe (1 October); 
  • Mauritius (3 October).

Emirates will operate to Harare with two weekly flights linked to its Lusaka service. The linked services will connect Zambia and Zimbabwe to key destinations across Europe, the Far East, the Americas, Australasia and West Asia with one convenient stop in Dubai.

Flights from Dubai to Mauritius will initially operate once a week on Saturdays, supporting the Mauritian government’s repatriation efforts to bring its citizens home, and enabling the recovery of the country’s tourism industry by safely connecting leisure travellers from Europe, the Far East and the Middle East to the popular Indian Ocean island destination. 

Customers can stop over or travel to Dubai as the city has re-opened for international business and leisure visitors. Ensuring the safety of travellers, visitors, and the community, COVID-19 PCR tests are mandatory for all inbound and transit passengers arriving to Dubai (and the UAE), including UAE citizens, residents and tourists, irrespective of the country they are coming from.

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