Delta takes delivery of first Airbus A350-900

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Delta Air Lines has become the first North American operator of the belly cargo friendly Airbus A350-900.

The Airbus A350 will continue Delta’s optimisation of its Pacific network, operating primarily on long-range routes between the US across the Pacific to Asia and initially it will service Tokyo-Narita, Seoul and Beijing. It will be first operated to Tokyo-Narita from 30 October.

Delta’s chief executive officer, Ed Bastian says: “Our new flagship A350 fits well in Delta’s long-haul network, combining an exceptional customer experience with strong operating economics and fuel-efficiency as we retire older, less-efficient aircraft.”

Earlier this week, Delta reported financial results for the June quarter 2017. Adjusted pre-tax income for the June 2017 quarter was $1.85 billion, a $172 million increase from the June 2016 quarter, primarily driven by higher revenue.

Cargo revenue increased 11 per cent on the same quarter last year, driven by higher volumes in freight and mail.

Bastian says: “While 2017 is a transition period for Delta, we are encouraged by the improvement in unit revenues, leading to increasing conviction in our ability to expand margins as we move through the back half of the year.”

He adds: “The June quarter marked Delta’s return to unit revenue growth after two and a half years. This improvement resulted from a strengthening demand environment and our commercial initiatives to provide customers more choice, an innovative experience, and a broader global network.”