Category Archives: Delta Air Lines

Delta to begin new nonstop service in June 2019 between Minneapolis/St. Paul and Mexico City in partnership with AeroMexico

Delta Air Lines Airbus A319-114 N344NB (msn 1766) JFK (Fred Freketic). Image: 935516.

Delta Air Lines, in conjunction with its partner AeroMexico, will bring customers flying through its hub in the Twin Cities a new option to reach Mexico City and beyond, subject to government approval. In addition, Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport uniquely offers connections to more than a dozen cities in the U.S and Canada not available over other Delta hubs.

Service will be aboard Delta’s Airbus A319 aircraft with seating for 12 in First Class, 18 in Delta Comfort+ and 102 in the main cabin.

The new service will operate on the following schedule beginning June 8:​

  • Flight departs MSP at 8:50 a.m. and arrives in MEX at 1:01 p.m.
  • Flight departs MEX at 2 p.m. and arrives in MSP at 6:14 p.m.

On a combined basis, Delta and AeroMexico offer more than 160 daily flights between the U.S. and Mexico.

Delta’s Minneapolis/St. Paul hub offers approximately 400 departures every day, connecting Minnesota to the world and moving Delta customers with ease across the U.S., Canada, Europe and Asia, including Tokyo-Haneda Airport, the business traveler’s preferred airport located near central Tokyo. Earlier in 2018, Delta announced new service to Seoul-Incheon airport in conjunction with partner Korean Air to begin in April 2019. Additionally, Delta announced proposed service from Minneapolis/St. Paul to Shanghai to begin in 2020 subject to government approval.

Top Copyright Photo: Delta Air Lines Airbus A319-114 N344NB (msn 1766) JFK (Fred Freketic). Image: 935516.

Delta Air Lines aircraft slide show:

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Delta recaps its Investor Day presentation

Delta leaders explained to Wall Street how 2018 performance shows Delta is on track to continue leading the industry.

Here’s a recap of what Delta leaders are saying from the stage in New York at Delta’s 2018 Investor Day. Speakers are highlighting a successful 2018, setting 2019 targets and explaining to Wall Street why Delta’s durable and sustainable business model creates resiliency for employees, customers and owners.

CEO Ed Bastian

Ed Bastian at Delta Investor Day 2018

Investor Day 2018 began  with a recap of the year’s successes, including how the Delta team enabled an industry-leading operation and offset 90 percent of a fuel cost headwind through revenue growth.

 

He said that 2018 will be the fourth year in a row that Delta will post a profit of $5 billion, though he emphasized continued focus on costs, saying Delta has to “stay disciplined.”

On the revenue side, Bastian said strategic moves have boosted diversity of revenues. “At Delta, 30 percent of our total revenue stream is coming from premium products, which is twice what it was six years ago.”

Bastian said Delta’s unique culture drives all of its strategic initiatives, and that Delta never loses sight that it is ultimately a people enterprise.”This is a business of caring for people and we have the best people who care in the business.”

He closed with five takeaways about Delta:

  1. Delivering superior financial results – 2019 is expected to deliver profits over $5 billion for a fifth consecutive year, with a return to margin expansion driving double-digit earnings-per-share growth and 15 percent after-tax returns on invested capital.
  2. A powerful consumer brand rooted in a unique culture, with building momentum and a sustainable revenue premium.
  3. An increasingly diverse revenue stream with less than half of revenues from Main Cabin, and strong growth prospects from premium products.
  4. Non-fuel cost trajectory below inflation as efficiency initiatives gain momentum, and fleet transformation continues.
  5. Opportunity to drive top-line growth and margin expansion from fleet transformation, technology innovation, joint ventures, loyalty program and maintenance, repair and overhaul business expansion.

 

President Glen Hauenstein

Glen Hauenstein at Delta Investor Day 2018

He expounded on Delta’s projection of 4-6 percent top-line revenue growth in 2019, saying demand remands strong for all of Delta’s products and services, and the company is just getting started to really provide what customers want in the marketplace. 

“We have a long runway of opportunity,” Hauenstein said. “We feel very, very confident that we have a long way to go to improve our margins and to improve our customer experience and our brand.”

Delta’s opportunity lies in four areas, he said:

  1. Providing the leading domestic network.
  2. Fleet transformation to highly-efficient and customer experience-rich aircraft with larger gauge and better efficiency.
  3. Excellent global partners that provide seamless worldwide access for customers.
  4. Premium onboard products like Delta One and Delta Premium Select.

Runway of opportunity slide

Gil West, Chief Operating Officer

West told attendees that more customers arrive on-time on Delta than on any other airline, through industry-best completion factor and on-time arrivals as measured by preliminary DOT data.

He underscored that a high degree of operational reliability is a bedrock for continuous improvement across all aspects of Delta’s business, and is a catalyst for applied innovation as well as boosting Delta’s competitive advantage at its subsidiary businesses, like Delta Material Services and Delta Flight Products.

Tim Mapes, Chief Marketing Officer

“Delta has the best understanding of the customer.”

That’s how Mapes began his remarks, noting that Delta excels at gathering and interpreting data from nearly 200 million customers a year to evaluate their likes, dislikes and much more. “We have a bias toward action that feeds into this idea of listen, respond, listen,” he said.

Mapes said the Delta brand is moving beyond a high-quality industrial transport to a consumer brand, and a more trusted one every day through the work of Delta’s people and culture to consistently drive superior travel experiences. ​

Investor Day slide - Consistently Delivering

 

Eric Phillips, Senior Vice President – Revenue Management

Phillips detailed Delta’s trajectory to improve choice and customizability for Delta’s customers through a growing array of products and service.

“Over the last 10 years, Delta has moved closer to the customer. When we connected with the customer, what they told us they wanted was choice.”

He added that premium products are top of mind for Delta customers and that their behavior has validated Delta’s investments in Delta Comfort+, Delta Premium Select, the Delta One suite and, most recently, the ability to purchase upgrades with Delta SkyMiles.

He also said the ability to pay for checked bags with miles is expected to be available in 2020 as well as ongoing enhancements to the delta.com shopping experience and overall personalization.

Investor Day slide - Improving all aspects

 

Rahul Samant, Chief Information Officer

Samant emphasized that technological innovations are both customer and employee centric, adding that as recently as five years ago, innovations that customers today enjoy at Delta would have been “beyond the realm of reality.”

What’s driving Delta’s approach to technology going forward? “It’s all about practical and applied innovation,” he said. ​

“Just in the 15 mins I’ve been on stage, we’ve had 600,000 customer interactions in our physical and digital platforms,” he said. “That’s the population of Washington, D.C. These are the opportunities to make a real difference.”​

Investor Day slide - Empowering

 

Joanne Smith, Chief Human Resources Officer

Smith detailed why Delta’s unique culture provides a competitive advantage and how making a great place to work for employees is what sets Delta apart from competitors.

“Culture is not something that’s trending, it’s something that’s been going on for 94 years,” she said. “The theme is, from our founder to our CEO Ed Bastian, this is a people business. We take care of our employees and they take care of our customers.”

Delta’s culture is the foundation of Delta’s success and creates the conditions for a sustained margin premium, a metric of growing importance to investors, and operates in a cycle that continually feeds on itself and creates momentum, she explained.

Investor Day slide - Culture

 

Paul Jacobson, Chief Financial Officer

“I feel very good about where we are today, with less unknowns and more in the hands of execution which is where our team excels,” Jacobson said, summing up for investors Delta’s strong position heading into 2019.

The fact that 35 percent of Delta’s mainline fleet will be replaced by 2023 is a huge opportunity for boosting efficiency through reduced fuel burn and larger gauge, he said. At the same time, these new aircraft will enhance the customer experience and offer more premium seats.

Toys for Tots check presentation

Bastian and a group of frontline employees capped off Delta’s 2018 Investor Day with a $25,000 check presentation to Gen. Pete Osman (ret.) CEO and President Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.

“Delta has really stepped up this year in a year that’s really important to the Marine Toys for Tots program,” said Gen. Osman. “I can guarantee it will make a big difference in the lives of children this year. The demand is up and getting support like we’ve got from Delta really makes a difference.”

All images by Delta.

Delta highlights its powerful brand, competitive advantages and future opportunities at annual Investor Day

Delta Air Lines has released this statement:

Leadership at Delta today will highlight its long-term business strategy and 2019 financial targets at the company’s annual Investor Day.

“Delta is leading the way with our powerful brand and unmatched competitive advantages. In 2018, the Delta people have delivered another year of industry-leading financial results, sustained improvement in customer satisfaction and solid returns for our owners,” said Ed Bastian, Delta’s chief executive officer. “We have a bright future ahead and are confident in our plan for double-digit earnings growth in 2019 of $6 to $7 per share with both top-line growth and margin expansion.”

The leadership team will discuss:

  • How the company’s powerful consumer brand, combined with Delta’s unmatched competitive advantages – culture, operational reliability, global network, customer loyalty and an investment-grade balance sheet – create opportunities for sustained revenue and earnings growth.
  • Expectations for 2019 profits above $5 billion for a fifth consecutive year, driven by revenue growth and margin expansion, with a 15 percent after-tax return on invested capital.
  • Top-line growth in 2019 of 4 to 6 percent, driven by an increasingly diverse revenue stream, premium product mix, and a pipeline of initiatives.
  • Non-fuel unit cost growth trajectory improving as efficiency initiatives gain momentum and Delta’s fleet transformation continues.

“Delta has a great runway of opportunity as we continue to provide superior travel experiences and industry-leading reliability for our customers” said Glen Hauenstein, Delta’s President. “Our pipeline of commercial initiatives and brand momentum drive our expectations for 4 to 6 percent revenue growth in 2019.”

Delta will outline its financial framework and introduce financial targets for 2019, including:

  • Diluted earnings per share of $6 to $7, with pre-tax margin expansion of approximately 100 basis points at midpoint
  • Top-line growth of 4 to 6 percent on 3 percent capacity expansion
  • Non-fuel unit cost growth of approximately one percent

“2018 has demonstrated Delta’s resiliency as we’ve overcome 90 percent of a $2 billion headwind from fuel costs” said Paul Jacobson, Delta’s Chief Financial Officer. “With a structurally improved business model that produces strong cash generation, we remain committed to continued reinvestment in our business, an investment-grade balance sheet and industry-leading shareholder returns.”

The Investor Day event will feature presentations and Q&A sessions with:

  • Ed Bastian, Chief Executive Officer
  • Glen Hauenstein, President
  • Gil West, Chief Operating Officer
  • Tim Mapes, Chief Marketing Officer
  • Eric Phillips, Senior Vice President – Revenue Management
  • Rahul Samant, Chief Information Officer
  • Joanne Smith, Chief Human Resources Officer
  • Paul Jacobson, Chief Financial Officer

Delta invites shareholders, the investment community and the media to listen to a live webcast of this event today from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET.  A live webcast will be available at http://ir.delta.com/news-and-events/calendar/.  An online replay will be available at the same site shortly after the webcast is complete.

Delta extends branded fares to boarding order, launches color palette to tie it all together

Delta Air Lines made this announcement today:

Zone boarding, an aviation standard for decades, will soon be a thing of the past for Delta customers as the airline makes a global shift to boarding by branded fare purchased. This is the latest evolution in Delta’s multi-year work to bring consistency, simplicity and clarity to the gate and boarding experience, efforts that have driven all-time high customer experience scores. SkyMiles Medallion Members and eligible Delta SkyMiles American Express Credit Card Members will continue to receive priority boarding.

Branded Boarding Mobile Shopping

The boarding order change – coming to all Delta-operated flights globally starting Jan. 23 – will be accompanied by new color accents distinguishing Delta’s fare products (Basic Economy, Main Cabin, Delta Comfort+, Delta Premium Select/First Class and Delta One), each of which, in addition to Sky Priority, will have a specific, complementary color – from booking through boarding. The colors are inspired by Delta’s primary brand palette and the Passport Plum shade of purple introduced with the global airline’s 2018 Zac Posen-designed uniforms.

Branded boarding builds on Delta’s latest boarding enhancement, the addition of zone 4 earlier this year, specifically for Basic Economy customers. This change resulted in customer satisfaction scores improving dramatically for the reduced number of customers in zone 3, and improving in every other zone, including by double digits for the Main Cabin zones. Basic Economy customers are notified during the shopping experience that their carry-on bag may need to be checked at the gate, free of charge, which helps manage expectations for checking bags at the gate. This practice will continue with the introduction of Delta’s new branded boarding order.

What this means for customers

Boarding zones for Delta-operated flights worldwide will be renamed to reflect the branded fare purchased, while still prioritizing customer loyalty. As a result, Delta will increase the number of boarding groups to encourage fewer customers to line up in the gate area at any one time. Here’s the boarding order launching Jan. 23:

 

Delta adds more key markets for Boston customers: Chicago, Cleveland, Newark and Washington, D.C.

Delta Air Lines is expanding its Boston Logan International Airport service  with new multiple daily nonstop flights to four top markets from Boston: Chicago O’Hare (ORD), Newark-Liberty International (EWR) and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) beginning Sept. 9, 2019, as well as Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) on April 1, 2019.

Delta’s investment in Boston Logan deepens

Delta and partners will offer up to 152 daily departures from Logan with these additions, an increase of nearly 30 daily departures compared to 2018.

Additionally, in partnership with Massport, Delta plans to assume operations at all gates at Logan’s Terminal A by the third quarter of 2019.

Delta also plans by 2020 the expansion of its Delta Sky Club near gate A18, including new showers, expanded seating and a reimagined food and beverage area.

Delta’s unmatched global network takes Boston to the world

Together with its SkyTeam and joint venture airline partners, Delta will serve 58 destinations effective fall 2019.  Delta and its partners offer the most international seats from Boston including new and expanded services beginning this spring:

  • New Delta-operated service to Lisbon and Edinburgh
  • New nonstop Seoul-Incheon service operated by partner Korean Air
  • An additional Amsterdam flight by partner KLM
  • A daytime London-Heathrow flight operated by partner Virgin Atlantic
  • Delta-operated London-Heathrow service on upgraded and larger Airbus A330 aircraft
  • Dublin service on larger 767 Delta-operated aircraft

Delta also operates daily international service to Amsterdam, Bermuda, London-Heathrow and Paris-Charles de Gaulle. In addition to new service, Delta is expanding with new daily frequencies from Boston to Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Nashville, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh.

Summary of 2019 Daily Market Expansion

Starting April 2019, Delta and partners are adding three international and four domestic destinations for Boston customers, with frequency increases in another seven markets.

Destination Date Market Increase
Amsterdam, Netherlands March 31 KLM launches new service
London-Heathrow April 1 Additional daylight trip by Virgin Atlantic
Cleveland April 1 Delta launches new 3x daily service*
Pittsburgh April 2 Delta increases from 4x to 5x trips
Seoul-Incheon, South Korea April 12 Korean launches 5x weekly service
Jacksonville, Fla. April 14 Delta increases from 2x to 3x trips
Nashville, Tenn. April 15 Delta increases from 3x to 4x trips
Edinburgh, Scotland May 23 Delta launches seasonal daily service
Lisbon, Portugal May 23 Delta launches seasonal daily service
Indianapolis June 8 Delta increases from 3x to 4x trips
Philadelphia June 8 Delta increases from 4x to 6x trips
Chicago O’Hare Sept. 9** Delta launches new 5x daily service
Newark, N.J. Sept. 9 Delta launches new 4x daily service
Washington, D.C. (Reagan National) Sept. 9** Delta launches new 6x daily service

*Service will be available for sale on Dec. 22, 2018

**First full day of operations; first flight on Sept. 8

All airline routes from BOS:

Delta expands pre-select meal program to Delta One customers globally

Delta Air Lines has made this announcement:
Starting December 6, 2018, Delta will expand its popular pre-select meal program to more than 200 markets across the globe.

As the weather grows colder, Delta’s onboard menu is heating up with fresh, seasonal selections and an expansion of the airline’s popular pre-select meal program.

Following rave reviews in initial markets, starting December 6, Delta will expand its popular pre-select meal program to include all outbound and inbound Delta One routes, offering pre-select on flights to customers traveling between the U.S. and Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia and South America. Pre-select is also available on long-haul domestic routes where Delta One is offered.* As of Dec. 6, pre-select will be available in more than 200 markets around the globe.

Customers in eligible markets will receive an email from Delta three days prior to their flight, asking them to select their first choice meal. All that’s needed to participate is a valid email address, listed in the customer’s SkyMiles account or in their passenger record.

Winter menu and wine selections in Delta One

Customers flying in Delta One will enjoy comforting winter dishes on board starting December 1, like Chicken Pot Pie with carrots, celery, English peas and puff pastry. Delta will also be dishing out customer favorites like Jon and Vinny’s Marinara Braised Meatballs with bianco DiNapoli tomato, garlic bread and Gioia whipped ricotta.

Depending on the destination, menus will feature culinary creations by Delta’s in-house and partner chefs – like James Beard honoree Linton Hopkins out of Atlanta, Danny Meyer’s Union Square Events out of New York, and chef duo Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo out of L.A. Customers travelling between the U.S. and Asia can look forward to new, regionally-sourced menus curated by chefs Jereme Leung, Japanese chef Norio Ueno and Korean chef Kwon Woo-Joong.

The refreshed Delta One menus will be complemented by a selection of wines curated by Delta Master Sommelier, Andrea Robinson. Andrea’s wine selection is a year-round process that includes in-flight tastings to make sure the wines taste just as good at cruising altitude as they do on the ground. The menu rotates throughout the year to pair perfectly with the latest inflight meals. To enhance the on-board experience even further, Delta partnered with Andrea to develop its Sky Sommelier program, a series of online courses where flight attendants learn how to bring the wine experience to life for Delta’s customers.

This is part of the airline’s ongoing effort to elevate and redefine the onboard culinary experience through fresh, local and seasonally-rotating food and beverage options.

Flight Fuel menu refresh

Delta is also serving new offerings in its Flight Fuel menu for customers in the Main Cabin, including a new Protein Box boasting 22 grams of protein and two new healthy and wholesome Luvo chicken wraps under 500 calories each.**

Domestic snack basket refresh

Delta’s domestic First Class and Delta Comfort+ snack baskets have been refreshed with new options for customers to enjoy, including the world’s top selling cookie – the Oreo.

In addition to offering bananas and the airline’s Main Cabin complimentary snack line-up, the refreshed snack baskets now feature customer favorites and seasonal selections like SunChips, Oreo Peppermint Bark and Erin Baker’s Pumpkin Spice Cookie.

All photos by Delta.

Delta unveils first biometric terminal in U.S. in Atlanta; next stop: Detroit

Starting this month, customers can use facial recognition technology from curb to gate at ATL’s Terminal F and to board at DTW.

 

Previously on November 29, Delta Air Lines, in partnership with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), unveiled the first biometric terminal in the United States at Maynard H. Jackson International Terminal (Terminal F) in Atlanta, announced earlier this fall.

atlanta-airport-terminal-f-self-service-kiosks-with-facial-recognition

This means that customers flying direct to an international destination on Delta, AeroMexico, Air France, KLM or Virgin Atlantic Airways can use facial recognition technology from curb to gate, including to:

  • Check in at the self-service kiosks in the International lobby
  • Drop checked baggage at the counters in the International lobby
  • Serve as identification at the TSA checkpoint
  • Board a flight at any gate in Terminal F
  • And, go through CBP processing for international travelers arriving into the U.S.

Touch points throughout the terminal in Atlanta started coming online in mid-October – nearly all 25,000 customers who travel through ATL Terminal F each week are choosing this optional process, with less than 2 percent opting out. And, based on initial data, the facial recognition option is saving an average of two seconds for each customer at boarding, or nine minutes when boarding a wide body aircraft.

“Delta’s successful launch of the first biometric terminal in the U.S. at the world’s busiest airport means we are designing the airport biometric experience blueprint for the industry,” said Gil West, Delta’s COO. “We’re removing the need for a customer checking a bag to present their passport up to four times per departure – which means we’re giving customers the option of moving through the airport with one less thing to worry about, while empowering our employees with more time for meaningful interactions with customers.”

West added that Delta plans to scale the end-to-end airport biometric terminal experience to the global airline’s hub in Detroit in 2019.

On the heels of the successful roll out in Atlanta, Delta, in partnership with CBP and the Wayne County Airport Authority will expand the facial recognition boarding test that started in July, which was the first of its kind for the airport, to all 14 international gates at McNamara Terminal in the Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) by mid-December. With this move, any customer flying direct to an international destination from DTW will also have the option of using facial recognition technology at boarding. In 2019, Delta will roll out facial recognition technology at DTW from curb to gate for its customers.

“It is a great honor for Detroit Metropolitan Airport to become one of the nation’s first biometric terminals,” said Chad Newton, Wayne County Airport Authority Interim CEO. “As a world-class airport, we are continuously seeking ways to enhance the customer travel experience. We look forward to partnering with Delta, CBP and TSA to provide passengers with the option to utilize facial recognition throughout their entire travel process.”

The expansion of the facial recognition option with Delta Biometrics is a natural next step following CBP and Delta’s optional facial recognition boarding tests at ATL, DTW and John F. Kennedy International Airport over the past several years. In addition, Delta recently tested a self-service biometric bag drop at Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport for international customers. Delta has also tested biometric boarding at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, and has launched optional biometric check-in for all domestic Delta Sky Clubs, facilitated by Delta Biometrics.

ATL F — How the curb-to-gate facial recognition technology works:

Customers flying direct to an international destination from Atlanta’s Terminal F wanting to use this option simply:

  • Enter their passport information when prompted during online check-in.
    • Forgot to enter passport information in advance? Don’t worry — this option will be available at the terminal after an initial passport scan and verification.
  • Click “Look” on the screen at the kiosk in the lobby, or approach the camera at the counter in the lobby, the TSA checkpoint or when boarding at the gate.
  • Breeze through once the green check mark flashes on the screen.
    • Travelers will need to have their passports available and should always bring their passports when they travel internationally for use at other touch points during their trip.

And, if customers do not want to participate, they just proceed normally, as they’ve always done, through the airport.

ATL Terminal F Biometric Launch

Photos: Delta Air Lines.