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Delta Air Lines To Increase China Flying This Winter

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Victoria M. Walker
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Victoria M. Walker

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Victoria holds a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism from the Howard University School of Communications and is an award-winning journalist, travel reporter, and the founder of the “Carrying On with Victoria...
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Nick Ellis

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Delta Air Lines announced on August 16, 2023, that it would expand its capacity to China this fall.

Let’s take a look at the changes that are in store.

Delta Increases Capacity as of October 29

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Image Credit: Rank Studios for Delta Air Lines

Delta, along with many other airlines, has been operating very few flights between the U.S. and China, due to the nation’s still-strict pandemic-related restrictions on travel into and out of the country.

However, according to Reuters, the U.S. and China agreed to approve twice the number of flights between the 2 countries. The U.S. Department of Transporation will increase the number of weekly flights between the U.S. and China to 24 by the end of October, according to the report.

Delta said that its service to Shanghai-Pudong International Airport (PVG) will increase to 10 weekly flights from both Seattle (SEA) and Detroit (DTW) as of this fall. Delta will operate flights daily from Seattle and 3 times per week from Detroit.

The airline also said it would resume 4x-weekly service between Los Angeles (LAX) and Shanghai next March, subject to government approval. The route last operated in February 2020.

Delta will fly the Airbus A330-900 between SEA and PVG and the Airbus A350-900 from DTW and LAX. Both jets offer 4 seat choices: Delta One Suites, Delta Premium Select, Delta Comfort+, and Main Cabin.

Customers traveling to Shanghai will be able to utilize Delta’s codeshare agreement with SkyTeam member China Eastern Airlines, which should give U.S. travelers easier access across China.

“As demand continues to increase and the busy travel season to the Asia-Pacific region commences, the Delta team is ready to welcome even more travelers to the region this winter, providing our award-winning customer service on every journey,” said Jeff Moomaw, Delta’s Vice President for Asia Pacific.

The flights have been loaded into Delta’s system and are bookable with cash or using Delta SkyMiles. Unfortunately — though not surprisingly — prices on Shanghai flights are exorbitant. A nonstop round-trip ticket between DTW and PVG costs 260,000 SkyMiles in Main Cabin or a whopping 950,000 miles in Delta One.

Hot Tip:

Check out our guide to all of the nonstop routes from the U.S. to China!

United, American Plan Expansion in China

Delta isn’t the only airline expanding its network in China this fall.

United Airlines announced last week that it would resume daily flights between San Francisco (SFO) and Beijing (PEK) this November. Additionally, the airline will increase flying to Shanghai with daily flights from San Francisco, starting October 1.

“We are grateful for this positive step forward in U.S. – China passenger air services, and we thank the many officials from both countries who partnered to make this reinstatement of air service possible,” said Patrick Quayle, Senior Vice President of Global Network Planning and Alliances. 

And American Airlines plans to expand once again in China by offering daily nonstop flights from its hub in Dallas-Ft. Worth (DFW) next year, according to reports.

Final Thoughts

This is pretty big news in the commercial aviation world. Before the pandemic, flights between the U.S. and China were plentiful, and new routes were being opened seemingly all the time. Since then, though, it’s been difficult to fly between the world’s 2 largest economies.

We hope this is a sign of a further thawing of travel restrictions so American, Delta, and United can restore their pre-pandemic networks in China — and then some!

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About Victoria M. Walker

Victoria holds a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism from the Howard University School of Communications and is an award-winning journalist, travel reporter, and the founder of the “Carrying On with Victoria M. Walker” newsletter.

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