Published on Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Delta Air Lines plans to launch Shanghai flights from Minneapolis

Delta Air Lines plans to launch its first China flight from the Twin Cities in the summer of 2020.

Delta revealed tentative plans for service between Shanghai-Pudong Airport and its Minneapolis-St. Paul hub using 306-seat Airbus A350-900s on the route.

The airline is seeking regulatory approval for seven weekly US-China 'Zone 1' flights which cover services to Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shanghai.

There are strict limits on US-China capacity although there are now available slots as United and Hawaiian Airlines recently dropped flights.

"This new US-China flight will add key inter-gateway competition for the traveling public. The proposed flight will also connect with China Eastern and Shanghai Airlines partner hubs in Shanghai, allowing onward travel options for passengers seeking access to interior China," Delta said in its submission.

Delta said total seats available between China and central US hubs are down about 30% for the next year compared to current capacity.

That in part is down to American Airlines ditching flights to Beijing and Shanghai from Chicago O'Hare from this winter, citing tough market conditions.

Brian Ryks, CEO of the Metropolitan Airpoprts Commission which manages MSP said a direct Shanghai would be a 'tremendous benefit' to the Twin Cities' economy.


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