As competition for travellers’ loyalty heats up with airlines trying to invent new amenities and products, Delta Airlines, one of United States’ biggest airlines has said it will invest more than $770 million through 2016 to refresh the interiors on its Boeing 757-200, 737-800, Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft to provide power at every seat, add new slim-line seats with adjustable headrests, updated lavatories, add more efficient galleys and additional features to improve passenger comfort.
According to Glen Hauenstein, executive vice president – chief revenue officer, ‘We’re continuing to make smart long-term investments in our products and services to meet the expectations of our customers.
“In just six years, we will have updated to interiors throughout Delta’s fleet giving customers improved comfort and more options to work or relax and be entertained,” he said.
This latest capital investment will improve the service consistency provided to Delta’s customers in First Class and Economy cabins as well as increasing aircraft efficiency and overall customer satisfaction of the airline’s narrow-body fleet.
The investment continues Delta’s multi-year focus on passenger comfort that began in 2010 as all Delta international wide-body aircraft will include full flat-bed seats with direct-aisle access in BusinessElite by mid-2014 while all transcontinental flights will have full flat-bed seats in BusinessElite by summer 2015.
The investments have maintained more First Class seats than any U.S. carrier; offer more in-flight entertainment options; provided access to Wi-Fi on all domestic two-class domestic aircraft with expansion to its entire international fleet by 2015; offer Economy Comfort seats on all two-class aircraft to give customers extra legroom; and increase access to power for customers in-flight.
Delta’s modifications to 56 of its 757-200 aircraft will include installing in-seat video, satellite TV and access to power for every passenger, along with new galleys, updated LED cabin lighting, new lavatory designs as well as larger capacity overhead bins.
The airline said it will be the first carrier in North America to install the new bin system which will increase passenger carry-on baggage capacity by more than 50 percent.
The 49 modified domestic aircraft, according to the airline will feature a layout of 20 First Class seats, 29 Economy Comfort seats and 150 Economy seats. The remaining seven 757-200 international aircraft will have a configuration of 18 First Class seats, 28 Economy Comfort seats and 151 Economy seats.
The investment in 43 of Delta’s 737-800 aircraft will include the addition of in-seat video with satellite TV, new LED cabin lighting and updated lavatories. The aircraft will be configured with 16 First Class seats, 18 Economy Comfort seats and 126 Economy seats.
When the modifications are complete, Delta’s entire fleet of 73 737-800 aircraft will have in-seat video with access to satellite TV and in-seat power throughout the aircraft.
Delta’s 57 A319 and 69 A320 aircraft will receive complete interior updates including new seats in both First Class and Economy cabins with in-seat power throughout the aircraft.
The aircraft will also receive new space-saving galleys, new lavatories, new larger-capacity overhead bins with an average increase of 60 percent more carry-on baggage space, updated LED lighting systems and new cabin interiors. Updates to the A319 fleet will also include the installation of in-seat video with satellite TV.
The A319 will include 12 seats in First Class and the A320 will have 16 First Class seats. All Economy seats on both aircraft types will feature wider seats with an increase from the current 17.2 inches to 18 inches for each seat.
Both fleets will have 18 Economy Comfort seats with 34 inches of pitch. Economy seats will each have 31 inches of pitch on both aircraft with 102 seats on the A319 and 126 seats on the A320.
Delta has invested more than $3 billion since 2010 to improve the customer experience onboard its aircraft and improve technology and facilities including its new Terminal 4 at New York-JFK, Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal in Atlanta.
aIt has also spent more than $100 million to expand, renovate and consolidate terminals C and D at New York-LaGuardia Airport.
Additionally, customers have seen Delta’s investment in its more than 50 Delta Sky Clubs throughout the system, installation of power poles in gate areas at more than 40 airports and updates to the popular Fly Delta app which has been downloaded by nearly 10 million customers.
By: Sade Williams