Delta Air Lines made an announcement on Wednesday that they were launching a new service between Atlanta and Seoul Incheon airport in addition to the Korean Air flight already in place.
Delta will place its code on Korean Air flights between the United States and Korea, and will also codeshare other Korean Air flights within Asia.
You can access the Delta’s announcement here.
The press release talks about Delta’s and Korean Air’s partnership that is more than 20 years old. This partnership has not been a good one for SkyMiles members that cannot earn any elite qualifying miles or dollars on flights operated by Korean Air.
As a matte of fact, Delta has demoted Korean Air to their least liked partner group 4 with random non-SkyTeam airlines.
Here’s the press release:
Delta is expanding in Asia with new service between Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Seoul Incheon International Airport beginning on June 3, 2017. The daily nonstop flight will operate with a 291-seat Boeing 777-200LR aircraft. Additionally, Delta and Korean Air are expanding their joint codeshare agreement.
Delta’s new Atlanta flight complements Korean Air’s existing service, providing customers in the Southeast U.S. with greater access to destinations across Asia. Combined, Delta and Korean will offer round-trip connectivity to 142 destinations in the Americas and 33 destinations across Asia between their joint Atlanta-Seoul schedules.
“Delta and Korean Air are expanding a 20+ year trans-Pacific partnership, and we believe the new Delta service between Atlanta and Seoul in conjunction with an enhanced partnership with Korean solidifies our joint position as leading carriers in the U.S.-Asia market,” said Steve Sear, Delta’s President – International & Executive Vice President – Global Sales. “Incheon International Airport is one of the premier gateways to Asia and the strength of our combined hubs and flight offerings gives customers a significantly enhanced portfolio of destinations for travel.”
“Our expanded partnership with Delta allows our customers to travel more conveniently with more options between Asia and the Americas, strengthening our position as the world’s largest trans-Pacific airline, said Walter Cho, Korean Air’s C.O.O. “Travelers will benefit from the combined network strength of Korean Air and Delta resulting in greater schedule flexibility and increased frequency.”
In addition to new Atlanta-Incheon service, Delta and Korean Air will expand their codeshare partnership, providing customers with greater access to destinations throughout Asia and the Americas. Korean will place its code on Delta’s Atlanta to Seoul service along with flights to 115 U.S. and Canada destinations beyond Atlanta, Los Angeles and New York City. Korean will also add its code to Delta’s Sao Paulo, Brazil flights from both Atlanta and New York City. Delta will expand its codeshare footprint to 32 Korean Air destinations beyond Seoul including new code to Taipei, Osaka, Singapore, Nagoya and Okinawa. The airline will also place its code on Korean flights from San Francisco and Houston to Seoul. Delta and Korean plan to launch the new codeshare in 4Q 2016, subject to government approvals.
Delta’s new daily nonstop service between Atlanta and Seoul:
Flight Departs Arrives Start Date DL 89 Atlanta 1:05 p.m. Seoul 4:45 p.m. (next day) June 3, 2017 DL 88 Seoul 6:30 p.m. Atlanta 7:40 p.m. June 4, 2017
Korean’s current daily nonstop service between Seoul and Atlanta:
Flight Departs Arrives KE 35 Seoul 9:20 a.m. Atlanta 10:20 a.m. KE 36 Atlanta 12:20 p.m. Seoul 4:10 p.m. (next day)
Korean’s Seoul-Atlanta flight is operated by Boeing 777-300ER with eight First Class, 42 Prestige business and 227 economy seats. The new Delta operated 777-200LR service offers 37 Delta One business, 36 Delta Comfort+ and 218 Main Cabin seats.
Today, Delta offers 14 weekly flights to Seoul Incheon International Airport from its global gateways in Detroit and Seattle. Korean Air offers almost 100 weekly flights to 13 gateways in North America including New York-JFK, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Dallas/Fort Worth, Honolulu, Washington-Dulles, Houston-Intercontinental, Chicago-O’Hare, Seattle, Las Vegas, Vancouver and Toronto.
Delta and Korean are two of the four founding members of the SkyTeam alliance which began in 2000.
One would expect that this thaw between the Delta and Korean Air would lead to moving the airline within SkyMiles partner categories 1 or 2. Why talk about a partnership when SkyMiles members are signaled to book other airlines if elite and redeemable miles are of any importance?