Delta Air Lines has announced that it will re-start services between Seattle and Shanghai-Pudong via Seoul-Incheon on 25 June.
The announcement marks the first scheduled commercial flights to resume between the US and mainland China since the temporary suspension made in February, in direct response to the outbreak of COVID-19.
The airline will be operating two flights between Shanghai-Pudong and Seattle, travelling from US soil to China on 25 June (landing 26 June), and returning back to the US from Shanghai-Pudong (via Seoul-Incheon) on 27 June (landing 28 June).
Then, from 1 July, Delta will be operating flights from both Seattle and Detroit into China’s largest city, Shanghai, both via Incheon, with services to operate once per week to and from each US airport.
Delta’s Airbus A350 aircraft will be tasked with the Seattle to Shanghai-Pudong service up until 1 August, where Delta has stated it will transition to the use of the smaller A330-900.
The Delta Air Lines president for greater China and Singapore, Wong Hong, said, “We are excited to resume our services between the US and China, as economic and social activities start to recover.”
He noted that the airline is implementing “unprecedented health and safety measures” in the interest of public safety and peace of mind throughout their journey.
This includes measures such as sanitising aircraft, updating circulation systems, changing boarding procedures, streamlining food and beverage service, and insisting that customers wear face coverings during travel.
For international flights, Delta has also capped seating at 75 per cent capacity in Delta One suite and 60 per cent in Delta Premium Select and Main Cabin, to ensure customers can spread out.