Turf battle: Delta retaliates in Detroit with new transatlantic route

Delta Air Traces is not any stranger to turf wars.

The Atlanta-based service has traditionally defended its main positions in lots of its hubs, and now the airline is about to do the identical in Detroit.

Delta will add a brand new route from the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) to the Keflavik Airport (KEF) close to Reykjavik, Iceland, starting on Might 15, 2023. The brand new flight will function seasonally all through the summer season and can finish on Oct. 27, 2023.

The airline plans to fly the route 4 occasions weekly, departing the U.S. as DL Flight 236 on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. The return Flight 237 will function on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.


Delta will deploy a Boeing 757-200 on the route, particularly the “75G” configuration, which options 193 seats: 20 first-class recliners, 41 extra-legroom Consolation+ seats and 132 commonplace economic system seats.

The brand new flight will likely be obtainable for buy starting this weekend, a service spokesperson confirmed to TPG. There is not any telling what the fares (each in money and in SkyMiles) will likely be till the route is loaded on the market.

When the brand new route launches, it will mark the primary time that Delta has related Detroit with Iceland, since no less than 2003, based on Cirium schedules.


As for why Delta is selecting 2023 because the yr to launch the route, it is possible no coincidence that the Iceland flag service introduced only a week in the past that it was planning so as to add a route-map pin in Detroit subsequent summer season.

On Nov. 25, Icelandair unveiled plans to attach Detroit and Reykjavik with seasonal service starting on Might 18. Now, only one week later, Delta is saying the very same route, however the airline’s service will launch three days sooner than Icelandair’s.

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Icelandair is advertising its new flight as an reasonably priced manner for vacationers based mostly in Detroit to each go to Iceland and join onwards to over 25 locations in Europe.

Delta will not be capable of promote connections past Reykjavik, however it may faucet into its large community in Detroit to supply loads of handy home connections for vacationers seeking to go to Iceland. Actually, Delta plans a fairly intensive schedule subsequent summer season to Iceland. The Detroit service will function along with flights from New York and Minneapolis-St. Paul to Iceland.

In the course of the peak summer season season, Delta will function 36 weekly flights between the U.S. and Iceland, for a complete of 6,248 seats in each instructions per week.

As Delta goes up towards Icelandair in Detroit, the actual winners are vacationers who can now get pleasure from expanded service on two carriers. It is possible that Delta will compete with Icelandair on fares as properly, which may make visiting Iceland extra reasonably priced than ever for flyers based mostly within the Motor Metropolis.


In recent times, Delta has vigorously defended its place in key hubs towards new entrants and increasing incumbents. That is maybe nowhere extra obvious than in Seattle.

Within the early 2010s, Delta had a robust relationship with Alaska Airways, Seattle’s hometown service. The tie-up included a sturdy codeshare and frequent flyer alliance. By the center of the last decade, nevertheless, the partnership frayed as Delta moved as an alternative to construct its personal hub in Seattle, in the end competing head-to-head with Alaska on lots of its most profitable routes.

The partnership in the end resulted in 2017 amid an escalating turf battle for Seattle. Since then, Delta has been in progress mode — boosting its Seattle hub with new routes, whereas additionally rethinking many components of the journey expertise, together with a trendy new Sky Membership.

Whereas Delta is probably not getting right into a years-long spat with Icelandair, it definitely seems that the airline is able to defend its Detroit hub from new competitors.

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