MIAMI – Delta Air Lines has announced plans to launch services between Ontario International Airport and Atlanta, as well as intentions to link Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) and Shanghai with a nonstop flight, starting in 2020.

The new flights to Ontario are to commence on a daily service from June 9 next year with its Boeing 737-900ER aircraft.

Delta is the third carrier to add services to this airport after Frontier and JetBlue.

Commenting on the announcement was Ontario International Airport Authority President Alan Wapner who emphasized the use of Delta as a key development in the airport’s evolution.

“We are thrilled to add Delta’s nonstop service to its Atlanta hub, a key development in Ontario’s evolution as a gateway airport,” he said.

Photo: Tomas del Coro

“The world’s busiest airport, Atlanta, offers Southern Californians a world of opportunities for air travel through Delta’s extensive global network.”

Wapner also commented on the rapid expansion Ontario has faced in recent years.

“In just two years since the airport’s transition to local control, we’ve made tremendous strides in improving our facilities, services, and amenities and, as a result, airlines and air travelers are bullish on Ontario.”

No flight numbers have emphasized as of yet but the flight will depart will depart Atlanta at 19:30, arriving into Ontario for 20:57.

The return will be a red-eye flight, leaving Ontario at 22:45 arriving in Atlanta at 06:05 the following morning.

With this new service, Delta is contributing to Ontario’s target of five million passengers per year, which will be the highest total since 2008.

Although the airport has a capacity of 30 million passengers annually, it is the case of Ontario adding the routes needed to fill its capacity. 

Minneapolis – Shanghai For 2020

In other news, Delta has submitted a proposal to the US DOT to open up a new route to Shanghai-Pudong (PVG) from its hub in MSP in June 2020.

The airline plans, subject to government’s approval, to launch its new flagship—the Airbus A350-900—on this new long-haul route.

Photo: Airbus.

This announcement comes in a few days after announcing a nonstop flight from MSP to Seoul-Incheon (ICN), which is set to launch on April 1, 2019.

“We are honored to be proposing the first-ever nonstop flight between Minneapolis-St. Paul and China as we continue to expand across the Pacific” said Ed Bastian, Delta’s CEO.

“In addition to our Twin Cities customers, this new route will benefit travelers across the U.S. with more competition and options for service to Shanghai thanks to our connecting hub at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.”

This new service would link Delta’s MSP hub with China Eastern’s hub in PVG. The Chinese carrier is Delta’s biggest partner in Asia, with PVG becoming an important point of connection for US-Asia bound passengers.

Delta explains that commercial airline service between the U.S. and China “is governed by existing agreements that limit the ability of U.S. and Chinese carriers to establish new flying between the two countries.”

However, there is still some availability for additional routes that are not being utilized.

In addition to Bastian’s remarks, Brian Ryks, Executive Director and CEO of the Metropolitan Airports Commission said that Shanghai is the “largest Asian market without direct service from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.”

“Direct service to China would be a tremendous benefit to the Minnesota business and hospitality communities.”