MIAMI — Delta Air Lines is set to offer the world’s first all-suite business class, on certain long-haul flights beginning next year.
The new Delta One suite will debut on the carrier’s first Airbus A350, due to enter service in fall 2017. Each aircraft will feature 32 suites, in which each seat is set apart by a sliding, full-heigh door and privacy dividers between the center seats.
In November 2014, Delta announced an order for 25 Airbus A350-900s, intended to replace its aging Boeing 747-400 fleet, which largely serve routes to Asia. The airline expects to generate a 20 percent improvement in operating cost per seat compared to the current aircraft in service that the A350-900 will replace.
“Delta constantly listens to customers and responds with products that deliver what they want. After setting the standard with the introduction of full flat-bed seats with direct aisle access in 2008, Delta is again elevating the international business class experience,” said Tim Mapes, Delta’s Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer.
Other features include in-suite, customizable ambient lighting, dedicated storage space, premium trim and finishes, a memory foam cushion and an 18-inch, high resolution in-flight entertainment monitor, which Delta claims to be the largest among the U.S. carriers.
Following the Airbus A350 debut, the Delta One suite will be progressively rolled out on the airline’s Boeing 777 fleet. After American Airlines deferred the delivery of 22 A350-900s on order, Delta will become the first U.S. carrier to take delivery of the type.
The upgrade to the current Delta One business class product seems to be a response to United’s new Polaris Business Class product, which is set to debut on December 1, 2016, on the carrier’s Boeing 777-300ER, and subsequently on the Boeing 787-10 and on the Airbus A350- 1000 aircraft, along with Boeing 767-300 and 777-200 retrofits.
To date, JetBlue is the sole U.S. carrier offering so-called enclosed suites, incorporated into its Mint product, with four seats available on some of its Airbus A321s. However, this premium product is available only in some coast-to-coast routes, as well as in some destinations in the Caribbean.