In international route news this week, Delta has kicked off a new transpacific route; Air France deploys its new 777s to a pair of U.S. destinations; Air China adds a new gateway on the East Coast; and American changes planes on two South American routes.
- Delta this week started up its new service between Los Angeles and Shanghai, using a 291-seat 777-200LR for the daily non-stops. The airline will use Shanghai Pudong to capitalize on its partnerships with Chinese carriers — including SkyTeam allies China Eastern and China Southern — offering its transpacific customers connections beyond Shanghai to more than two dozen other cities in China.
- Los Angeles and Washington Dulles are the latest U.S. gateways to benefit from the newest upgrades to Air France’s transatlantic 777 fleet. Aircraft flying from those airports to Paris now feature the carrier’s new and improved business class cabin, as well as upgraded seating for economy and Premium Economy travelers. Air France said customer satisfaction scores on routes where the upgraded 777s were already offered (including New York) have gone up significantly. Check out this cool Google Maps immersive view of the cabin.
- Air China — a member of United’s global Star Alliance — plans to begin new U.S. service to United’s Newark hub from Beijing starting October 26, according to airlineroute.net, which tracks service filings. The Chinese carrier will initially fly the route four times a week with a 777-300ER.
- American Airlines continues to change aircraft on some key international routes. In the latest development, AA will reportedly change from three-class aircraft to two-class 777-200ERs between New York JFK-Rio de Janeiro effective August 18, and from JFK to Buenos Aires starting November 5.
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