ATLANTA, Dec. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In celebration of its 80th anniversary of service and growing presence in Seattle, Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) today unveiled at Boeing Field a new Boeing 737-900ER aircraft as the 'Spirit of Seattle,' dedicated to the city of Seattle and the airline's customers, employees and partners in the region.
The dedication took place in a ceremony at Boeing Field, the same location that Delta began service in Seattle on Dec. 3, 1933, through Northwest Airways, which eventually became Northwest Airlines. The inaugural flight was flown from Spokane to Seattle and back to Spokane on a Waco JTO biplane carrying no passengers. Initial passenger service was a Tacoma-Seattle-Wenatchee-Spokane route using 7-passenger, 120-mph Hamilton H47 Metalplanes.
Today, Delta operates 35 peak-day departures to 15 destinations from its growing gateway in Seattle, including non-stop international service to Amsterdam, Paris, Tokyo-Narita, Tokyo-Haneda, Shanghai and Beijing. Additional international service is planned in 2014 to London-Heathrow as well as Hong Kong and Seoul, pending government approval. Delta will also expand Seattle service to Anchorage, Alaska; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Portland, Ore.; San Diego; and San Francisco and also recently announced new service to Fairbanks, Alaska, and Vancouver, Canada, beginning in the summer of 2014.
"For 80 years, our customers, employees and partners in Seattle have embraced Delta, and our growth here would not be possible without them," said Mike Medeiros, Delta's vice president – Seattle. "The Spirit of Seattle aircraft will proudly bear its name as it travels around the country as a representation of Delta's history in Seattle and a sign of our thanks and commitment to our future here."
More than 100 Delta Chairman's Club honorees attended the dedication event along with local employees and corporate and community partners. The honorees are accompanying the aircraft on its delivery flight from Seattle to Atlanta prior to entering service later this month. Chairman's Club is Delta's highest honor in employee recognition, and honorees embody Delta's values through their distinguished contributions and exceptional service to customers and the communities Delta serves.
The 'Spirit of Seattle' is the ninth of 100 new 737-900ERs that will be delivered to Delta between 2013 and 2018 as it retires older mainline jets and upgrades its fleet. The 737-900ER will be deployed on several routes to and from Seattle, among others, and has a range of 3,200 nautical miles, giving it the ability to operate any domestic route in Delta's extensive network.
Delta will take delivery of three additional 737-900ERs this year for a total of 12 aircraft in 2013, 19 aircraft per year in 2014 through 2017, and 12 aircraft in 2018. The 180-seat aircraft will replace older, less efficient aircraft on a capacity-neutral basis while providing customers with an industry-leading on-board experience.
As Delta's first aircraft to feature Boeing's new "Sky Interior," the 737-900ER offers the airline's customers expanded carry-on baggage space, a roomier, more airy cabin and an LED lighting system that provides different color schemes, such as a soft blue sky and a relaxing pallet of sunset colors.
Every Seattle flight offers BusinessElite/First Class and Economy Comfort seating as well as domestic Wi-Fi service. Delta has also invested $14 million in its facilities at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, including its recently completed lobby renovations, new Delta Sky Club, Sky Priority services, new gate area power recharging stations and expanded ticket counters.
Delta Air Lines serves more than 160 million customers each year. Delta was named by Fortune magazine as the most admired airline worldwide in its 2013 World's Most Admired Companies airline industry list, topping the list for the second time in three years. With an industry-leading global network, Delta and the Delta Connection carriers offer service to 315 destinations in 58 countries on six continents. Headquartered in Atlanta, Delta employs nearly 80,000 employees worldwide and operates a mainline fleet of more than 700 aircraft. The airline is a founding member of the SkyTeam global alliance and participates in the industry's leading trans-Atlantic joint venture with Air France-KLM and Alitalia. Including its worldwide alliance partners, Delta offers customers more than 15,000 daily flights, with hubs in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York-LaGuardia, New York-JFK, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Salt Lake City and Tokyo-Narita. Delta is investing more than $3 billion in airport facilities and global products, services and technology to enhance the customer experience in the air and on the ground. Additional information is available on delta.com, Twitter @Delta, Google.com/+Delta, Facebook.com/delta and Delta's blog takingoff.delta.com.
SOURCE Delta Air Lines