Yesterday, Delta Air Lines operated its first A350 commercial flight.
The flight, DL275 left Detroit shortly after 1:40PM (EDT), and landed on Tokyo Narita airport’s runway 16R at 3:34PM (JST). The A350 later departed back to Detroit as DL276. The aircraft substituted the 747 which operated its last flight into Japan the day before.
At Tokyo Narita, both the arriving and departing A350 flights were met with festivities.
The First Delta Air Lines A350 Flight to Japan
The first flight was operated by Delta’s second A350 (reg. N502DN) equipped with 32 Delta One business class suites, 48 Premium Select premium economy seats, and 226 economy class seats. And, the aircraft landed at Tokyo Narita airport at 3:34PM – after a bit more than 12 and a half hours in the air.
As it taxied to its parking gate 26 at Narita’s terminal 1, the aircraft was welcomed by a water cannon salute.
The aircraft came to a full stop six minutes after landing at 3:40PM.
Inaugural Ceremony at Tokyo Narita
While the aircraft was making its way from the runway to its parking stand, inside the terminals, passengers were already gathering around the gate area.
In celebration of the first flight, Delta Air Lines had prepared several banners which decorated the departure gate.
It also provided drinks and cupcakes to the waiting passengers. While enjoying those, the passengers could also listen to music played by Narita Airport Symphony Orchestra’s string quartet.
Then, at 4:40PM – twenty minutes before the boarding was scheduled to start – a short inaugural ceremony was held. Besides the flight’s crew, Masaru Morimoto – managing director of Delta Air Lines Japan, and Makoto Natsume – President & CEO of Narita International Airport Corporation – were present.
First, Mr. Morimoto gave a short speech mentioning Delta’s ongoing fleet renewal.
Then, the first Captain of the flight introduced the crew and greeted the passengers.
Finally, a photo shoot of the cockpit crew – later joined by other Delta Air Lines staff as well as Mr. Natsume – followed.
The First Delta Air Lines A350 Flight Out of Japan
While the inaugural festivities were going on, the Delta Air Lines A350 was being prepared for its flight to Detroit. And, with the event done, the flight was almost ready for boarding.
The boarding started shortly after 5PM, and the passengers received certificates as well as post cards as they entered the jetway.
With the boarding done, the flight was pushed back at 5:59PM and took off at 6:25PM.