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Delta Relaunches Nonstop Flights Between Minneapolis and Seoul

Delta has relaunched its nonstop flight from Minneapolis-St. Paul to Seoul-Incheon International Airport with its Airbus A350-900

by Enrique Perrella

October 7, 2022

Photo courtesy of Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines has relaunched its service from Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) to Seoul-Incheon International Airport (ICN) in South Korea, linking the airline’s northern hub with Asia for the first time since the pandemic began.

The reinstated flight to Seoul—initially launched in April 2019 and later suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic—will be operated with the airline’s flagship, the Airbus A350-900, offering its passengers 32 Delta One suites, 48 Premium Select, 36 Delta Comfort+, and 190 Main Cabin seats.

The flight is scheduled to depart three times per week, increasing to a daily schedule on October 29.

In July, Delta also resumed flying to South Korea from its hub in Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA). In addition, it increased its frequency to Seoul from its hubs in Atlanta and Detroit to daily flights in early August.

Delta’s V.P. of Airport Operations, Mary Loeffelholz, explained that the resumption of the airline’s nonstop flight to service to Seoul-Incheon “fully restores Delta’s Korean flying to pre-pandemic levels.” However, the airport claims there’s still room for improvement, with traffic numbers about 20 percent lower than they were during the same period in 2019.

The airline’s resumption of nonstop flights to Seoul from its four main hubs is primarily driven by the lifting of restrictions in Asia for international travelers. Matteo Curcio, Delta’s V.P. Asia Pacific, said demand has been strong in Asian markets over the past few months, particularly in Korea. “Full restoration of the [Delta’s] Korean network is a positive indicator of what’s to come for the rest of the Asia region,” he said earlier in June.

The long-haul flight—the longest distance and duration out of Delta’s MSP hub—will operate in partnership with Korean Air (KE). The SkyTeam airline partner will offer 30 connections through its hub in Seoul-Incheon as part of the transpacific joint venture that both carriers signed in 2018.

Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport officials celebrated the resumption of the flight, which is the 25th out of 30 international flights to come back to the airport in the post-pandemic era. “As we come off of a busy summer travel season, we are delighted to welcome back this important route,” said Brian Ryks, CEO and executive director of the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC).

“We are grateful for our partnership with Delta and their commitment to restore MSP’s critical direct link to South Korea, which will also open travel connections across Asia,” Ryks added.

The Atlanta-based carrier is also expected to re-launch its nonstop flights from MSP to Tokyo-Haneda Airport (HND) in March 2023.