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Delta Partners with Spotify for ‘The Passport Sessions’ Docuseries

In the new series, musicians from “twin cities” meet to jam, with Miami and Medellín up first

by Lauren Smith

January 12, 2024

Photo: Courtesy of Delta

Delta Air Lines and music streaming platform Spotify have collaborated on a new docuseries showcasing music and culture in “twin cities,” airing exclusively through Delta’s in-flight entertainment (IFE).

In each episode of “The Passport Sessions,” two songwriters, music producers, or performers travel from their home cities to a Delta destination with a similar cultural and historical identity. Hosted by two local artists, they sample the city’s food, learn its history, and write and record music together.

The first episode follows Miami-based artists Andy Clay and Maye as they travel to Medellín, Colombia, to collaborate with local artists Juan Duque and Aria Vega. Cameras tag along as they sample Colombian cuisine in the vibrant Comuna 13, explore El Poblado – which Lonely Planet has called Medellin’s “buzziest neighborhood” – and jam in the studio. Together, they produce a song that’s “a little bit of afro, urbano, and pop,” Clay said.

“It’s the perfect mix of the different flavors of all the writers and producers involved in the creative process,” he said.

The Passport Sessions is “a rare glimpse into the songwriting process, showing firsthand how music and travel can inspire new connections and, ultimately, new art,” said Enrique Marquez Paris, Publishing Relations Manager at Spotify and a songwriter himself.

But the docuseries “is about more than showcasing music,” Delta Chief Marketing Officer Alicia Tillman said.

“It’s a harmonious celebration, quite literally, of Delta’s commitment to connecting people to places, passions and their own potential. We’re weaving the cultural fabrics of destinations like Miami and Medellín into the very essence of our in-flight experience.”

Photo: Courtesy of Delta

It’s also the “embodiment of the magic that can happen when two beloved brands [Delta and Spotify] collaborate,” she added.

Delta and Spotify began jamming in September of 2021, with Spotify curating boarding music for Delta planes and uploading more than 50 mixtapes and 100 podcast shows to Delta’s IFE systems. The content has been a hit: Delta passengers have played Spotify-curated audio 150 million times in just over two years.

“Fostering strong and dynamic partnerships with brands like Spotify helps us bring the best seatback entertainment to customers and enhance their overall travel experience,” said Ekrem Dimbiloglu, Managing Director of In-Flight Entertainment and Connectivity.

“But it also means ensuring we are reflecting communities and helping customers discover new cultural connections only travel can underscore.”

Delta doesn’t fly to Medellín using its aircraft but codeshares on flights through its partnership with LATAM Airlines. The partners launched five new routes between the United States and South America last year, including a daily link between Miami (MIA) and Medellin (MDE), operated by LATAM Colombia.

Future episodes of “The Passport Sessions” will debut on Delta flights later this year, profiling new “twin cities” that have yet to be revealed.

New Flagship Incoming

In another announcement this week, Delta also confirmed a long-rumored initial order for 20 Airbus A350-1000 planes.

The new aircraft will be the largest and most capable aircraft in Delta’s fleet, providing expanded cargo capabilities, more premium seats, and best-in-class amenities.

Photo: Courtesy of Airbus

Delta already operates over 450 Airbus aircraft from all product families, including the A350-900, with more than 200 additional orders.

“We are thankful for Delta’s continued confidence in Airbus’ solutions to meet its fleet needs,” said Christian Scherer, Chief Executive Officer of the Commercial Aircraft business, Airbus.

“Delta was the first U.S. airline to operate the A350-900 and is doing so with great success. Delta now welcomes the A350-1000, which will open even more opportunities for the airline and its customers. We are proud that our aircraft serve the entirety of Delta’s impressive global network as this stellar airline takes fleet efficiency to the next level.”

Photo: Airbus A350-900, Delta One. Courtesy of Delta

The airline’s CEO, Ed Bastian, added “The A350-1000 will be the largest, most capable aircraft in Delta’s fleet and is an important step forward for our international expansion.”

“The aircraft complements our fleet and offers an elevated customer experience, with more premium seats, best-in-class amenities, and expanded cargo capabilities.”

Delta’s new flagship will be the stretched version of its successful A350XWB program. This aircraft will replace the retiring fleet and will feature 15 percent more premium seats. The A350-1000 will start delivering from 2026.