EXCLUSIVE | Delta Air Lines may be gearing up for the launch of direct Brisbane-Los Angeles flights, but there’s more on the airline’s roadmap. In particular, direct Delta flights from the US to Melbourne.

The carrier previously codeshared aboard Virgin Australia’s former Melbourne-Los Angeles route – as well as from Sydney and Brisbane into LA. But with the Delta/Virgin Australia partnership having long concluded, there’s clearly a need for more Delta capacity in Australia.

Currently, Delta passengers flying to Melbourne would first arrive in Sydney from Los Angeles. Then, they’d need to hop aboard a Rex domestic flight to make that final stop down to Victoria. But a direct flight makes things much easier.

Speaking with Point Hacks on the sidelines of the invitation-only IATA AGM in Dubai, Delta’s senior management shares its vision for the Australian market.

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Sydney now, Brisbane next and then Melbourne

Delta President Glen Hauenstein isn’t shy about the airline’s interest in the Victorian capital. ‘Yes, Melbourne is on our radar,’ he confirms to Point Hacks. ‘We’re continuing to look at opportunities, and Melbourne would be very top of our list.’ But as for a timeline of any announcement, Delta isn’t yet ready to reveal that.

For now, Hauenstein is excited for what is already in the schedule: those direct Brisbane-Los Angeles flights. ‘Starting a seasonal service for the US point of sale origin season, we should do quite well there this year.’

But Delta’s competitor, United Airlines, recently suspended its own Brisbane-LA flights. It seems the route just wasn’t performing well enough for United to justify keeping it in addition to the carrier’s Brisbane-San Francisco route. How will Delta succeed where United did not?

‘We think we have a much more comprehensive offering in Los Angeles,’ Hauenstein tips. ‘And our only outlet for Brisbane is Los Angeles.’ Delta also now has a partnership with Rex in Australia – which flies from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and other ports – albeit that tie-up only being in its early days

On Rex, Delta’s Executive Vice President, Peter Carter, chimes in. ‘What I would say, Chris is that it’s very early – at the beginning. We’re excited to have the opportunity to align with them, and we look forward to seeing that partnership continue to develop.’

Delta CEO Ed Bastian has the final word on the international market more broadly. ‘Demand is growing faster internationally than it is domestically, and Delta is very well positioned to take advantage of that, together with our partners.’

Also read: Delta plans new ‘premium lounge’ to rival AA Flagship and United Polaris

Featured image by Chris Chamberlin for Point Hacks.

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Delta eyes flights to Melbourne as Brisbane launch nears was last modified: June 3rd, 2024 by Chris Chamberlin