Delta Airlines Reinstates Seoul from Minnesota as travel demand picks up

A Delta Air Lines aircraft in flight over mountains.
Photo Credit: Delta Air Lines

LONDON – Demand for global travel is picking up faster than ever. As a result, Delta Airlines will now fly between Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport (MSP) and Seoul-Incheon International Airport (ICN) this October.

The Minneapolis to Incheon shuttle will resume its service thrice weekly before upgrading its frequency to daily on 29th October. As a result of this move, Delta would be fully restoring its Korean service to 2019 pre-COVID levels.

This is a major milestone that many in the aviation industry would want to hear. 

This route resumption would also coincide with the re-operating of the daily Seattle to Seoul route beginning on the 12th of July. In the meantime, the route from Atlanta to Seoul, and Detroit to Seoul will also be flown daily as of August the 2nd.

The re-launch of this route will be flown by Delta’s flagship long haul A350-900, which features the new flagship suites.

In fact, all, routes to Seoul will feature new Delta One Suites, Delta Premium Select, Delta Comfort+, and Main Cabin.

Curcio: Recovery is on the Way…

Matteo Curcio, Delta’s Vice President  – Asia Pacific:  “As travel restrictions ease, international and business travel is expected to drive the next leg of Delta’s recovery”.

He added: “Recent demand has been strong in Asian markets, particularly in Korea, as they have rolled back COVID-era travel restrictions. Full restoration of the airline’s Korean network is a positive indicator of what’s to come for the rest of the Asia region.”

Below is the preliminary schedule from Delta Airlines: 

DL171, KE5033MSP at 2:25 p.m.ICN at 5.20 p.m. next dayWednesday, Friday, SundayOctober 2, 2022A350-900
DL171, KE5033MSP at 11:05 a.m.ICN at 3:30 p.m. next dayDailyOctober 28, 2022A350-900
DL170, KE5034ICN at 7:40 p.m.MSP at 5:35 p.m. same dayMonday, Thursday, SaturdayOctober 3, 2022A350-900
DL170, KE5034ICN at 7:25 p.m.MSP at 4:40 p.m. same dayDailyOctober 29, 2022A350-900

This service would enhance more partnerships between Delta Airlines and Korean Air. 


Overall, this is substantial news for Delta, and will hopefully become the restart its growth in the Asia-Pacific region, in which its foothold was disrupted by global events such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Looking ahead, the Summer 2022 season will most definitely be a busy one for these sorts of flights, especially with the frequencies Delta is offering on this route.

It will also be interesting to see what other routes will be reinstated by Delta and whether they can indeed cope with the demand that is being experienced for such international travel.

But for now, the airline can of course sit back and enjoy the revenue streams it used to have pre-COVID, and hopefully, some form of recovery will take place very soon.

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