Delta Hong Kong

Delta SEA A330 JDLDelta celebrated yet another inaugural from Seattle on Monday, this time to Hong Kong, as it also formally welcomed the city to its hub network.

“With the addition of Hong Kong Seattle is now Delta’s newest hub, ” said Mike Medeiros, Vice President of Seattle for the airline, during a short speech at SeaTac Airport’s gate S7.

Not that this was any surprise. Delta has been bulking up its assets in Seattle for the better part of two years. Millions of dollars in capital improvements, ranging from a swank Sky Priority check-in zone to a new Sky Club have been popping up since late 2012. Service to cities around the world have been announced, from Salt Lake City to Shanghai. In total, the airline has committed to 95 daily departures by the end of 2014, up from 34 in late 2013.

Hong Kong is merely the latest. The Chinese hub is the ninth international destination in the carrier’s burgeoning Emerald City crown, and the last in its most recent expansion drive abroad. In the past year Delta has added service to London, Seoul, Shanghai, and Tokyo-Haneda. The four come in addition to previously existing service to Amsterdam, Beijing, Paris, and Tokyo-Narita. In total, the expansion has resulted in the carrier injecting well over 2, 500 international seats per day into the city.

Obviously, those thousands of seats need to be filled in order for Delta’s venture to be successful. Of the 60-some new flights set to begin by the end of the year, only five are international. That places the vast majority of Delta’s expansion in the city within the realm of domestic routes, built, in large part, to shuttle folks abroad via Seattle.

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