Delta Air Lines resumed its nonstop service between Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) and Seoul-Incheon International Airport (ICN) last week, the first of two Asia routes to return since they were paused at the beginning of the COVID 19 pandemic.
“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.”
“The resumption of service to Seoul-Incheon fully restores Delta’s Korean flying to pre-pandemic levels,” said MSP Vice President of Airport Operations for Delta Air Lines, Mary Loeffelholz. “Through our Korean Air partnership, customers will have access to nearly 30 destinations from ICN, reinforcing Delta’s mantra of ‘no one better connects the world.’”
Delta’s nonstop service to Seoul marks the 25th international flight out of 30 to return to MSP. The ICN flight is the longest international route from MSP at more than 6,200 miles and a flight duration of more than 12 hours. Delta’s service to Tokyo-Haneda Airport, is tentatively set to restart in late March 2023.
MSP’s service to ICN began in April 2019 after the MSP Regional Air Service Partnership (RASP), a collaborative air service development initiative between the MAC and GREATER MSP, identified the route as a major need for the region’s business community.
“The Seoul route was a direct outcome of local business partnerships and collaboration and Delta’s commitment to provide this important service,” said Rick King, chair of the Metropolitan Airports Commission. “It is these types of partnerships that have also helped us through the pandemic recovery, making this a milestone moment as flights to and from Seoul take off once again.”
Delta’s MSP-ICN route is initially operating three times per week and will increase to daily service on October 29. The flight uses a flagship Airbus A350-900 aircraft that accommodates more than 300 passengers with a choice of four experiences –Delta One Suites, Delta Premium Select, Delta Comfort+ and Main Cabin.
MSP’s overall recovery in passengers is 75%-80% compared to pre-pandemic levels.