Delta Air Lines Inc. said today it will offer its first coast-to-coast flights next year with nonstop service on the crowded New York-to-Los Angeles route.
The Atlanta-based carrier said the flights could link up with routes across the Pacific to Asia. Delta serves Hawaii and is seeking U.S. government approval to fly between Los Angeles and Sydney, Australia.
American and Northwest airlines have also filed for the Los Angeles-Sydney route. A decision by the U.S. government on the carrier to be awarded the route will probably be made by the fall, a Delta spokesman said. United and Continental airlines currently fly the route.
Delta has 40 long-range MD-11 aircraft on order from McDonnell Douglas Corp., which it will start receiving in 1991. It plans to use the wide-body jets for flights to the Pacific, the world’s fastest-growing airline market.
Initial plans call for three daily round-trip flights on wide-body jetliners between Los Angeles International Airport and New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport.
Delta already has large operations in Los Angeles following its 1987 purchase of Western Airlines, which is based in the city.
In adding New York-Los Angeles routes, Delta is entering one of the most price-competitive markets. Fares have been as low as $99 each way for the 3,000-mile trip in recent years as carriers seek to increase their share of the big market.
Carriers flying the route include United, Continental, Trans World Airlines, American and Pan Am.