Bruce Drum (airlinersgallery)on Dec 10
In another move to underscore its growing presence at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) and in celebration of its 80th anniversary of service and growing presence in the Seattle/Tacoma area, Delta unveiled at Boeing Field on December 5, 2013 a new Boeing 737-900 ER aircraft (737-932 ER N809DN, msn 31915) as the 'The Spirit of Seattle,' dedicated to the city of Seattle and the airline's customers, employees and partners in the region.
The dedication took place in a ceremony at Boeing Field, the same location that Delta began service in Seattle on December 3, 1933, through Northwest Airways, which eventually became Northwest Airlines. The inaugural flight was flown from Spokane to Seattle and back to Spokane on a Waco JTO biplane carrying no passengers. Initial passenger service was a Tacoma-Seattle-Wenatchee-Spokane route using 7-passenger, 120-mph Hamilton H47 Metalplanes.
Today, Delta operates 35 peak-day departures to 15 destinations from its growing gateway in Seattle, including nonstop international service to Amsterdam, Paris, Tokyo-Narita, Tokyo-Haneda, Shanghai and Beijing. Additional international service is planned in 2014 to London-Heathrow as well as Hong Kong and Seoul, pending government approval. Delta will also expand Seattle service to Anchorage, Alaska; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Portland, Oregon; San Diego; and San Francisco and also recently announced new service to Fairbanks, Alaska, and Vancouver, Canada, beginning in the summer of 2014.
More than 100 Delta Chairman's Club honorees attended the dedication event along with local employees and corporate and community partners. The honorees are accompanying the aircraft on its delivery flight from Seattle to Atlanta prior to entering service later this month. Chairman's Club is Delta's highest honor in employee recognition, and honorees embody Delta's values through their distinguished contributions and exceptional service to customers and the communities Delta serves.
The 'Spirit of Seattle' is the ninth of 100 new 737-900 ERs that will be delivered to Delta between 2013 and 2018 as it retires older mainline jets and upgrades its fleet. The 737-900 ER will be deployed on several routes to and from Seattle/Tacoma, among others, and has a range of 3,200 nautical miles, giving it the ability to operate any domestic route in Delta's extensive network.
Delta will take delivery of three additional 737-900 ERs this year for a total of 12 aircraft in 2013, 19 aircraft per year in 2014 through 2017, and 12 aircraft in 2018. The 180-seat aircraft will replace older, less efficient aircraft on a capacity-neutral basis while providing customers with an industry-leading on-board experience.
As Delta's first aircraft to feature Boeing's new "Sky Interior," the 737-900 ER offers the airline's customers expanded carry-on baggage space, a roomier, more airy cabin and an LED lighting system that provides different color schemes, such as a soft blue sky and a relaxing pallet of sunset colors.