Delta’s Seattle story: A new flight to Taipei and ambitions for nonstop DCA service

Delta announced plans to seek approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation to operate a new flight between Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA).

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Seattle, Washington Delta Airlines Airbus A330 taking off from the airport
Editorial credit: Jon Tetzlaff / Shutterstock.com

Delta announced plans to seek approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation to operate a new flight between Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA). The move follows the recently enacted Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Bill, which authorizes five new flights at DCA with beyond-perimeter status. 

Delta President Glen Hauenstein made the announcement in Seattle at a Port of Seattle press conference to launch Delta’s inaugural nonstop flight to Taipei (TPE), marking the airline’s first operation to TPE since 2017.  

“Seattle is a crucial hub for Delta,” said Hauenstein. “With today’s Taipei launch, we are further solidifying Seattle’s role as our leading Pacific gateway. And by adding a direct flight to our nation’s capital in Washington, D.C., Seattle customers will have the additional competition and choice they deserve.” 

Due to the federal perimeter rule at DCA, carriers are prohibited from flying beyond 1,250 miles with very few exceptions. SEA is the largest beyond-perimeter market, with only one carrier providing service to DCA. Delta is eligible to apply for one of the new slot pairs, which will be awarded through a formal application process administered by DOT.   

“In so many ways, the success and health of Washington State’s communities depend on our relationship with the other Washington,” said Seattle Port Commissioner Toshiko Grace Hasegawa in a recent Port blog.  “I look forward to working with community leaders to take advantage of this major opportunity.” 

Delta marked its 90th anniversary in Seattle in December 2023, a history dating back to the start of operations by Northwest Airways (later Northwest Airlines) in 1933. Today, the airline boasts 3,000 Seattle-based employees who operate nearly 170 peak-day departures from SEA to more than 50 destinations worldwide, including Amsterdam (AMS), Tokyo (HND), and Cancun (CUN).  

Delta is America’s most-awarded airline, including having received Global Viewpoint’s Airline of Choice in Seattle Award for 2023. The Port of Seattle also recently recognized Delta through its Sustainiable Century Awards program as having the highest percentage of fuel-efficient aircraft in use at SEA in 2023. 

The airline will continue to build on its momentum in SEA: Twice-daily service to Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) launches July 8, and daily service to Miami (MIA) begins December 21. 




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