In a collaboration with European partners KLM and Air France, Delta Air Lines will be beginning daily, year-round, nonstop Indianapolis-Paris Charles de Gaulle service, the first transatlantic service Indianapolis has seen in over a decade.
The route will kick off May 24th, 2018, utilizing the Boeing 767-300ER, a type Delta has 58 examples of. Primarily used on transatlantic flights from New York and Atlanta, the aircraft has 25 lie-flat “Delta One” first class seats, 29 “Delta Comfort” seats with an extra three inches of legroom, and 171 standard economy seats with complementary personal in-flight entertainment and in-seat AC power.
Fares have yet to be loaded onto Delta.com, but current one-stop options from Indianapolis to Paris on Delta are over USD $4,000 per person in economy class, not including taxes and fees. A majority of bookings show the most common stop for travelers flying between Indy and Paris to be in Detroit, and after May 24th, this hassle will be completely avoided.
The new flights to Indianapolis will operate under the following schedule:
DL500 Indianapolis 6:20 p.m. departure -> Paris-CDG 8:45 a.m. arrival (+1) Daily B76W
DL501 Paris-CDG 1:15 p.m. departure -> Indianapolis 4:35 p.m. arrival
Indianapolis has always served an important role as an outstation, with a relatively modest 37 daily departures but with service to most of the airlines’ hubs and focus cities. Currently, Delta serves Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Cancun, and Salt Lake City on mainline jets, and Boston, New York-JFK and LaGuardia, Philadelphia, and Washington-National on regional flights operated by regional jets. Delta is also the only airline at the airport to have a dedicated lounge, with a Delta Sly Club being located in the main terminal.
On the other end of things, Paris-Charles de Gaulle serves as one of the two most important international connecting points in Delta’s massive network. Thanks to strong ties between the airline and Air France, the connection opportunities are nearly endless past Paris. Delta serves Atlanta, Boston, Cincinnati, Detroit, Minneapolis, New York (JFK & LGA), Raleigh, Salt Lake City, Seattle, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh from Paris, with as many as 12 daily departures on peak.
The addition of Paris to Indianapolis’ route network is a key one, as Indianapolis has not had the most impressive statistics number-wise in recent years, ever since USAir ended their fortress hub at the airport in the late-1990’s. The airport recorded its’ largest growth since 2004 when passenger numbers jumped almost 10% in 2016. Handling just over 8 million passengers per year, Indianapolis is also one of the smallest American cities with transatlantic service, with Pittsburgh and Hartford being the only smaller.
“Indiana and the Indianapolis metropolitan area has long been an important part of our route network and we are honored that Delta will be the first U.S. carrier to take Indiana nonstop to Europe,” said Bob Cortelyou, Delta’s Senior Vice President – Network Planning.
“Indiana’s pro-business reputation continues to grow and spread around the globe, and that’s why securing a direct trans-Atlantic flight is so important,” Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb said. “This flight is a big win for our state’s business community and for Hoosier travelers. I cannot wait to see that first Delta flight take off for Europe in just a few short months.”
Delta has said the flights will be on sale September 23rd.
Featured photo from David Xian / nycplanespotting.com