Delta Air Lines is revising the galley space on hundreds of domestic aircraft to boost its number of first class and economy class seats.
By summer 2013, Delta will add more than 1,200 first class seats to its domestic Boeing MD-88s, MD-90s, 757-200s and 767-300s, which comprise more than 60% of the carrier's mainline domestic fleet.
In tandem with this, at least one row of economy class seats will be retrofitted to the aircraft.
"Essentially, where this additional space comes from is [we're] redoing our galleys in the domestic fleet. Because of changes in the on board food product, we require much less galley space. So we're reclaiming that space now for additional seating. The focus has been on first class, but we also have been able to add in economy, and can do this without affecting the pitch of the seat," says a Delta spokesman.
He says Delta's capacity guidance will not change "because this [retrofit programme] has been boiled into those capacity numbers. This is something that has been ongoing for a while, and we thought it was a good time to put out an update on it."
The initiative follows the addition of first class cabins to all Delta Connection regional jets with more than 60 seats, and is part of a larger $2 billion investment that Delta is making in its fleet, airports and product through 2013 to position the carrier as a leader in customer service, says Delta executive vice president - network planning, revenue management and marketing Glen Hauenstein.
Delta also is the only US carrier to offer a first class cabin on every domestic flight longer than 750 miles, or approximately 2.5 hours.