Saturday, Delta Air Lines Flight 27 departed Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport bound for Seoul-Incheon International Airport. The new service, operated by a Boeing 777-200LR, increases the capacity between the two cities as it complements existing Korean Air service. Korean Air utilizes a Boeing 777-300ER on the same route.
The new ATL-ICN and ICN-ATL flights were announced last fall along with enhanced code-sharing in the Americas and Asia:
Interestingly, the flights depart within an hour of each other. Given that both arrive in Seoul in the 4P hour, I would think one of the two flights could leave Atlanta in the late afternoon and arrive in Seoul late in the evening. Given the Hyundai automobile factory in Montgomery, AL and the KIA factory in West Point, GA, I would imagine there are quite a few business travelers on this route and that a later departure time would be attractive those customers.
As an Atlantan who is a big supporter of the hometown airline, I am pleased to see Delta expanding its international presence. However, I must admit that, if I were flying to Seoul, I would prefer Korean Air. Some of that preference is the "exoticness" of flying a foreign airline. However, a greater factor is Korean's reputation for excellent in-flight service and a top-notch business class hard product in select 777s. That being said, I recently flew international Delta One and I was impressed with the service and, to a lesser degree, the seat, so flying Delta One is not unattractive. However, the opportunity to fly a Delta premium cabin out of Atlanta is far more common than the chance to fly Korean Air business. Regardless of carrier, I hope to soon be able to fulfill my dream of visiting Asia, and a flight directly to Seoul from Atlanta would be a great way to do so!