Delta to buy larger jets for the Twin Cities

Delta Air Lines plans to boost its Twin Cities service over the next five years and by 2019 increase the number of seats available on flights from the region by 8 percent.

CEO Richard Anderson said Tuesday that fleet upgrades will enable Delta to carry more passengers to and from the Twin Cities. Delta, the dominant airline serving the market, is replacing regional jets serving the airport with planes that can seat more people.

"When we look out and we think about where we'll be in 2019, we have a five-year plan for Minneapolis," Anderson said at a Twin Cities airport foundation event in Minneapolis. "We see the number of seats operated from Minneapolis advancing significantly."

The expanded seat capacity could allow the airline to offer more nonstop international flights.

"My hope is that we're going to be able to have another long-haul nonstop into Asia in the next three to five years," Anderson said. "And with our partnership with Virgin Atlantic, you'll see some expansion to London Heathrow over time."

Anderson did not disclose a possible non-stop destination in Asia. Delta currently provides nonstop service from the Twin Cities to Amsterdam, London, Paris and Tokyo.

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