I'm sure that Delta is well aware of the number of Chinese immigrants and Chinese-Americans in NYC and Long Island. That said, they'll need to do a lot of ground work to grow the market due to a few factors:
1. There's already a lot of entrenched, existing service to the major population centers in PRC
/HK/Taiwan. (I understand the slot frequencies are just for the PRC
, but bear with me).
Frequencies may be a little off:
has either 3x or 4x daily to HKG
has 1x daily to PEK
has 1x daily to PVG
has 1x daily to TPE
has 1x daily to TPE
And while EWR
is probably not the first choice of those who live in Long Island/Queens/Brooklyn, SA
)">UA definitely draws a lot of the traffic in the NYC metro area west of the Hudson, along with some in Manhattan.
1x daily to HKG
1x daily to PEK
1x daily to PVG
2. Purchasing habits among the VFR group are hard to change. Not sure how familiar you are with travel patterns among this group, but a huge amount of VFR is still done through Chinese travel agencies, most of whom have existing relationships and contracts with the airlines above.
3. Perception/Reality of better service among Asian carriers will continue to draw less price-conscious travelers. Additionally, those who don't mind 1-stop service have excellent options by transiting with great carriers in NH
/JL in NRT
/OZ in ICN
. (Can personally speak for service on CX
that are miles ahead of SA
)">DL or SA
4. For the business crowd, this splits into 2. The small business owners mostly will still have family in Greater China and will likely be doing a lot of traveling not just to the major gateways. They already participate in FFP associated with the Asian carriers. For the finance/corporate guys, they largely make decisions based on corporate contracts or perceptions of luxury/quality. Speaking from experience, even though my old company had a contract with Delta, we also had separate contracts for routes where either Delta was non-existent, to provide more price competition, or where Delta had a worse schedule, etc.
4. Delta's feed into JFK
, while increasing over the last few years, may not yet be sufficient to offer flights that are more profitable than other options in SA
/Europe/Africa, especially combined with the existing fierce competition.
That said, I still think that as Delta grows its hub, it should eventually offer flights to PEK
. However, they're probably content to route the loyal Skymiles members through either DTW
at this point.