Delta Air Lines has begun converting its all-coach fleet of shuttle aircraft to a two-class configuration and will offer both coach and first class in shuttle markets beginning December 1. Delta’s press release can be viewed here.

I think this is a wise move and frankly, I’m a little surprised it took this long. US Airways made this move a few years ago. Not to mention, it’s enormously expensive to maintain a “sub-fleet” of aircraft like these all-coach MD-80’s that can’t really be used for any other purpose. In fact, I suspect that a primary consideration in making this move was the elimination of a sub-fleet of aircraft. With a common configuration, “non-shuttle” aircraft can easily be substituted when necessary to operate shuttle flights and vice-versa.