- Delta Airlines announced Wednesday it will roll out Apple's Business Chat platform to select passengers this summer. In the fall, the service will become a feature in Delta's mobile app.
- The mobile-first platform lets travelers connect with a Delta representative through the iOS Messages app. It builds off the airline's "Need Help" messaging interface, which launched earlier this year.
- The pilot program makes Delta the first airline to put Apple's Business Chat to work, the company said. Canadian e-commerce company Shopify and retailer Hodinikee Shop also announced they'd deploy the platform.
Introduced at Apple's developer conference in 2017, the Business Chat offering is a sign of increased enterprise focus from Apple, historically a consumer-first company.
The company's products have taken on customer-facing duties, whether it's helping servers take orders or carry out point of sale transactions. Apple has also taken an interest in the healthcare sector.
In the retail space, names like Lowe's, The Home Depot and Wells Fargo jumped on the beta version of Apple's Business Chat in April of last year.
As for Delta, part of an airline industry that has struggled with digitization, the launch of Business Chat means an expanded commitment to Apple. In 2018, the company moved its flight crews away from Windows devices and began adoption of Apple's product line.
With Business Chat, Delta hopes to give travelers a lifeline to the company, said Tori Forbes-Roberts, vice president of reservation sales and customer care at Delta, in the announcement.
"This is about connecting with our customers where they are," Forbes-Roberts said. "Many have told us that they'd rather message with us than engage on other channels like the phone, email or social media."