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Delta to Offer More International Destinations in 2009

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Delta Air Lines is to add 15 new international routes to its summer 2009 schedule, including service to 12 destinations not flown by any other U.S. carrier.

“As America’s flag carrier to the world, offering service to more destinations than any other airline is an advantage our customers count on. Furthermore, smart growth to unique and emerging markets across the globe is a key ingredient of Delta’s proven business strategy,” said Glen Hauenstein, executive vice president of Network Planning and Revenue Management. “Delta continues to hone a distinct and strategic global network that capitalizes on new opportunities created by our recent merger with Northwest; our leading position in New York – the world’s largest business market; and the unparalleled connectivity of Atlanta – the world’s largest passenger hub.

“In the current atmosphere of international financial uncertainty, the breadth of Delta’s network positions the airline to take advantage of markets that continue to thrive, while offering a natural hedge where there is economic softness,” Hauenstein added.

Delta’s long-haul expansion for 2009 will be focused in three regions:

Trans-Pacific: Delta plans to add three new nonstop trans-Pacific flights between the United States and Tokyo-Narita, Japan, including new nonstop flights from Salt Lake City and New York-JFK, a second daily flight from Atlanta, and daily service connecting customers beyond Tokyo to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Africa: Delta will expand its position in Africa with new flights between Atlanta and Nairobi, Kenya and Cape Town, South Africa (via Dakar, Senegal); between Atlanta and Monrovia, Liberia; Abuja, Nigeria; Luanda, Angola; and Malabo, Equatorial Guinea (all via Sal Island, Cape Verde); and between New York-JFK and Lagos, Nigeria.

Delta will also introduce its first daily nonstop service to South Africa with flights between Atlanta and Johannesburg.

Europe/Middle East: Delta will expand its position across the Atlantic with the only nonstop flights operated to Gothenberg, Sweden and Valencia, Spain, both from New York-JFK. Delta also will expand its service at New York-JFK with nonstop service to Prague, Czech Republic and Zurich, Switzerland (seasonal); as well as the addition of a second nonstop flight between New York-JFK and Tel Aviv.

Taking advantage of new opportunities created by its recent merger with Northwest, Delta’s proposed new flights between Atlanta, Salt Lake City and New York and its hub at Tokyo-Narita open service to nine of Asia’s top 20 markets not served by Delta prior to the combination, including a new flight to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Delta’s flight between Salt Lake City and Tokyo-Narita is the first and only trans-Pacific service from the Rocky Mountain region.

“Through the merger, Delta is able to unleash the power of the Tokyo hub by connecting it to the largest U.S. domestic network with new flights from Atlanta, New York and Salt Lake City feeding intra-Asian routes with greater trans-Pacific capacity,” said Hauenstein. 

These flights are in addition to new trans-Pacific service previously announced by Northwest Airlines, including daily nonstop flights between Seattle and Beijing beginning March 1, 2009 and nonstop service connecting Detroit and Shanghai, effective March 28, 2009.

Across the Atlantic, Delta’s 2009 growth focuses on underserved markets with high growth rates and robust traffic patterns that have historically been difficult to reach from the United States. With the addition of nonstop service to Gothenberg, Sweden and Valencia, Spain, Delta will offer customers service to 13 European destinations not flown by any other U.S. airline. As part of its successful joint venture with Air France, Delta also recently announced new nonstop flights connecting Raleigh-Durham, N.C. and Pittsburgh to Air France’s hub at Paris Charles de Gaulle International Airport, effective June 2009.

In 2009, Delta said it expects to remain the only U.S. carrier flying nonstop to Africa and is building on its success since inaugurating service there in 2006. For customers, more nonstop service to Africa from the United States eliminates lengthy connections through Europe, trimming several hours off average travel times.

“Traffic between the United States and Africa is projected to grow more than 5% annually through 2027,” said Hauenstein. “With demand for travel to Africa spread across the United States, Delta is uniquely positioned to collect this growing base of traffic through the world’s largest passenger hub in Atlanta, as well as via the top U.S. market in New York to fly customers direct to 12 of Africa’s top destinations.”

Increased U.S. Hub-to-Hub Capacity

To prepare for the summer 2009 schedule, Delta in January will increase connectivity between its U.S. hubs to improve customers’ connections to the world. Overall, Delta will offer 14.5% more capacity between Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis, Cincinnati, Salt Lake City, New York and Memphis in January 2009 compared with the year prior.

Hub-to-hub changes include replacing select regional jet flights with mainline equipment connecting Atlanta to Memphis, Minneapolis and Detroit. Delta also will add a third daily flight between Salt Lake City and Detroit; new daily service between Salt Lake City and Memphis; and new daily service connecting New York-JFK and Memphis.

“Improving the connectivity of every Delta hub builds a stronger platform to take customers from all over the United States to destinations around the globe,” Hauenstein said. “Each Delta hub has a unique role in the new Delta network, and we will continue to invest in the infrastructure to make each hub successful and ensure it is conveniently connected to the world.”

Delta also continues to roll out customer benefits as it integrates with Northwest. Effective January 5, 2009, customers can take advantage of full Delta-Northwest codeshare reciprocity on flights between Delta hubs, creating thousands of additional connecting opportunities. Delta has also said it will launch a fully consolidated worldwide flight  schedule in advance of summer 2009.

Some of the above mentioned new routes are subject to government approval. Delta has applied with the U.S. Department of transportation seeking authority for the proposed new services on the New York-Tokyo, Atlanta-Luanda and Atlanta-Malabo routes; Delta’s wholly owned subsidiary, Northwest Airlines, Inc. applied for DOT authority to serve Tokyo-Ho Chi Minh City.

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