ATLANTA, July 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) today submitted an application to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to expand its service between the United States and Brazil, which would allow increased flights between its Detroit hub and Sao Paulo.
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Delta has received approval to begin twice-weekly service between Detroit and Sao Paulo Oct 21. If approved, the new flights will allow that service to be operated five days per week.
Detroit-Sao Paulo is an important business route for the industrial Midwest. Business customers require regular and frequent service, and Delta's proposed five weekly flights approach the daily service Delta would like to eventually provide. The three additional frequencies Delta has requested will significantly enhance the consumer benefits and competitiveness of the Detroit gateway.
Delta's service will create a new gateway to Brazil in the Midwest region, and continue Detroit's expansion as an international hub. In recent months, Delta has added service from Detroit to Seoul-Incheon and Hong Kong and expanded service to Shanghai. In January 2011, Delta will begin nonstop service from Detroit to Haneda Airport in Tokyo.
"This new service will enable us to connect Sao Paulo, South America's largest business market, and Delta's major international hub in Detroit five days each week," said Andrea Fischer Newman, senior vice president – Government Affairs. "Our expanded service will further strengthen business and trade opportunities and boost economic activity in both Detroit and Sao Paulo, while increasing competition by providing more options for U.S. travelers in the Midwest."
The flights will be operated with 216-seat Boeing 767-300ER aircraft, with 35 BusinessElite seats and 181 seats in Economy Class.
Delta's proposed Detroit-Sao Paulo winter schedule*:
Detroit at 7:25 p.m.
Sao Paulo 9 a.m. (next day)
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Sao Paulo at 12:25 a.m.
Detroit at 8:35 a.m.
Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
* Includes two frequencies already approved by DOT and three frequencies pending government approval
In its application, Delta requested permission for three additional flight authorities between the U.S. and Brazil, specifically for service between Atlanta and Rio de Janeiro. If approved, Delta would shift three of its existing Rio de Janeiro authorities from Atlanta to Detroit for the expanded Sao Paulo service.
Delta's current service between Atlanta and Rio de Janeiro would be unaffected. The shift in flights from Atlanta to Detroit is necessary because the authorities Delta is using to operate its Atlanta-Rio de Janeiro service can be used between any cities in the U.S. and Brazil, while the new authorities cannot be used for service to Sao Paulo until that airport completes infrastructure improvements.
Delta currently serves 147 destinations from its Detroit hub, including 20 international destinations. Delta customers flying at Detroit Metropolitan Airport enjoy service at the state-of-the-art, 120-gate terminal designed specifically for international connections. Detroit's airport was recently ranked No. 1 among large airports in overall customer satisfaction by J.D. Power and Associates.
Delta currently offers service between Atlanta and Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Manaus; and service between New York-JFK and Sao Paulo. In December, Delta became the first U.S. airline to offer nonstop service to Brazil's capital city, with nonstop service between Atlanta and Brasilia.
Delta Air Lines serves more than 160 million customers each year. With its unsurpassed global network, Delta and the Delta Connection carriers offer service to 369 destinations in 67 countries on six continents. Headquartered in Atlanta, Delta employs more than 70,000 employees worldwide and operates a mainline fleet of more than 700 aircraft. A founding member of the SkyTeam global alliance, Delta participates in the industry's leading trans-Atlantic joint venture with Air France-KLM and Alitalia. Including its worldwide alliance partners, Delta offers customers more than 13,000 daily flights, with hubs in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Memphis, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York-JFK, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Salt Lake City and Tokyo-Narita. The airline's service includes the SkyMiles frequent flier program, the world's largest airline loyalty program; the award-winning BusinessElite service; and more than 45 Delta Sky Clubs in airports worldwide. Customers can check in for flights, print boarding passes, check bags and review flight status at delta.com.
SOURCE Delta Air Lines