LAGOS, 5 December 2012 – Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) is celebrating five years of nonstop service between Nigeria and the United States. Delta launched its first flight between Lagos Murtala Muhammed International Airport and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on 3 December 2007 and today operates year-round daily flights using a 201-seat Boeing 767-300ER aircraft.
“We are extremely proud to be marking 5 years of flying to Nigeria and, thanks to the support of the airport, government authorities and the local community, our service from Lagos to Atlanta has gone from strength to strength,” said Bobby Bryan Delta’s commercial manager for West and East Africa. “Nigeria continues to be one of the most important business markets in Delta’s international network and we are committed to serving Lagos for many years to come.”
More than 570,000 passengers have flown on Delta’s flights between Nigeria and the United States since 2007 and this year Delta has seen strong load factors of over 80%. Additionally, over the last 5 years, Delta has transported around 6,500 tons of cargo between Nigeria and the U.S., facilitating trade and commerce between the two nations.
Enhanced onboard service and Network
In September, Delta introduced full flat-bed seats in its BusinessElite cabin on its Lagos flights. Each seat is forward-facing and converts to a 180-degree fully flat-bed offering direct aisle access in a 1x2x1 configuration.
“In every market where we’ve introduced flat bed seats, customer satisfaction ratings have increased significantly and Nigeria has been no exception,” continued Bryan. “Delta is offering more than 500 flat-bed seats each week on this route and an unrivaled network. Customers traveling from Lagos benefit from convenient connections to more than 160 destinations via our leading gateway at Atlanta to cities such as Washington, Houston and Los Angeles.”
Delta flights from Nigeria also feature Economy Comfort - Delta’s premium economy cabin product. Customers flying in Economy Comfort benefit from up to four additional inches of legroom for 35 full inches of seat pitch and 50 percent more recline than Delta’s standard Economy class seat.
From early 2013, Delta will begin rolling out Wi-Fi on its international fleet. The introduction of Wi-Fi on flights between Lagos and Atlanta will enable customers to access the Internet at 30,000 feet.
Investment on the ground:
BusinessElite passengers traveling to and from Lagos can take advantage of Delta’s Protocol service which was introduced at Murtala Muhammed International Airport this year. This provides a personalized escort through every step of the airport experience - from checking in, security clearance and lounge pick-up, to arrival and baggage collection. Delta’s Protocol service is offered in addition to SkyPriority, a series of priority airport services offered to premium passengers by SkyTeam airlines serving Lagos.
Delta in Africa
Delta has transported almost 3 million passengers on its Africa services since the airline launched its first flights from the continent in December 2006. The airline flies to five cities in five African countries: Accra, Ghana, Dakar, Senegal, Johannesburg, South Africa; Lagos, Nigeria; and Monrovia, Liberia. Delta operates a one-year Business Internship Program in five African nations including Nigeria, offering African students valuable work experience gained within a global organization.
Delta was nominated ‘Best Flight Experience to Africa’ by Executive Travel Magazine’s readers in its Leading Edge Awards 2012.
Delta Air Lines serves more than 160 million customers each year. During the past year, Delta was named domestic "Airline of the Year" by the readers of Travel Weekly magazine, was named the "Top Tech-Friendly U.S. Airline" by PCWorld magazine for its innovation in technology, won the Business Travel News Annual Airline Survey and was the recipient of 12 Executive Travel Magazine Leading Edge Awards for U.S. airlines. With an industry-leading global network, Delta and the Delta Connection carriers offer service to nearly 315 destinations in 59 countries on six continents. Headquartered in Atlanta, Delta employs 80,000 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-LaGuardia, New York-JFK, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Salt Lake City and Tokyo-Narita. The airline's service includes the SkyMiles frequent flier program, a world-class airline loyalty program; the award-winning BusinessElite service; and more than 50 Delta Sky Clubs in airports worldwide. Delta is investing more than $3 billion through 2013 in airport facilities and global products, services and technology to enhance the customer experience in the air and on the ground. Customers can check in for flights, print boarding passes, check bags and review flight status at delta.com.