ATLANTA, July 24, 2007 – After a decade of expansion throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) is now an international powerhouse across the region’s skies, according to the most recent figures.
Delta’s June passenger figures for Latin America showed a 22 percent increase over the same period last year, and a 14 percent increase for the Latin America and Caribbean regions combined. Overall, international passenger figures for June showed a 12 percent increase over the same month a year ago.
“As recently as 1996, Delta served just three Latin American and Caribbean destinations. It now offers nearly 700 weekly flights to 63 destinations in 29 countries in the region,” said Christophe Didier, Delta’s vice president – Sales and Public Affairs for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Delta’s fast-paced Latin American expansion started 10 years ago with a single flight between Atlanta and Sao Paulo. Today, Brazil accounts for a significant portion of Delta’s Latin American/Caribbean revenue.
“You can say that Brazil was an early tipping point for us,” Didier said. “It showed us there was a huge demand as business opportunities increased and tourism developed throughout the region. We connect Latin American and Caribbean passengers to most states of the U.S., and also to Europe, the Middle East and Asia.”
After Brazil, success quickly followed with new service to Lima, Peru; Caracas, Venezuela; Panama City, Panama and a long list of destinations throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.
Today, with 19 destinations and more than 200 weekly flights, Mexico leads the pack as the country with the most international destinations for Delta, not only in the Latin and Caribbean regions, but worldwide.
“There is no question that passengers have more connecting options within the United States, Europe and even Asia through our Atlanta hub,” Didier explained. “We connect Latin America with 1,000 daily flights anywhere in the world, which no other airline currently offers. That is instrumental in our success.”
While Atlanta serves as Delta’s largest Latin gateway – with more than 86 million people choosing Atlanta as a point of arrival, departure or connection last year – the airline’s continued expansion into Latin American and the Caribbean has most recently been supported by new flights from growing international gateways at Los Angeles International Airport and New York-JFK.
“We continue to grow in Los Angeles with more than 15 new routes to Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and Costa Rica – all announced in the last 10 months. Between January of this year and February of 2008, our monthly flights between JFK and Latin America and the Caribbean will increase by more than 60 percent.”
Delta recently announced nonstop service between New York-JFK and Guatemala City, Guatemala; San Jose and Liberia, Costa Rica; Panama City, Panama, and Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago for the upcoming fall and winter seasons.*
Transporting a variety of goods to and from Latin America and the Caribbean also has played a crucial role in Delta’s success. Over the last decade, Delta has grown to become the second-largest U.S. passenger carrier transporting freight between the U.S. and Latin America and the Caribbean – now with an average of 3,000,000 kilos in cargo carried each month, up from 68,000 kilos a decade ago.
Delta also has made significant improvements to its cabin service on international flights, including all-leather seats and signature cocktails in all cabins, as well as on-demand in-flight entertainment and celebrity-chef meals in its award-winning BusinessElite cabins, which serve customers on long-haul flights to Argentina, Brazil and Chile.
Delta Air Lines offers customers service to more destinations than any global airline with Delta and Delta Connection carrier service to 333 destinations in 57 countries. With more than 60 new international routes introduced in the last year, Delta has added more international capacity than all other U.S. airlines combined and is the leader across the Atlantic with flights to 36 trans-Atlantic destinations. To Latin America and the Caribbean, Delta offers nearly 700 weekly flights to more than 60 destinations. Delta's marketing alliances also allow customers to earn and redeem SkyMiles on nearly 15,000 flights offered by SkyTeam and other partners. Delta is a founding member of SkyTeam, a global airline alliance that provides customers with extensive worldwide destinations, flights and services. Including its SkyTeam and worldwide codeshare partners, Delta offers flights to 479 worldwide destinations in 105 countries. Customers can check in for flights, print boarding passes and check flight status at delta.com.
*Subject to foreign government approval.