ATLANTA, March 28, 2008 – Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) on Sunday will fulfill a decade-long goal of conveniently connecting customers to and from China with the inaugural of the first-ever nonstop flight between Atlanta and Shanghai. Delta Flight 19 departs Atlanta at 10:05 a.m. Sunday and arrives in Shanghai at 1:45 p.m. local time the next day.

“As the airline serving more worldwide destinations than any other carrier, Delta is uniquely positioned to connect the commerce and culture of multiple regions of the world to and from China,” said Lee Macenczak, Delta’s executive vice president of Sales and Marketing. “This flight will establish Atlanta as a powerful new Chinese gateway by providing new connectivity and convenience for passengers from across the U.S., as well as Central and South America and the Caribbean.”

With the new route, customers flying to or from 47 of the more than 240 destinations served by Delta nonstop from Atlanta will gain their first online one-stop connections to Shanghai. Atlanta customers will enjoy time savings of at least three hours over existing one-stop itineraries via other U.S. or Asian gateways.

Nearly 70,000 people from around the world supported Delta’s application to the U.S. Department of Transportation to serve Shanghai from Atlanta, underscoring the competitive and economic importance of the route. Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, who was among the leaders of the campaign to secure the new route, will lead a delegation of more than a dozen economic development and trade officials to China on the inaugural flight.

"Delta's international focus is a tremendous complement to our Global Georgia initiative, and in particular, the opening of our office in China next week,” Perdue said. “We will continue to support this great Georgia company as it connects our state to new destinations across the world, boosting Georgia’s economic development and tourism efforts."

In addition to service to China, Delta this year plans to add other new international destinations from Atlanta, including new nonstop service to London-Heathrow (beginning Saturday); Stockholm, Sweden (effective June 3); Santiago, Dominican Republic (effective Dec. 20)***; and a second daily flight to Sao Paulo, Brazil (effective June 15). These flights are in addition to the more than 70 new international markets that have been added from Atlanta since the mid 1990s.

“Atlanta is rapidly becoming America’s gateway to the world, and we are proud to add even more nonstop international destinations from our hometown hub as part of Delta’s 2008 international expansion,” Macenczak said. “As a result of its ongoing international expansion, Delta expects to generate more than 40 percent of its revenues from international flying this summer, up from about 20 percent in 2005.”

Delta’s new nonstop service between Atlanta and Shanghai will be operated using the airline’s flagship Boeing 777 aircraft with up to 268 comfortable all-leather seats in a two-cabin configuration. Customers flying Delta’s award-winning BusinessElite enjoy a five-course menu including specialty Chinese options on flights to and from China; a reinvented wine program launched in February by Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson featuring wines from around the world; new full-size pillows, duvets; modern and stylish dinnerware; and in-seat power outlets (110 Volt) that allow customers to recharge their laptops without the need for an adaptor. Additionally, customers in both the Coach and BusinessElite cabins enjoy personal video monitors at every seat featuring first-run and popular classic movies, music, TV programming and video games – all available on demand.

Flights to China are available for sale via delta.com and are scheduled as follows:

Flight Departs Arrives Effective Flight Time Frequency
19* Atlanta at 10:05 a.m. Shanghai at 1:45 p.m. (next day) March 30 15 hours 40 minutes Daily
18** Shanghai at 3:45 p.m. Atlanta at 6:25 p.m. March 31 14 hours 40 minutes Daily
*Flight departs and arrives 10 minutes earlier on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays
**Flight departs and arrives 10 minutes earlier on Tuesdays and Thursdays

Delta Air Lines operates service to more worldwide destinations than any airline with Delta and Delta Connection flights to 315 destinations in 59 countries. Delta has added more international capacity than any major U.S. airline during the last two years and is the leader across the Atlantic with flights to 36 trans-Atlantic markets. To Latin America and the Caribbean, Delta offers more than 650 weekly flights to 65 destinations. Delta's marketing alliances also allow customers to earn and redeem SkyMiles on nearly 14,000 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 744 worldwide destinations in 151 countries. Customers can check in for flights, print boarding passes and check flight status at delta.com.

***Subject to foreign government approval

 

NOTE TO EDITORS:

Delta will host a brief press event before the departure of the inaugural flight from Atlanta, beginning at 8 a.m. EDT, Sunday, March 30.

WHO: Lee Macenczak, Delta Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing
Sonny Perdue, Georgia Governor
Ben DeCosta, General Manager, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
 
WHEN: 8 a.m. EDT, Sunday, March 30 (media should arrive by 7:30 a.m. to obtain gate pass – Delta representatives will meet media at 7:30 a.m. at Baggage Claim #1)
 
WHERE:  Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Gate E12
 
RSVP: Media guests should RSVP by 5 p.m., Friday, March 28 to Delta Corporate Communications at 404-715-2554 to request security clearance

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