LAGOS and ATLANTA, June 15, 2011 – Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL), the leading airline between the United States and Africa, today announced the start of codeshare service with Air Nigeria, one of Nigeria’s premier airlines focused on delivering excellent customer service. Initially, Air Nigeria will place its code on Delta-operated services between Atlanta and Lagos, Nigeria effective 15 June as well as New York-JFK to Abuja, Nigeria effective 4 July.
“We are delighted to begin codeshare services with Air Nigeria, a key partner in Africa, which will expand travel options and increase customer choice,” said Perry Cantarutti, Delta’s senior vice president - Europe, Middle East and Africa. “Africa remains an important part of Delta’s international network strategy and the codeshare with Air Nigeria will bring increased access between destinations in West and Central Africa and the United States.”
The two airlines are also planning to start a reciprocal frequent flyer agreement that allows customers from Delta's SkyMiles and Air Nigeria’s eagleflier® programs to earn and redeem miles for flights. Implementation is expected to begin later this year.
“This codeshare arrangement is strategically important for Air Nigeria as it complements the objective of the airline to provide seamless service for passengers flying between West Africa and the U.S.,” said Kinfe Kahssaye, Air Nigeria’s Chief Executive Officer. He further noted that “the cooperation will also pave the way for Nigeria to be the gate way between Africa and USA and further develop trade and tourism between USA and Africa.”
Delta is the only airline to fly direct from the U.S. to two Nigerian cities, Lagos and Abuja, offering nine* weekly flights. Since launching service to Lagos in December 2007, Delta has carried nearly a half-million customers to and from Nigeria. Delta, which began service to Africa in December 2006, today operates direct flights from the U.S. to six African cities in five countries.
About Air Nigeria
Air Nigeria has a strong domestic and regional presence in the West and Central African region to complement Delta Air Lines network.
Delta Air Lines serves more than 160 million customers each year, and was named by Fortune magazine as the most admired airline worldwide in its 2011 World's Most Admired Companies airline industry list. With an industry-leading global network, Delta and the Delta Connection carriers offer service to 354 destinations in 65 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-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 $2 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.
*Effective 5 July 2011