ATLANTA, March 22, 2006 – Strategic redeployment of Delta Air Lines’ existing fleet of aircraft will enable the airline to strengthen its position as the leading global carrier across the Atlantic without the purchase of a single aircraft. In addition to the eight Boeing 767-300ER and five Boeing 767-400 aircraft being redeployed from domestic to international service to support growth across the Atlantic this summer, Delta still has more than a dozen additional widebody aircraft operating in its domestic network, fuelling the potential for further global expansion.
Speaking to a group of European journalists assembled this week for a Delta media conference in Atlanta, Delta Chief Operating Officer Jim Whitehurst said, “Increasing the scope of Delta’s international operations is a key element of our business plan, which is designed to enable Delta to emerge from Chapter 11 protection next year and to position our airline for long-term success.”
Since January 2005, Delta has added or announced plans to add more than 50 new routes between the United States and international destinations, including 11 new routes across the Atlantic slated to begin by June.
This year’s international expansion – the largest in Delta’s history – has brought a number of significant milestones as the airline builds on its position as a leading global carrier. With the July 2006 schedule, Delta will be the world’s No. 1 airline in terms of departures, destinations and available seat miles between the United States and destinations across Europe, India and Israel. In December 2006, Delta also will become the only major U.S. carrier to operate service to Africa with the launch of its service between Atlanta and Johannesburg via Dakar, Senegal (subject to foreign government approvals).
Additionally, as a result of significant expansion into Latin America and the Caribbean, Delta now offers customers opportunities for travel to and from 38 Latin and Caribbean destinations and operates the fastest growing gateway to the region from its flagship hub at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
“Delta is unique among U.S. carriers in having this degree of flexibility in our existing long-haul domestic fleet, which means we can continue our program of expansive growth into new markets using our current assets,” Whitehurst said. “We remain on track to offer customers service to more worldwide destinations than any other carrier this year – all without a single aircraft purchase. Plus, the remaining untapped potential of our domestic long-haul fleet means we are continuing to research future routes in new markets, offering Delta the potential to further expand its presence between the United States and destinations around the globe.”
All aircraft flying new international routes that previously served in Delta’s domestic network will be refitted into international, two-cabin configuration, featuring Delta’s award-winning BusinessElite, with two-by-two seating, generous personal space, five-course in-flight dining and award-winning wine selection.
Delta Air Lines is one of the world’s fastest growing international carriers with more than 50 new international routes added or announced in the last year. Delta offers daily flights to 503 destinations in 94 countries on Delta, Song, Delta Shuttle, the Delta Connection carriers and its worldwide partners. In summer 2006, Delta plans to offer customers more destinations and departures between the U.S., Europe, India and Israel than any global airline*, including service on 11 new transatlantic routes from its Atlanta and New York-JFK hubs. Delta also is a major carrier to Mexico, South and Central America and the Caribbean, with more than 35 routes announced, added or applied to serve since Jan. 1, 2005. Delta's marketing alliances also allow customers to earn and redeem SkyMiles on more than 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. Customers can check in for flights, print boarding passes and check flight status at delta.com.
*From the U.S., based on July 2006 OAG.
Notes to editors
Delta’s international expansion was initially announced on Oct. 18, 2005. New routes across the Atlantic planned for 2006 include:
- Atlanta-Tel Aviv, Israel (to begin March 27)
- Atlanta-Düsseldorf, Germany (to begin April 3)
- Atlanta-Copenhagen, Denmark* (to begin May 1)
- New York (JFK)-Budapest, Hungary (to begin May 8)
- Atlanta-Nice, France (to begin May 9)
- New York (JFK)-Dublin/Shannon, Ireland (to begin May 15)
- New York (JFK)-Manchester, England (to begin May 15)
- Atlanta-Athens, Greece (to begin May 29)
- New York (JFK)-Kiev, Ukraine* (to begin June 1)
- Atlanta-Edinburgh, Scotland (to begin June 5)
- Atlanta-Venice, Italy (to begin June 6)
- Atlanta to Dakar, Senegal* (to begin Dec. 4)
- Atlanta to Johannesburg, South Africa* (via Dakar) (to begin Dec. 4)
*Subject to foreign government approvals