Delta has signaled it is committed to building its presence at Detroit in the wake of its merger with Northwest, with its first ever nonstop flight between the Midwest airport and Sao Paulo, Brazil. The new twice weekly service will commence on 04-Nov-2010 if granted authorisation from the US Department of Transportation to use the Detroit gateway.
The carrier would like to increase flights to daily and is seeking approval from the Brazilian government to do so under a new agreement by the two governments to afford US carriers more opportunities. Delta, which already holds certain rights to operate Sao Paulo services, would operate the flights using 216-seat B767-300ER aircraft with 35 seats in BusinessElite and 181 seats in Economy Class.
Delta is expanding service to Shanghai starting 01-May-2010 and launching five times weekly Incheon (South Korea) service on 01-Jun-2010. In addition, it is launching similar frequencies for its new service to Hong Kong which begins on 02-Jun-2010. The gateway will also regain seasonal service to Rome with daily flights. Delta also announced daily service to Tokyo-Haneda, pending approval by the DOT.
"Adding South America's largest business market of Sao Paulo to Detroit's wide array of destinations builds on our efforts to continue to expand service for both local and connecting Detroit customers," said Andrea Fischer Newman, Senior VP Government Affairs. "Detroit continues to grow in its strategic importance to Delta's route network as a major connecting point between Asia and hundreds of US and international destinations."
"We're thrilled Delta chose Detroit for the expansion of international service to South America," said Wayne County Executive Robert A. Ficano. "The confidence Delta has instilled in Detroit Metro Airport will play a major role in continued development of the Aerotropolis, further transforming our region into a gateway for international commerce. We are grateful that Delta remains committed to growing Detroit as an international gateway."
Delta currently serves 138 destinations from its Detroit hub, including 16 international destinations. Between Brazil and the US, Delta currently offers more than 30 nonstop weekly flights. This includes service between Atlanta and Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Fortaleza, and Manaus; and service between New York-JFK and Sao Paulo. In December, Delta became the first and only airline to offer nonstop service to Brazil's capital city, with nonstop service between Atlanta and Brasilia.