Delta Air Lines launches nonstop service between Detroit and Sao Paulo on October 21, linking its Detroit hub and South America for the first...

Delta Air Lines launches nonstop service between Detroit and Sao Paulo on October 21, linking its Detroit hub and South America for the first time in the airline’s latest expansionary move into Latin America.

The inaugural flight is scheduled to depart from Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) at 7:30 p.m. on October 21, arriving at Sao Paulo Guarulhos International Airport (GRU) at 8 a.m. local time on October 22. Delta Air Lines is operating the new service with 216-seat Boeing 767-300ERs offering 35 BusinessElite seats and 181 seats in Economy Class.

Its Detroit-Sao Paulo service will operate twice weekly through December 15, when service frequency will increase to five days each week to coincide with the start of the Brazilian tourist season.

“Delta’s new service between our international hub in Detroit and Sao Paulo, South America’s largest business market, will further strengthen business and trade opportunities and boost economic activity in both cities,” says Andrea Fischer Newman, Delta’s senior vice president – government affairs. “This service is testament to our continued support for the Detroit market and the strong growth we have seen here.”

Delta Air Lines Boeing 767-300ER N190DN takes off from London Heathrow Airport. The aircraft is wearing a short-lived Delta color scheme that has now been replaced on most of the carrier's aircraft

Detroit is a growing global gateway for Delta. In recent months the carrier has added new service from Detroit to Seoul-Incheon and Hong Kong and expanded flights to Shanghai. Next year, subject to government approval, Delta plans to begin nonstop service between Detroit and Haneda Airport in Tokyo, which is opening for transpacific flights for the first time in three decades following the completion of Haneda’s fourth runway and a new international terminal.

On a year-round basis, Delta offers Detroit customers service to 158 nonstop destinations, including 28 international destinations and five in Asia.

“Delta’s new, non-stop service from Detroit to Sao Paulo is a landmark event for the community in that it represents Detroit’s first ever nonstop service to South America and first ever service south of the Equator,” says Joe Cambron, director of air service development for Wayne County Airport Authority, which operates Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport. “Sao Paulo is the auto capital of South America, so linking it with Detroit will stimulate the economies of both cities while also easing the journey for passengers already traveling this important route.”

To mark the new service, Delta is offering special introductory fares through October 25. Introductory fares start at $399 each way from Detroit to Sao Paulo and $499 each way from Sao Paulo to Detroit, for travel from October 28 through February 25, 2011, not including taxes and fees. These non-refundable fares are based on a required round-trip purchase and must be bought at least seven days in advance and paid for within 24 hours of the reservation being made.

Delta says it has been investing heavily in Latin America in recent years, growing from almost no presence a decade ago to serving more than 60 destinations across Latin America and the Caribbean today. Delta’s recent growth in the region includes:

● An expanded alliance relationship with Brazilian carrier GOL, which includes codesharing on flights beginning in early 2011 and an agreement to share benefits on Delta’s SkyMiles and GOL’s SMILES frequent flyer programs;

● New nonstop flights between Mexico City and Minneapolis-St. Paul and Memphis beginning in December 2010 and January 2011, respectively;

● New nonstop service between Cancun, Mexico and Austin, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; Tampa, Florida; and San Antonio, each beginning on February 19, 2011, subject to govenrment approval; and

● An announcement that Aerolineas Argentinas, the flag carrier of Argentina, will become the second Latin American (and first South American) member of Delta’s SkyTeam global airline alliance, offering Delta customers increased access to and from South America and complementing existing SkyTeam member AeroMexico.

Delta’s new Detroit-Sao Paulo route is its sixth to Brazil. The airline already offers service between Atlanta and Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Manaus and the capital city of Brasilia; and service between New York JFK and Sao Paulo.

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