Delta Air Lines will serve Luanda three times a week from January 20, 2011 using 243-seat Airbus A330-200s, with each flight making an...

Delta Air Lines is launching service between its hub at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Luanda in Angola in January, the new service representing the first-ever scheduled direct service between the United States and Luanda.

Luanda will become the eighth destination in the carrier’s growing Africa route network. Delta Air Lines will serve Luanda three times a week using 243-seat Airbus A330-200s, with each flight making an intermediate stop in Dakar, Senegal.

Delta says the new service, which launches on January 20, 2011, does not affect its previously announced capacity guidance for 2011.

“As the No. 1 U.S. carrier serving Africa, Delta is committed to expanding our presence into fast-growing African markets to better serve our global business travelers,” says Perry Cantarutti, Delta’s senior vice president of Europe, Middle East and Africa. “This new service between Atlanta and Luanda will shave hours off of business travelers’ itineraries between the U.S. and Angola thanks to more direct routings via the world’s largest airline hub in Atlanta.”

A Delta Air Lines Airbus A330-323E makes its final landing approach to Runway 18C at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. Delta operates 21 A330-300s and 11 A330-200s, all inherited from its merger with Northwest Airlines

Angola, one of Africa’s fastest growing business-travel destinations, has seen double-digit growth in annual travelers for the past several years and visitors numbers are expected to grow at similar rates for the foreseeable future. In addition to Delta’s new direct service, SkyTeam alliance customers will continue to be able to book twice-weekly Boeing 777 service by Air France between Luanda and Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport.

Delta also is working with TAAG Angola Airlines for TAAG to codeshare on the U.S. airline’s flights at a future date.

Flights between Atlanta and Luanda via Dakar will be available for sale to customers at and through travel agencies and other ticketing channels from Saturday, October 2.

Click on this link to see hotel prices in Luanda, Angola; and click on this link to see hotel deals in Dakar, Senegal.

The airline’s schedule between Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) and Luanda’s 4 de Fevereiro Airport (LAD) will see flight DL214 leaving ATL on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays from January 20 at 11:05 a.m. The flight will arrive at LAD at 8:25 a.m. the following day, local time, after making an intermediate stop at Dakar’s Senghor International Airport (DKR).

On the way back, flight DL215 is timed to depart LAD at 10:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays from January 21. The flight is scheduled to land at ATL at 9:40 a.m. the following day (that is, on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Mondays) local time, again after making an intermediate stop at DKR.

The new Luanda service will mark a return of nonstop service between Atlanta and Dakar, adding to Delta’s existing year-round service between the Senegalese capital and New York John F. Kennedy International Airport.  Dakar joins Accra, Ghana as the second African city with nonstop service to two of Delta’s U.S. hubs.

“We greatly appreciate the assistance of the U.S. Department of Transportation and U.S. Department of State, whose efforts were instrumental in helping Delta obtain authority to operate this important new route, which will support U.S. jobs and expand commerce between the U.S. and Africa,” says Andrea Fischer Newman, Delta’s senior vice president – government affairs.

As the first major U.S. carrier serving Africa nonstop from the United States, Delta has grown from 22 weekly departures to and from Africa in summer 2007 to nearly 80 round-trips a week in summer 2010.

With its fall 2010 schedules, Delta will operate flights to eight African destinations – Accra, Ghana; Abuja, Nigeria; Cairo, Egypt; Dakar, Senegal; Johannesburg, South Africa; Lagos, Nigeria; Luanda, Angola; and Monrovia, Liberia. Delta also intends to serve Malabo, Equatorial Guinea and Nairobi, Kenya once additional U.S. government approvals are received.