Delta Air Lines has applied to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to add more non-stop flights on its existing routes between São Paulo in Brazil and the key business markets of New York and Atlanta.
If its application is approved, Delta Air Lines would begin second daily São Paulo flights to both Atlanta and New York JFK this year.
In its DOT filing, Delta also requested approval to continue its daily non-stop service between its hub in Detroit and São Paulo. Delta’s right to operate that flight will transfer to US Airways in 2015 as part of a previously approved slot transaction that allowed Delta to expand at New York LaGuardia Airport.
“Delta has a strong commitment to the Latin American market and we want to increase options of travel to and from São Paulo, Brazil’s largest and most important market for business travelers,” says Nicolas Ferri, Delta’s vice president— Latin America and the Caribbean.
“Our expanded service means more options for customers flying between these key business markets, and new flights to our hub in Atlanta mean greater access to our industry-leading domestic network,” adds Ferri.
From its hub at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Delta can connect São Paulo to more than 150 cities across the U.S. with more than 1,000 peak-day departures. Delta also offers access to 24 destinations in Brazil, which represent 99 per cent of domestic demand points – more, claims Delta, than any other U.S. airline – thanks to its strategic alliance with GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes.
Delta currently operates 35 non-stop flights a week between Brazil and the U.S. It operates non-stops from Atlanta, Detroit and New York JFK to São Paulo, and from Atlanta to Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia.
According to Delta, this is the first time in more than a decade that the DOT has the opportunity to allocate new São Paulo service frequencies. These opportunities have arisen as a result of the U.S. government’s success in negotiating a new air service agreement with Brazil, which is expected to result in a full Open Skies bilateral agreement between the two countries by 2015.
American Airlines has already applied to the DOT to use the new service frequencies to open new routes from Chicago O’Hare International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport to São Paulo, Brazil’s commercial center and largest city.
If awarded the new frequencies to double its services from Atlanta and New York JFK to São Paulo, Delta would operate them with Boeing 767-300ERs equipped with flat bed seats in their Business Elite cabins, as well as video-on-demand entertainment systems at all seats, according to Ferri.
In Delta service the Boeing 767-300ER has a capacity of 210 passengers: 35 in Business Elite, 32 in its Economy Comfort premium-economy cabin and 143 passengers in economy class.