On December 12, Delta Air Lines began operating between New York JFK and Sao Paulo with Boeing 767-400ERs, which offer 180-degree, flat-bed seats in...

Delta Air Lines has introduced full flat-bed seats in its BusinessElite cabins on flights between the U.S. and Brazil.

On December 12, Delta Air Lines began operating between New York JFK and Sao Paulo with Boeing 767-400ERs, which offer full 180-degree flat-bed seats in BusinessElite. On December 14, Delta also will begin using the Boeing 767-400ER on its flights between Atlanta and Sao Paulo.

The aircraft upgrade increases the number of seats Delta offers on the routes by 17 to 18 per cent. Previously Delta had operated the flights using Boeing 767-300ERs, which are smaller than the 767-400ER.

“The upgrade and expansion of our New York and Atlanta flights from Sao Paulo underscores our commitment to offering our customers in Brazil a superior travel experience,” said Nicolas Ferri, Delta’s vice president – Latin America and the Caribbean. “In addition to the popular flat-bed seats, the enhanced offerings in BusinessElite include upgraded in-flight entertainment, fine dining and wines, noise-canceling headphones and other amenities.”

The BusinessElite cabins in Delta Air Lines' Boeing 767-400ERs are fitted with full lie-flat bed seats

Delta operates 35 nonstop flights between Brazil and the U.S., including non-stop service from Atlanta, Detroit and New York JFK to Sao Paulo, as well as non-stop service from Atlanta to Rio de Janeiro and Atlanta to Brasilia.

Last week, Delta and GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes announced a new agreement for a long-term exclusive commercial alliance. Under the agreement, Delta and GOL, which has a 40 per cent market share in Brazil, will expand cooperation to benefit from each other’s strengths and further link Delta’s global network with one of Brazil’s largest airlines.

As part of the agreement, Delta will invest $100 million in GOL and will have a seat on the GOL board of directors.

GOL, Latin America’s largest low-cost airline, offers more than 940 daily flights, which connect 51 domestic destinations in Brazil and 11 international markets in South America and the Caribbean.

All 39 BusinessElite seats onboard each of Delta’s Boeing 767-400ERs offer a fully horizontal surface for sleeping, along with a full-size pillow and duvet, as well as direct aisle access and more privacy. In addition, Delta’s customers flying in business class will earn 150 per cent Medallion qualification frequent flyer miles and bonus miles.

Customers flying in Economy class will also have access to personal entertainment systems with thousands of choices, including Delta on Demand – an advanced, touch-screen digital entertainment system with up to 250 movies, HBO, 18 channels of satellite TV, an extensive music library with up to 4,100 songs, MP3s, and in-flight trivia.

Delta will also begin flying daily from Detroit to Sao Paulo as well as daily between Atlanta and Brasilia. The airline’s Detroit-Sao Paulo service will increase from five round-trips a week to daily flights, starting December 15.

Service frequency on Delta’s Atlanta-Brasilia route – which began two years ago this month – increased from six times a week to daily service on December 9.

“Brasilia is a natural hub for us as the capital, but more importantly, it serves all the cities in the country, particularly reaching the North, Northeast and Midwest regions of the country,” says Luiz Teixeira, Delta’s regional sales manager – Brazil.

Delta’s Brazil schedule now calls for flight DL221 to leave Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) at 8:34 p.m. and land at Brasilia’s Presidente Juscelino Kubitschek Airport (BSB) at 8:16 a.m. the next day, local time. In the other direction, Delta’s flight DL222 is timed to depart BSB at 11:38 p.m. and touch down at ATL at 5:33 a.m. the next day, local time.

On the Detroit-Sao Paulo route, Delta’s flight DL257 is timed to push back from the gate at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) at 7:55 p.m. and land at Sao Paulo Guarulhos International Airport (GRU) at 9:45 a.m. the next day, local time. In the other direction, flight DL256 is scheduled to begin taxiing at GRU at 11:35 p.m., in order to make its arrival at DTW at 7:25 a.m. the next day, local time.