Delta Air Lines is set to become the only US carrier to fly to six continents when it commences flights from Los Angeles, California to Sydney, Australia. The airline on Thursday announced is will launch daily nonstop service between LA and Sydney. It also will add three-times weekly service between Los Angeles and Sao Paulo, Brazil beginning May 21.
With new flights to Sydney, Sao Paulo, and existing flights to Latin America, Tokyo-Narita, Seoul-Inchon, Guangzhou, Amsterdam, Paris-Charles De Gaulle and other U.S. destinations will be more accessible to travelers from points throughout the West Coast via easy connections with Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air.
Beginning in March, Delta said it will also increase nonstop service between Los Angeles and New York-JFK from seven to eight daily flights to improve connections for New York and Northeast customers on long-haul international flights via Los Angeles.
The airline also has plans for increased service between Atlanta and New York-JFK starting March 2.
Delta and its Northwest Airlines subsidiary together with Alaska and Horizon offer customers daily connections to approximately 45 nonstop destinations to, from and through Los Angeles.
Delta said customers in the Southeast will benefit from same-plane service between Atlanta and Sydney via Los Angeles.
“Delta’s strategy of expanding our reach to select destinations while demonstrating capacity discipline in light of tough worldwide economic conditions continues to work and is paying off for our customers,” said Glen Hauenstein, Delta’s executive vice president, Network Planning and Revenue Management. “Los Angeles is a critical gateway in our global network and today’s announcement, coupled with Delta’s enhanced alliance with Alaska Air Group, gives us the ability to support demand for air travel in key global economies.”
Delta previously announced non-stop flights between Detroit Metro Airport and Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport in Rome, Italy starting June 4. This daily flight will be operated by using a 298-seat Airbus A330-300. The Italian capital will become Detroit Metro’s sixth transatlantic destination, along with Amman, London-Heathrow, Paris, Amsterdam and Frankfurt. The new service will follow Delta’s highly-anticipated launch of non-stop service from Detroit to Shanghai, China, in March.
Following its merger with Northwest Airlines in October, Delta Air Lines and its subsidiaries are the dominant airline at Detroit Metro, where Delta operates its second-largest hub and primary Asian gateway.
Prior to the start of Delta’s new Rome and Shanghai flights, Italy and China rank as the second and third largest markets without non-stop flights from Detroit, respectively. According to data provided by Sabre Airline Solutions, nearly 60,000 passengers travel between Detroit and Italy each year.
The slowing economy has brought some changes in Detroit’s air service over the last few months, but has fared well compared to many other airports. Since last summer Detroit’s airlines have signaled plans to operate 3.2 percent fewer departures at Metro Airport, compared to an average reduction among the country’s 300 largest airports of 8.9 percent according to industry reports.
Among the 12 largest US hub airports, Detroit ranks second in fewest flights lost during airlines’ recent cutbacks.
(with wire inputs)