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Delta Bets Big on Global Growth

Salt Lake City, with a population around 180,000 and a metro area of 1.2 million, will become the smallest U.S. city ever to have nonstop service to Tokyo. The city, which Delta has built into a hub for the mountain region, already has a Paris flight.

New destinations in Africa will include Abuja, Nigeria; Luanda, Angola; and Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, via Cape Verde. Allo told, Delta will serve 12 African destinations, eight from Atlanta and four from Kennedy. "We're seeing incredible growth rates in Africa, business traffic and ethnic traffic," said Senior Vice President Bob Cortelyou. The Northwest merger will provide new feeds to Delta's Africa flights.

Across the Atlantic, Delta is adding flights from Kennedy to Prague; Valencia, Spain; Zurich; and Gutenberg, Switzerland, the largest trans-Atlantic market that lacks nonstop service.

Regarding Cincinnati, which has been downsized from about 700 daily departures to 263, Hauenstein said it will remain a hub "into perpetuity." He said reducing the number of "banks," or arrival and departure clusters, from nine to five means that each bank can offer a wide variety of connections. "We sized it correctly," he said.

The merger means that Delta passes AMR (AMR) unit American as the world's largest airline, although it does not expect to have a combined operating certificate for one to two years.
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