ATLANTA, March 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) has filed an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation to add additional nonstop flights between Sao Paulo and the key business markets of New York and Atlanta, increasing competition on air service between the U.S. and Brazil.
If approved, Delta will begin second daily Sao Paulo flights to both Atlanta and New York in 2013.
"Delta has a strong commitment to the Latin American market and we want to increase options of travel to and from Sao Paulo, Brazil's largest and most important market for business travelers," said 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."From Atlanta, Delta can conveniently connect Sao Paulo to more than 150 cities across the U.S. with more than 1,000 peak-day departures. Delta also offers more access to 24 destinations in Brazil which represent 99 percent of domestic demand points– more than any other U.S. airline – thanks to its strategic alliance with GOL Linhas aereas inteligentes. Delta currently operates 35 nonstop weekly flights between Brazil and the U.S. including Atlanta, Detroit and New York-JFK to Sao Paulo, as well as from Atlanta to Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia. Delta's proposed addition of a second daily flight between Sao Paulo and John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York's marks another important step in Delta's plan to invest and grow at New York. The new flight will operate out of the expanded and enhanced state-of the-art International Terminal 4, which opens its doors in 90 days amid a $1.4 billion million terminal expansion project. In its filing, Delta also requested approval to continue its daily nonstop service between its hub in Detroit and Sao 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 LaGuardia Airport in New York. This is the first time in more than a decade that the Department of Transportation has the opportunity to allocate new Sao Paulo frequencies. These opportunities arise as direct 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 agreement by 2015. "The new frequencies will help to advance tourism and commercial interests for both Brazil and the U.S. by creating jobs and boosting local economies," said Andrea Fischer Newman, senior vice president — Government Affairs. "It is crucial that the DOT grants these frequencies to Delta as it helps to level the playing field among airlines servicing Brazil." The new frequencies would be served with Delta's 767-300ER equipped with state-of-the-art flatbed seats, video on demand entertainment system, and award-winning food and wine service, Ferri said. The 767 has a capacity of 210 passengers, 35 Business Elite, 32 Economy Comfort and 143 economy class seats.