Customers on one of Delta’s new international flights got a different view upon landing at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport this morning as Delta Flight 153 from Tel Aviv, Israel, was the first commercial flight to touch down on Runway 10-28, the airport’s new fifth runway. The Boeing 777, carrying 170 passengers, landed on the new 9,000-foot runway at 5:37 a.m.
Atlanta’s new runway will set the stage for additional domestic and international expansion, along with improved on-time performance, for Delta—the largest airline at the world’s largest airport.
“More than 40 percent of Delta customers fly to, from or through Atlanta and we are confident that Hartsfield-Jackson’s new runway will positively impact on-time performance and reduce congestion beyond our flagship hub with benefits delivered to our customers around the world,” Delta CEO Gerald Grinstein said. “We anticipate the fifth runway will immediately improve arrival and departure rates by 25-35 percent and significantly reduce delays for our passengers during peak travel times or severe weather.”
The fifth runway’s additional capacity also will assist Delta in continuing to grow the number of domestic and international destinations served from Hartsfield-Jackson. Delta’s flagship hub in Atlanta is the world’s largest airline hub. With its summer 2006 schedule, Delta and the Delta Connection carriers will offer more than 1,000 peak-day departures to nearly 230 non-stop destinations from Atlanta—more non-stop flights and destinations than any airline hub
in the world. Delta and Delta Connection departures from Atlanta this summer will touch customers in 40 countries and 49 U.S. states.
Since the fourth runway opened in Atlanta in 1984, Delta has increased the number of international destinations served from Atlanta by more than tenfold—including the introduction of expanded service to
Europe with the acquisition of PanAm’s trans-Atlantic routes in 1991, the first nonstop service to South America in 1997, the first nonstop service across the Pacific in 1998, and most recently the largest international expansion in Delta history with the announcement of more than 25 new international routes from Atlanta since September, including the airline’s first service between Atlanta and Africa slated for December 2006.