Delta Air Lines today announced plans to introduce the first-ever nonstop flights between its Detroit Metropolitan Airport hub and Sao Paulo, Brazil, bolstering the city’s position as a leading international gateway.
Delta has requested authorization from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to introduce two weekly flights between Detroit and Sao Paulo beginning Nov. 4, 2010. Delta already holds certain rights to operate Sao Paulo service, but requires DOT permission to fly from Detroit. The airline would operate the flights using 216-seat Boeing 767-300ER aircraft with 35 seats in BusinessElite and 181 seats in Economy Class.
“Adding South America’s largest business market of Sao Paulo to Detroit’s wide array of destinations builds on our efforts to continue to expand service for both local and connecting Detroit customers,” said Andrea Fischer Newman, senior vice president – Government Affairs. “Detroit continues to grow in its strategic importance to Delta’s route network as a major connecting point between Asia and hundreds of U.S. and international destinations.”
The governments of the United States and Brazil have agreed to an expansion of U.S. carrier opportunities, and Delta has separately applied for new rights to increase Detroit-Sao Paulo to daily service as soon as permitted by Brazil.
Brazil would be the latest addition to a long list of new services introduced from Detroit since Delta’s merger with Northwest Airlines last year. Other planned or recently launched nonstop routes from Detroit include:
* Detroit to Shanghai, service expanded from five-times weekly to daily, beginning May 1
* Detroit to Seoul-Incheon, new five-times weekly service beginning June 1
* Detroit to Hong Kong, new five-times weekly service beginning June 2
* Detroit to Rome, new daily summer seasonal service, first introduced in June 2009 and returning June 1, 2010
* Detroit to Tokyo-Haneda, planned daily service pending U.S. Department of Transportation approval
“We’re thrilled Delta chose Detroit for the expansion of international service to South America,” said Wayne County Executive Robert A. Ficano. “The confidence Delta has instilled in Detroit Metro Airport will play a major role in continued development of the Aerotropolis, further transforming our region into a gateway for international commerce. We are grateful that Delta remains committed to growing Detroit as an international gateway.”
Delta currently serves 138 destinations from its Detroit hub, including 16 international destinations. Delta customers flying at Detroit Metropolitan Airport enjoy service at the state-of-the-art, 120-gate terminal designed specifically for international connections. Detroit’s airport was recently ranked No. 1 among large airports in overall customer satisfaction by J.D. Power and Associates.
Between Brazil and the United States, Delta currently offers more than 30 nonstop weekly flights. This includes service between Atlanta and Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Fortaleza, and Manaus; and service between New York-JFK and Sao Paulo. In December, Delta became the first and only airline to offer nonstop service to Brazil’s capital city, with nonstop service between Atlanta and Brasilia.