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Delta Expands Routes, Upgrades First Class Service

May 11, 2010 By: Kirk Cassels

Delta Air Lines is adding more flights between New York and key global business markets this year, with nearly 30 cities slated for new or expanded service by fall.

Expanded international routes include:

New York-JFK to London-Heathrow; Brussels; Shannon; Manchester; Amsterdam; Cairo; Istanbul; Milan; Moscow; Nice; and Athens, in addition to previously announced new service to Copenhagen and Stockholm and expanded capacity to Tel Aviv and Tokyo-Narita.

Expanded domestic/Canada routes include:

New York-LaGuardia to Nashville, St. Louis, Norfolk, Richmond and Kansas City; JFK to San Antonio, Cleveland, Montreal, Charlotte, Toronto, Baltimore and Richmond, in addition to the previously announced introduction of Delta Shuttle service between LaGuardia and Chicago-O'Hare.

The expanded service is part of Delta's ongoing efforts to become the preferred airline in New York City. During the past four years, Delta has added 40 new destinations from LaGuardia and JFK combined, expanded BusinessElite service to transcontinental flights from JFK to Los Angeles and San Francisco and reintroduced "Red Coats" as customer service ambassadors at LaGuardia and JFK.

"We continue to see corporate travel demand improve across our network, particularly in New York," said Gail Grimmett, Delta's senior vice president - New York.

International Expansion at JFK

Effective September 19, Delta will offer an additional daily flight between JFK and London-Heathrow. The new service will operate with dedicated Boeing 767-400 aircraft featuring Delta's new full-flat beds in BusinessElite. The service is strategically scheduled to complement existing flight times between New York and Heathrow. Delta's new flight will depart JFK at 11:05 p.m., complementing existing departures at 6:45 and 9 p.m. The added departure from Heathrow will operate at 12:30 p.m., complementing existing departures at 10:05 a.m. and 5:05 p.m.

Delta also is increasing the capacity or frequency of flights in select markets beginning this spring and summer.

Last week, the airline reinstated year-round service from JFK to Shannon and Manchester, and expanded its existing year-round service to Brussels to daily. In June, larger aircraft operating on flights from JFK to Athens, Istanbul, Milan, Moscow, Nice, Tel Aviv and Tokyo-Narita will offer more seats while flights to Cairo will operate daily. And, as previously announced, Delta will introduce the only year-round nonstop service from JFK to Copenhagen and Stockholm beginning May 27.

As part of its joint venture with Air France-KLM, Delta also has reinstated a third daily flight between JFK and the Amsterdam hub to expand connecting opportunities between New York and destinations across Europe, Africa and the Middle East. With more than 230 daily transatlantic flights and a fleet of 135 aircraft, the joint venture between Air France-KLM and Delta offers customers access to nearly 300 destinations in North America and 200 destinations throughout Europe, Asia and Latin America.

Domestic Expansion at LaGuardia, JFK

Domestically, Delta will expand service to 12 cities from New York's LaGuardia and JFK airports.

Three new business markets will be added beginning September 7 with three new daily roundtrip flights between LaGuardia and Nashville, four daily flights between LaGuardia and St. Louis and one daily flight between JFK and San Antonio.

Delta in September also will increase daily service on nine existing routes with added daily flights between LaGuardia and Norfolk, Richmond and Kansas City; and JFK and Cleveland, Charlotte, Baltimore, Richmond, Montreal and Toronto.

Service on each new route will feature First and Economy class, with flights operated on 76-seat Embraer 175 jets to Nashville and St. Louis and 124-seat Airbus A319 aircraft to San Antonio. Expanded service in existing markets will be operated with a mix of one- and two-class regional jets.

Delta previously announced the expansion of its Delta Shuttle to include service to Chicago-O'Hare beginning June 14, replacing existing flights between LaGuardia and Chicago-Midway. With this addition, Delta will be the only airline offering shuttle service to New York's top three business markets: Chicago O'Hare, Boston-Logan and Washington, D.C.-Reagan National.

Added First Class Service

As part of efforts to increase First Class upgrade opportunities for customers in small- and medium-sized communities, beginning in September Delta will increase the number of dual-class jets operating on weekday flights between LaGuardia and Indianapolis, Columbus, Raleigh-Durham, Birmingham and Madison.

With these additions, Delta will operate the most two-class jet departures of any New York airline, with two-class mainline and regional aircraft serving more than 80 percent of its nonstop New York markets.

Earlier this year, Delta announced it will invest $1 billion through 2013 to improve aircraft and airport facilities throughout its system, with a particular focus in New York and other large business markets.

For domestic customers, these upgrades include adding First Class cabins to 66 CRJ-700s operated by Delta Connection carriers ASA, Comair and SkyWest, bringing to 219 the number of regional aircraft with First Class cabins. Internationally, Delta's upgrades are focused on installing full flat-bed seats in BusinessElite on 90 international widebody aircraft and adding in-seat audio and video on demand throughout Economy class on 68 international aircraft.

Since making a strategic decision to build New York into a hub, Delta has made major investments across the tri-state region, boosting its economic impact to more than $13 billion annually. Along with adding more than 40 new markets from LaGuardia and JFK combined, Delta has created more than 2,000 jobs across the state, invested heavily in New York sponsorships and advertising and completed more than $70 million in facility upgrades at JFK's Terminals 2 and 3.

A portion of travel for some itineraries may be on Delta Connection carriers Atlantic Southeast Airlines, Chautauqua, Comair, Compass Airlines, Freedom Airlines, Mesaba, Pinnacle Airlines, Shuttle America and SkyWest.



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By Kirk Cassels | May 11, 2010
Nearly 30 cities to gain or expand New York service by fall— Chicago, London-Heathrow, St. Louis, Nashville— as airline invests in business service with more First Class seats.