Mergers have their benefits, and the recent fusion of airlines Delta and Northwest (see News, 1/11/08) has resulted in the mother company Delta acquiring 15 new routes outside the US.
“In the current atmosphere of international financial uncertainty, the breadth of Delta’s network positions the airline to take advantage of markets that continue to thrive, while offering a natural hedge where there is economic softness,” said Glen Hauenstein, Delta’s executive vice-president of network planning.
From June 2009, Delta intends to fly to regions that continue to show growth despite the financial downturn: Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Europe is also in the growth pipeline. The Northwest absorption has also handed it, its former Asian hub Tokyo. Delta will fly there daily from New York and Atlanta, and also to Ho Chi Minh City. Another service connecting Salt Lake City and Tokyo five times weekly is part of the plan.
“Delta will morph overnight from having no service at all between New York and Asia to being the number one player between New York and Asia,” said Hauenstein.
From Tokyo, customers can connect to 20 cities around the region. Once these services commence, Delta is expected to surpass other trans-Pacific carriers United Airlines and Continental Airlines in scope of operations.