Delta capitalises on ‘Open Skies’ launches New York-Lagos flight

 United States Airline, Delta Air  has decided to take full advantage of ‘Open Skies’ agreement between her and Nigeria as the carrier is set to launch three weekly nonstop flights from Lagos to New York-JFK, effective March 25, 2018.
The air pact allows both nations to designate as many airlines as possible between them.
Arik Air flew the Nigerian flag to New York until recently when it ceased operations to New York, owing to issues that arose from the take-over of the carrier early this year.
United and Delta operated to Lagos from Houston and Atlanta respectively before United pulled out of the Lagos route due to trapped funds and drop in activities in the oil and gas sector in Nigeria and in the world.
The new route would give travelers from Nigeria and the US a wider option of air travel considering that New York is the hub of business in the world.
 When combined with the existing four-times a week nonstop service to Atlanta, Delta will offer a daily operation from Nigeria to its U.S. hubs.
The announcement comes as the airline prepares to celebrate 10 years of service to Nigeria in December and remains the only carrier to offer nonstop service between Nigeria and the United States.
A statement from the carrier stated that Delta will operate both its New York-JFK and Atlanta routes using Airbus 330-200 aircraft, which are equipped with Wi-Fi and feature 34 fully flat-bed seats in the Delta One cabin.
“Nigeria has been a strategically important market for Delta over the past 10 years and a mainstay in our African network,” said Dwight James, Delta’s Senior Vice President Transatlantic.
“As we look ahead to the next decade, we are improving the product offering with the A330 and increasing the number of seats from Lagos.”
Delta’s Lagos to New York-JFK flight will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays and the return on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Night-time departures from Lagos have been scheduled to offer customers easy connections to more than 60 onward destinations via Delta’s New York-JFK hub including Boston, Washington, Baltimore and Chicago.
“We’re proud to be the only airline to offer service to multiple U.S. destinations from Nigeria. Nigeria is an important market for Delta and this new flight reflects the increased demand for travel between the U.S. and Lagos,” said Jimmy Eichelgruen, Delta’s Commercial Director for Africa, the Middle East and India.
“Alongside the increased number of travel options, our service is tailored for our Nigerian customers, offering regional cuisine using local ingredients and showing popular Nollywood blockbusters as part of our inflight entertainment.”
 Delta is the leading U.S. airline in Africa and flies to four African cities:  Accra, Ghana, Dakar, Senegal and Johannesburg, South Africa as well as Lagos.
The airline also has sales offices in a number of additional markets, including Kenya and Uganda.
Wole Shadare