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Exploring Africa's Air Transport Market

         Date: 2012-03-23

           Tag: Africa Market, Afric , Air Transport Market

Summary: Although the African market has not become very strong yet, but the destinations where Delta operates in the continent have shown steady growth.

Although the African market has not become very strong yet, but the destinations where Delta operates in the continent have shown steady growth.

These destinations include Lagos and Abuja in Nigeria, Accra in Ghana, Monrovia in Liberia and Dakar in Senegal. In the period it has operated in the continent it has transported over 2.5 million passengers and in Nigeria the airline offers hospitality to passengers before flight.

This service was started this year and it offers unusual hospitality to passengers. And this is the way it is done. The airline takes the passengers to one of the top hotels near the Lagos airport where they relax, enjoy the hotel’s services and are driven to the airport to board the flight.

This is a rare offering, the passengers who spoke to THISDAY affirmed, remarking that such service had never come by in the past from any of the foreign carriers.

Africa and Middle East are dubbed the regions with the fastest growing air transport market in the world. This is an incentive for world mega carriers to jostle to become top players in these regions.

For US major carrier, Delta Air Lines, which wants to be a top player in the African continent, it is not all about ferrying passengers across the globe, but showing commitment to this growing market. Chinedu Eze reports.

US major carrier Delta Air Lines has operated in Africa for six years. In those  six years,  it has invested in Senegal, Ghana and in Nigeria.  Also  during the period,   it has signed code share agreement with two indigenous airlines.

This is different from what obtains with other world carriers that operate into Africa. Some of them have been operating into the continent for over sixty years without investing a dime in any country in the continent.

As the Director General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Dr Harold Demuren, said recently that Nigeria is open for exploration but not for exploitation and slammed those airlines which come to rip off Nigerian passengers through inflated illegal fuel surcharge.

Delta Air Lines said that it believes in building partnerships and it has shown that in the countries it is operating in the African continent.

Cantarutti also disclosed to THISDAY that Delta is committing $2 billion (N320 billion) to flat beds in the business class.

Also, the airline’s sales manager, West and East Africa, Bobby Bryan, explained that Delta would roll out a new full flat-bed BusinessElite seat on flights to African destinations.

“The improvements are part of its ongoing plan to invest more than $2 billion in enhanced global products, services and airport facilities through to 2013,” he disclosed.

“Delta is enhancing its onboard product on more than 150 aircraft to offer full flat-bed seating in BusinessElite on all international widebody flights.”

Delta Air Lines offers to its customers more choices, frequencies and convenient schedules on 260 daily flights operated by 144 aircraft; convenient access to nearly 300 destinations in North America and close to 200 destinations in Europe, Asia and Latin America.

The airline also offers competitive fares, harmonized ground and inflight services and the opportunities to earn miles and upgrade on joint venture flights with the Flying Blue, MilleMiglia and SkyMiles frequent flyer programme.

The airline also continues to improve its facilities at its Atlanta operational hub. Delta is putting finishing touches to its ultramodern terminal, known as Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal at the cost of over $1.4 billion.

The airport is the operating hub of Delta Air Lines that operates into Lagos and Abuja and has a record of 4, 464 daily flights from different airports in the world, 80, 000 employees, annual passengers of over 160 million and over 1400 aircraft.

According to Albert, the project includes 1.2 million square feet international terminal, 12-gate international Concourse F connected to Concourse E through train and connecting tunnel, two new parking structures providing more than 3, 700 spaces for vehicles.

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