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05th December, 2015.
L-R: Bobby Bryan, Delta Air Lines Commercial Director East and West Africa; Olufemi Adefope and Managing Director Sky Logistics (GSA to Delta Air Lines in Nigeria) at the Delta Air Lines End of Year Media Lunch in Lagos.

Delta strengthens balance sheet, airlifts 900, 000 passengers from Nigeria

By Wole Shadare

World's biggest airline by assets and market capitalisation, Delta Airline said it has strengthened its balance sheet by reducing adjusted net debt to $6.4 billion.

This came as the carrier earned a pre-tax profit of $2.2 billion, an increase of $547 million year over year.

This allowed them to return $532 million to their owners through $107 million of dividends and $425 million of share repurchased. The 2015 Q3 results was the 10th record quarter in a row for Delta.

Meanwhile, the American carrier since it began operations in December 2007 has airlifted over 900,000 passengers on the lucrative Atlanta-Lagos-Abuja route.

Delta is now the only airline to operate a daily year-round service between the U.S. and Lagos. On average we carry approx 10,000 passengers per monthDelta's Commercial Director, East and West Africa, Bobby Bryan said in a presentation today at media lunch held at Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.

According to him, "Two weeks ago, we announced an intention to increase our stake in Grupo Aeromexico, up to 49 per cent. This is the latest in a number of strategic investments Delta has made to grow our business in key markets.

"As you no doubt know, the Air France, KLM and Alitalia joint venture, we have between Europe and the United States was the first partnership of this kind for Delta. Since then, we have gone on to invest in Virgin Atlantic in the UK, GOL in Brazil and also earlier this year, China Eastern".

Bryan disclosed that the carrier has invested more than $4 billion upgrading their customer experience to include fully flat-bed seats in the Delta One cabin, with direct aisle access, stressing that the flat-bed was introduced on the Nigerian route in 2012.

His words, "Delta offers more Wi-Fi than any other carrier and Delta will bring Wi-Fi connectivity to its Lagos route in 2016. Delta operates the world's largest Wi-Fi-equipped fleet, with more than 3,500 Internet connected flights daily, including its entire fleet of 620 domestic mainline aircraft.

Eighty five per cent of the international fleet will be equipped by the end of the year, with all aircraft retrofitted in 2016", he added.

Delta operates a 208-seat Boeing 767-300ER on its flights between Lagos and Nigeria. This is one of seven aircraft that includes Lagos as part of its rotation, with other routes including the key business destinations of London Heathrow and Tokyo Haneda.

The carrier has a strong market share of Nigeria-U.S. traffic and on our Lagos to Atlanta flight have an average load factor of over 80 per cent with bookings trending positively.

It has strong links between Nigeria and the United States. Not only given the large amount of high yield oil related passenger traffic and Lagos' status as the commercial capital of Nigeria, but also given the strong ties with Atlanta which is home to a large Nigerian population.


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Travelscope Magazine is publication with primary focus of serving the travel, tourism, aviation and hospitality sector with the latest global trends in the industry.

Travelscope Magazine is a published by Bisoprints Communication as a rallying point for the advancement of the industry. It has grown to become a clear market leader focusing on constant innovation in the emerging travel, tourism and hospitality sector in Nigeria.


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