Delta Airlines forecasts growth, pledges commitment to market
Effects of economic recession notwithstanding, Delta Airlines has reinstated commitment to keep flying Lagos-Atlanta route.
The American Airlines said, despite attendant effects of the recession, the air travel market in Nigeria remains positive with high potential for growth.
Commercial Director, East and West Africa, Delta Airlines, Bobby Bryan, told reporters that though the challenges were daunting, but Delta had continued to adapt to sustain its seven-times a week flights, with long-term planning to remain afloat the technical challenges.
Recall that Delta’s co-American airline on the Nigerian route, United Airlines, some months ago quitted the Nigerian market over issues bordering on low patronage, stuck funds and aviation fuel shortage among others. While Delta also quitted the Abuja-Atlanta route, the airline has sustained the Lagos daily flight.
Bryan though thanked the Federal Government for supporting them in taking part of their funds home, he said it has not been easy for airlines repatriating funds and urged government to do more so they can complete the repatriation cycle.
He said: “Government has done a lot in aiding us repatriate our funds and let me stress, this is not profit we are talking about; this is our operational capital and we are thankful to them for all they have done. We, however, want them to do more so we can get all our funds.”
On how the airline has tackled the recession, Bryan explained that Delta has had to adjust but that the airline was not leaving the country.
“One word on how we have been able to adjust, planning. Yes, we have had to adjust cutting a few flights but we are not planning on going anywhere and we will not go anywhere because in truth the past few months there have been some stability and things may start improving although our biggest challenge, the forex issue, has not gone anywhere, but we are hopeful.”
On passenger traffic, the Delta Director said that the airline was soon to airlift its one millionth since it commenced operations in 2007 as it was currently doing 978,377.
“Total number of weekly seats we offer from LOS-ATL average of 2,900 combined for both directions (1,400 each way) based on July 2017 schedule.”
On some of the airline’s innovation to make travel more enjoyable and comfortable, he explained that Delta’s culture of continuous innovation is core to the airline’s ability to create a seamless travel experience for the business and leisure customer alike.
He said come 2017, Lagos will witness improvements in baggage tracking by customers via their mobile app so they can know where their baggage is and have some rest of minds while on their flights.
He said: “Improvements across the business help take the stress out of travel, like implementing Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) baggage tracking technology.”
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