Major US carrier Delta Air Lines has reinstated direct flights between Atlanta, in the US state of Georgia, and Johannesburg. Atlanta is where the airline is headquartered, and the reinstitution of the direct link between the two cities comes 15 years after the route was originally established, in December 2006.
The resumed connection will be served by a latest-generation Airbus A350-900 airliner and initially operated three days (or rather, nights) a week. The flights will depart Johannesburg on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays, leaving at 22h55, and coded DL201. The flights from Atlanta to Johannesburg will depart on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, leaving at 19h00 (local time), and coded DL200.
In Atlanta, passengers from South Africa will have access to 150 other Delta destinations. These include Los Angeles, Miami, New York and Washington DC.
“We are proud of our airline’s 15-year history in South Africa and excited that Delta’s restart between Johannesburg and the US is with our flagship aircraft, offering customers an enhanced onboard experience wherever they sit,” affirmed Delta network planning MD Amy Martin. “As well as offering more onboard comfort combined with the great service customers can expect from Delta, the aircraft is 25% more fuel efficient than the Boeing 777 it replaces, helping reduce carbon emissions on our longest route.”
The airline assured that it prioritised the health and safety of its passengers and personnel. Moreover, owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, currently only US citizens and those with permanent resident status in the US can use the service. Even so, the carrier cautioned passengers to check the current entry requirements for their intended destinations, such as a negative Covid-19 test or a vaccination certificate.
“We are excited to welcome Delta back to South Africa,” enthused South African Tourism acting CEO Sthembiso Dlamini. “North America is a key market for us and we are confident that this Delta non-stop flight will boost South Africa’s efforts to grow business and leisure tourists’ arrivals out of this market. South Africa is a country rich in history and vibrant culture and very warm people. South Africans are ready to welcome back visitors from across the world and we are definitely open for business. We look forward to many years of success on this route, as we continue to share the variety of experiences with all travellers.”