Delta Air Lines is trying to gain a leading position amongst competing airlines in the fast growing Asian market. Delta would be increasing services in Asia. The airline is taking further steps as well for enhancing its business prospects in different regions.

Internet sources reported that Delta Air Lines is seeking to gain premium status in Asian aviation industry. Vinay Dube, the Senior Vice President for Delta Air Lines’ Asia Pacific, commented that the airline is raking in enough money and is in a position to invest in customer service and become a leading brand name in Asia. The airline earned approximately $593 million in 2010.

The competition is stiff in the region as Asia is a fast growing market for travel and is the place of some of the top rated airlines in the industry such as Cathay Pacific Airways and Singapore Airlines. Quite a few carriers also add to competition by serving Asian destinations with cheap flights. However, according to Dube, Delta believes that it can contend with the most renowned airlines in the Asia.

With the booming economy in Asia, air travel is also predicted to get a boost and Delta is keen to snap up its share in the market. Presently Delta services 17 Asia-Pacific cities. The new routes that would be starting from this year include the flight, which will be launched this weekend from the Haneda airport of Tokyo to Los Angeles and Detroit. Delta will also fly from its hub Atlanta to Shanghai and Detroit to Beijing.

Besides the Asia segment, different US-based airlines are now focussing upon improving different aspects of their business such as enhancing customer relations, increasing their network, and providing more facilities and benefits for passengers.

Over the next three years, Delta Air Lines would be investing over $2 billion for enhancing facilities. This includes enhanced premium economy section, entertainment systems, renovation of airport lounges. In addition, Delta also plans to discontinue expiration of SkyMiles and put up 34 flatbed ‘BusinessElite’ seats over the next two years.

Enhanced Premium Economy Section

The new Economy Comfort section will give up to four inches extra legroom and more recline than regular economy. The new installation will be done in the first few rows of the economy cabins of Delta’s 747, 757, 767, 777, and A330 airlines. Travellers will need to pay approximately $80 to $160 extra for these seats. Media reports state that the airline won’t charge extra for these seats from its full-fare ticket passengers and the highest ranking frequent flyers. Whenever the international planes equipped with these seats will fly on domestic routes, these Economy Comfort seats will be reserved for the full-fare ticket passengers and frequent flyers with the highest ranks. Now passengers booking cheap flights with Delta can look forward to more value on the cost of their air ticket.

Non Expiry of SkyMiles

Sources report that Delta Air Lines has done away with the expiration dates of its SkyMiles frequent flyer programme. Previously, these miles used to expire if a passenger’s account remained inactive for more than two years. Jeff Robertson, the SkyMiles VP was quoted as saying ‘Now that our massive frequent flyer program integration is complete, we are focused on smart ways to improve the SkyMiles program for all members’. He further said ‘We know how much customers value their miles, so eliminating mileage expiration is a major win for them. This is yet another benefit that sets us apart from the pack, making Delta a clear leader in loyalty program benefits’.

Delta Air Lines Codeshare with Brazil’s GOL

In what can be seen as an attempt to further increase its network, Delta Air Lines has started a codeshare service with GOL, which is one of the largest airlines in Brazil. The step immediately adds 15 new destinations to the South American network of Delta Air Lines. Presently, Delta is selling services on 56 GOL flights between Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, and Brasilia and 15 Brazilian destinations, namely Vitoria, Teresina, Salvador, Recife, Porto Alegre, Navegantes, Joao Pessoa, Iguassu Falls, Goiania, Fortaleza, Florianopolis, Curitiba, Cuiaba, Belo Horizonte, and Belem.

Nicolas Ferri, the vice president of Delta for Latin America and the Caribbean commented that ‘Delta continues to grow its network in Latin America thanks to strong and visionary partners like GOL, allowing our customers to enjoy a seamless travel experience and an expanded network throughout Brazil’.

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