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Delta lancerer non-stop Detroit-Sao Paulo-service

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DETROIT – Delta Air Lines today connects its Detroit hub and South America for the first time, with new nonstop service to Sao Paulo, Brazil, the airline’s latest expansion into Latin America.

DETROIT – Delta Air Lines today connects its Detroit hub and South America for the first time, with new nonstop service to Sao Paulo, Brazil, the airline’s latest expansion into Latin America.

The inaugural flight is scheduled to depart from Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport at 7:30 p.m. today, arriving in Sao Paulo Guarulhos International Airport at 8 a.m. tomorrow.

Service will operate twice weekly through Dec. 15, when it will increase to five days each week to coincide with the start of the Brazilian tourist season.

“Delta’s new service between our international hub in Detroit and Sao Paulo, South America’s largest business market, will further strengthen business and trade opportunities and boost economic activity in both cities,” said Andrea Fischer Newman, Delta’s senior vice president – Government Affairs. “This service is testament to our continued support for the Detroit market and the strong growth we have seen here.”

The launch marks Delta’s most recent international flight from Detroit, which is a growing global gateway for the airline. In recent months Delta has added new service from Detroit to Seoul-Incheon and Hong Kong and expanded flights to Shanghai. Next year, Delta will begin nonstop service between Detroit and Haneda Airport in Tokyo, which will open for trans-Pacific flights for the first time in three decades.

On a year-round basis, Delta offers Detroit customers service to 158 nonstop destinations, including 28 international destinations and five in Asia.

“Delta’s new, non-stop service from Detroit to Sao Paulo is a landmark event for the community in that it represents Detroit’s first ever nonstop service to South America and first ever service south of the Equator,” said Joe Cambron, director of Air Service Development for Wayne County Airport Authority. “Sao Paulo is the auto capital of South America, so linking it with Detroit will stimulate the economies of both cities while also easing the journey for passengers already traveling this important route.”

The flights will be operated with 216-seat Boeing 767-300ER aircraft, with 35 BusinessElite seats and 181 seats in Economy Class.

To celebrate the new service, Delta has been offering special introductory fares, starting at $399 each way from Detroit to Sao Paulo and $499 each way from Sao Paulo to Detroit, for travel from Oct. 28 through Feb. 25, 2011. *Additional taxes, fees, restrictions and baggage charges may apply. Fares shown are based on a required round-trip ticket purchase. See below for details.

Delta has been investing heavily in Latin America in recent years, growing from almost no presence a decade ago to serving more than 60 destinations across Latin America and the Caribbean today. Delta’s recent growth in the region includes:

An expanded alliance relationship with Brazilian carrier GOL, which includes codesharing on flights beginning in early 2011, and an agreement to share benefits for Delta’s SkyMiles and GOL’s SMILES frequent flyer programs.

New nonstop flights between Mexico City and Minneapolis-St. Paul and Memphis beginning in December 2010 and January 2011, respectively.

New nonstop service between Cancun, Mexico and Austin, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; Tampa, Fla.; and San Antonio, each beginning Feb. 19, 2011**.

An announcement that Aerolineas Argentinas, the flag carrier of Argentina, will become the second Latin American member of Delta’s SkyTeam global airline alliance, benefiting Delta customers with increased access to and from South America and complementing existing SkyTeam member AeroMexico.

To Brazil, Delta currently offers service between Atlanta and Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Manaus and the capital city of Brasilia; and service between New York-JFK and Sao Paulo.