Delta to add Sydney and Sao Paulo service

In 2009, Delta Air Lines will add its first-ever daily nonstop service between Los Angeles and Sydney, Australia* effective July 1; three-times weekly service between Los Angeles and Sao Paulo, Brazil* beginning May 21; and increased service between Los Angeles and New York-JFK starting March 2.

The current seven daily flights between Los Angeles and New York-JFK will increase to eight in an effort to improve connections for New York and Northeast customers on long-haul international flights via Los Angeles. Additionally, Delta customers in the Southeastern U.S. will benefit from same-plane service between Atlanta and Sydney via LA.

Delta’s focus on Los Angeles is being supported by the recently announced expanded marketing agreement between Delta and Alaska Air Group that will make the two companies preferred partners on the West Coast.

Starting July 1, 2009, DL17 will depart Los Angeles at 2240 and arrive Sydney at 0640 two days later (after crossing the international date line).

Starting July 3, 2009, DL16 will depart Sydney at 0915 and Los Angeles at 0600 the same day (time saved by crossing the international date line).

The flight is expected to be 14 hours in one direction and 13 in the other.

The Sydney service will be operated on Delta’s new Boeing 777-200LR in a two class configuration, fitted Delta’s latest seating including fully flat-bed seating in business class in a herringbone layout.

Currently, the route is operated by Boeing 747-400’s of Qantas and United in a 3 class configuration, but United is upgrading its aircraft, and Qantas is planning to introduce the Airbus A380 super jumbo with a 4th class, premium economy, on this route. More competition also coming in the form of Virgin Australia commencing operations with a Boeing 777-300ER in a three class configuration.

With this addition of capacity, fares are bound to head south (sorry for the pun), which while good news for the passengers, is not for the airlines. Will Delta or any of the other three airlines suffer the same fate as American and Continental and withdraw ? Only time will tell.

With the Sydney flight Delta will become only U.S. airline to fly to six continents, and is good news for the SkyTeam alliance, which is severely under-represented down-under. The Sydney service adds the crucial and missing Australia-North America link for the alliance.

Delta will operate Sao Paulo with a Boeing 767-300ER, in a two class configuration.

Starting May 21, 2009, DL233 will depart Los Angeles at 2100 Tue, Thu, Sun, and arrive Sao Paulo at 1320 the next day.

Starting May 22, 2009, DL234 will depart Sao Paulo at 2225 Mon, Wed, Fri, and arrive Los Angeles at 0730 the next day.

About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.

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