The commercial director East and West Africa of Delta Air Lines, Bobby Bryan has restated the airline’s commitment to the Nigerian market, describing international air travel in Nigeria as resilient.
Speaking during a media launch in Lagos on Wednesday, Bryan said that despite the recession, foreign exchange problem, Delta Air Lines is in Nigeria to stay and has adapted to the transient but prevailing economic situation.
He noted that the African continent and Nigerian market remain a continued area of focus for Delta as the airline will continue to adapt, fly and grow in Nigeria.
He disclosed further that the airline has almost carried one million passengers between Nigeria and United States since 2007 it started operating into the country.
He said the attainment of one million passengers on the Nigerian US route is a milestone the airlines will soon celebrate.
Bryan said the airline feel important flying to the country because Nigeria is strong market for Delta Air Lines.
“This is an important year as we celebrate our 10th anniversary of service to the African continent. Back in December 2006, Delta launched services to Johannesburg, Dakar and Accra, becoming the only U.S. airline to operate scheduled flights between Africa and the United States since the 1980s”.
He said Delta is focused on deploying Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), which is a baggage tracking technology.
This will allow passengers track the movement of their bags on the aircraft, he said.
The commercial director East and West Africa of Delta Air Lines added that the airline will be rolling Delta Premium in 2017.
He said though the airline still has trapped funds in Nigeria, it is coping with the situation in the country.
Bryan while thanking the Nigerian government for her efforts in getting some of the airlines trapped funds in the country out, he urged the government to continue helping so that the airline will continue operating in the country.
He attributed the sustainability of their operations in Nigeria to strong market, incredible Nigerian staff, commitment to the market.
The commercial director East and West Africa of Delta Air Lines said the demand for travellers has not dropped, as the number of people desiring to travel has not dropped but has rather increased.
He said despite all the challenges, there is light at the end of the tunnel for the airline.
Bryan explained that the airline is coping with the scarcity of Aviation fuel as its effect on its operation is minimal.
The airline has not cancelled flights for once since the scarcity became worse, Bryan confirmed.
He said the airline works with varieties of Jet A1 suppliers and also plan ahead to keep up their operations in the midst of the scarcity.
Bryan observed that the major problem the airline is grappling with is that of Forex after which every other things flow from it.
He disclosed further that Delta is one of the airlines running the best operations in the industry, offering Wifi services on its international flights including from Nigeria to US.
“Atlanta is Delta’s hometown and it is also the world’s largest hub.