Delta Airlines (NYSE:DAL) has announced that it has reached agreement on an enhanced partnership with SkyTeam partner Kenya Airways to offer convenient connecting flights between Monrovia, Liberia, and Accra, Ghana.
The services will begin effective September 1, 2014, operating three times a week on a Boeing 737 aircraft operated by Kenya Airways. The Kenya Airways flight will offer seamless and convenient connections with Delta's nonstop flights between Accra's Kotoka International Airport and New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport.
"Delta has had a presence in Liberia for four years and we are pleased to be able to continue this association with the country through our new partnership with Kenya Airways," said Perry Cantarutti, Delta's senior vice president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. "Delta recognises the importance of offering services between Monrovia and the United States and we would like to thank the Liberian Government for its continued support. Delta remains committed to the country and facilitating travel to the U.S. with our Kenya Airways partner."
This service replaces Delta's three-times weekly operations from Monrovia's Roberts International Airport to Accra, Ghana. Passengers connecting onto Delta's Accra to New York-JFK services from Kenya Airways will enjoy through check-in for their entire journey from Monrovia - collecting their boarding passes and checking in luggage from Monrovia through to their final destination in the United States.
Passengers connecting in Accra will be able to proceed directly to the transit lounge, without the need to clear Ghanaian immigration, for the flight departure from Delta's dedicated airport gates to New York. Delta staff will be on hand to ease the connecting customer process and the transit time in Accra is anticipated to be one and a half hours. SkyMiles and Flying Blue members will continue to enjoy mileage accrual and elite benefits like extra baggage allowance, priority boarding, and lounge access on both airlines.
Business class passengers connecting through Kotoka International Airport will be able to access the new Sanbra Priority Lounge, which is positioned next to Delta's airport gates, and provides customers with a luxury lounge experience prior to their flight to New York-JFK. The lounge has capacity for 108 people with leather seating, free Wi-Fi, complimentary snacks and a wide variety of soft and alcoholic drinks, as well as televisions and shower facilities. Delta's sales office will remain open in Liberia and continue to sell tickets to the U.S.. Delta will also continue selling tickets from the U.S. to Liberia.
Kenya Airways' Regional General Manager for West Africa, America, Europe & Asia Pacific, Julius Thairu said: "This strategic partnership with Delta Air Lines enhances our presence in West Africa and cements our position as Africa's premier airline. By providing a seamless connection from Liberia to Delta's Accra to New York service, it significantly boosts Kenya Airways' efforts to link Africa to the rest of the world. This will provide our guests from Africa with an additional efficient and convenient connection to the U.S. on Delta Air Lines. It ties in with our long-term growth strategy to increase our footprint across the world."
The Monrovia-Accra-New York schedule will leave Monrovia at 18:00 and arrive at 20:00 and arrive in Accra at 20:00. Thereafter, it leaves Accra at 22:35 and arrives at 05:13. Delta's daily services between Accra and New York are operated with a Boeing 767-300 aircraft with 225 seats, comprising 25 seats in BusinessElite, 29 in Premium Economy and 171 seats in Economy.
Once onboard, passengers in the BusinessElite cabin will enjoy forward-facing seats that convert to a 180-degree fully flat-bed and offer direct aisle access in a 1x2x1 configuration. Delta has also invested in its economy class with seats that provide additional legroom, adjustable headrests, personal in-seat entertainment screens with over 350 films, 250 TV shows, 100 hours of HBO, 4,500 songs and 30 games and USB power at each seat. All Economy passengers will be provided with a complimentary amenity kit to improve their flight experience.
Delta Air Lines operates services to four African cities in four countries. The airline has grown from 22 weekly departures to and from Africa in December 2006 to 29 in summer 2014. Passengers travelling from Liberia can book flights to the U.S. on Delta and Kenya Airways via travel agents and Delta's dedicated reservations teams in Liberia.
Delta Air Lines serves nearly 165 million customers each year. This year, Delta was named the 2014 Airline of the Year by Air Transport World magazine and was named to FORTUNE magazine's 50 Most Admired Companies, in addition to being named the most admired airline for the third time in four years. With an industry-leading global network, Delta and the Delta Connection carriers offer service to 333 destinations in 64 countries on six continents. Headquartered in Atlanta, Delta employs nearly 80,000 employees worldwide and operates a mainline fleet of more than 700 aircraft.
The airline is a founding member of the SkyTeam global alliance and participates in the industry's leading trans-Atlantic joint venture with Air France-KLM and Alitalia as well as a newly formed joint venture with Virgin Atlantic. Including its worldwide alliance partners, Delta offers customers more than 15,000 daily flights, with key hubs and markets including Amsterdam, Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York-JFK, New York-LaGuardia, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Salt Lake City, Seattle and Tokyo-Narita. Delta has invested billions of dollars in airport facilities, global products, services and technology to enhance the customer experience in the air and on the ground.
Kenya Airways, a member of the Sky Team Alliance, is a leading African airline flying to 65 destinations worldwide, 38 of which are in Africa and carries over three million passengers annually. It continues to modernize its fleet with its 48 aircraft fleet being one of the most modern in Africa and includes its flagship B787 Dreamliner aircrafts.
The on-board service is renowned and the lie-flat business class seat on the wide-body aircraft is consistently voted among the world's top 10. Most recently it has scooped top awards at the Africa Investor (Ai) Tourism Investor Awards and was declared the Business Airline of the Year in Africa. Kenya Airways takes pride for being in the forefront of connecting Africa to the world and the World to Africa through its hub at the new ultra-modern Terminal 1A at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi.