Delta Airlines has reached the 1.2 million customers' mark on the Lagos-Atlanta route in the last 10 years of operations in Nigeria.
The airline, which made this disclosure at the 10th year anniversary recently in Lagos, anticipated more patronage when its Lagos-New York operations open in March 2018.
With the nonstop Lagos-Atlanta operations that was launched on December 4, 2007, Delta remains the only U.S. airline to fly nonstop between Nigeria and the United States, after United Airlines stopped operations in 2016.
Delta's Senior Vice President, Network Planning, Bob Cortelyou, said it was an honour to have served Lagos for a decade.
"For 10 years it has been an important route in our trans-Atlantic network not only for the business community, but also for customers reuniting with friends and families across the United States.
"With this milestone comes a new flight to New York-JFK starting in March and our customers can be sure we remain as committed as ever to delivering the very best in terms of network, schedule and on-board experience in Nigeria," Cortelyou said.
Vice President Sales for Africa and Middle East, Shane Spyak, expressed the airlines' commitment to Nigeria, citing some achievements already made.
Spyak noted that Delta has operated no fewer than 6,300 flights between Nigeria and the United States, with over 80,000 passengers flown between Nigeria and the United States in 2017.
"Delta aircraft feature over 300 Nollywood blockbusters as part of Delta Studio in-flight entertainment. We have six years of Delta's Internship Programme, offering graduates business experience with Delta in Nigeria, while over 200 students participated in Delta's Innovation Camp in partnership with Junior Achievement Nigeria."
Director of commercial, west and east Africa, Bobby Bryan, said Delta is open to competition on the Nigeria-U.S. routes, saying "competition makes us better in the delivery of best customer-experience to air travellers"
From March 26, 2018, the airline will operate daily service between Lagos and the United States, with four weekly services to Atlanta complemented by three new weekly flights to New York-JFK. Both routes will be operated using A330-200 aircraft, recently introduced onto the Lagos-Atlanta route, adding more seats and offering an enhanced on-board experience.
In addition to fully flat-bed seats in Delta One, Wi-Fi access, screens at every seat and free-mobile messaging throughout the aircraft, Delta's services between Lagos and Atlanta are tailored to meet the preferences of local customers. This includes regionally inspired cuisine with locally sourced ingredients, offering a wider selection of sodas and fruit juices, and showcasing Nigeria's vibrant film industry.