Delta Air Lines Inc.’s focus on service to Africa through codeshare relationships with Air France S.A., Alitalia S.A., South African Airways Ltd. and a budding alliance with Royal Air Maroc S.A., was highlighted at a May 17 conference in Atlanta on North Africa‘s business climate.

“Delta continues to contribute to the growth of Africa by offering travel opportunities to 30 destinations in 20 African countries,” said Paul Matsen, Delta’s senior vice president for international alliances, during a luncheon sponsored by the U.S.-North African Business Council and the French American Chamber of Commerce at the Omni Hotel.

            Mr. Matsen noted that Delta’s codeshare alliance with Air France reaches 18 African cities, indicative of the company’s commitment to development on the continent.

            Delta also signed a memorandum of understanding in March to provide maintenance, engineering and administrative support to Casablanca, Morocco-based Royal Air Maroc’s new Boeing 767 aircraft in addition to the airlines’ codeshare agreement on flights from New York to Agadir, Casablanca, Marrakesh and Tangier in Morocco, he said.

            The partnership with South African Airways, which offers nonstop codeshare service between Atlanta and Johannesburg in South Africa as well as flights to four additional South African cities and three countries in East Africa, will begin service to Lusaka, Zambia, June 1, Mr. Matsen added.

            However, while expansion in Africa continues, Delta’s new service offerings to Cairo, Egypt; Tel Aviv, Israel and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates were discontinued following the events of Sept. 11, he noted.  While the airline has no plans to reinstate the routes at this time, Mr. Matsen added that the destinations are still served by Delta’s codeshare partners.

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