Delta Air Lines Inc. employees this week helped lay foundations and brick walls for six homes with Chinese families in a village 85 miles outside Guangzhou, the latest sign of the airline’s deepening ties with China ahead of a new nonstop flight from Atlanta in July.
The Delta Global Build is part of a longstanding partnership between the airline and Habitat for Humanity, the global housing nonprofit based in Atlanta and Americus, Ga.
After the completion of this week’s six homes, Global Builds will have helped construct 259 homes in 12 countries since the program launched in South Africa in 2006. (Volunteers visited just after Delta launched a nonstop flight to Johannesburg.)
The China build brought in 52 employees from Delta and its subsidiaries from seven countries, while China Eastern Airlines, the company’s strategic partner in China, sent 16 workers. Two Delta SkyMiles members also joined the trip, having won the experience through an online miles auction, according to Delta.
Delta purchased a 3.55 percent stake in China Eastern in 2015 for $450 million is expanding its codeshare options with the SkyTeam member to help travelers reach more than 50 mainland Chinese cities.