Delta Air Lines Inc.’s inaugural nonstop, daily flight between Atlanta and Moscow is an opportunity to highlight Atlanta’s global image as a key business center in the United States, said Mario Diaz, deputy general manager for Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Mr. Diaz spoke during a ribbon cutting ceremony at the airport on June 1 that marked the launch of the flight to Russia’s capital. Also giving remarks were Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Yuri V. Ushakov, Georgia Economic Development Commissioner Craig Lesser and Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin.

Mr. Diaz noted that Atlanta is only the second U.S. city after New York to have a daily flight to Moscow, which serves as a gateway to the 12 Commonwealth of Independent States countries. Delta is the only U.S. airline that provides nonstop service to Russia. It has another flight to Moscow from John F. Kennedy International Airport.

“Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is a global connector….. that connects people to opportunities,” Mr. Diaz said. He hailed the airport as key to boosting Georgia’s economic development by facilitating the transport of cargo between the state and Russia as well as the rest of the world. He also noted that seven million of the 89 million travelers passing through Hartsfield-Jackson each year are traveling internationally.

Mr. Ushakov said the new flight represents a significant business opportunity for Russians to come here and for Georgians to go to Russia, adding that travel to Georgia for the G8 Summit last June would not have been such a “logistical nightmare” if Delta had the direct Moscow-Atlanta flight at that time. But the new flight is “better late than never,” he added.

Ms. Franklin said that the new flight it is an opportunity to welcome Russians to Atlanta and that Russian tourism to Atlanta and to Georgia would likely follow business travel initiated by the flight.

The 12-hour nonstop flight leaves Atlanta at 3:55 p.m. and arrives in Moscow at 10:25 a.m. the following day. It departs Moscow at 12:25 p.m. and arrives in Atlanta at 3 p.m. The flight will operate daily from June through September and then four times per week during the winter months, returning to daily service next May.

Visit or contact Delta at (404) 715-2600 for more information.