Delta to launch first direct flights between US and Angola
US carrier Delta Air Lines announced Wednesday it will launch the first direct commercial flights between the United States and Angola in January, as it moved to expand it presence on the continent.
Delta, which has manoeuvred since 2008 to be the first to launch direct flights between the two countries, said it saw strong market potential in Angola where thousands of Americans work in the oil and humanitarian sectors.
"Delta is committed to expanding our presence into fast-growing African markets to better serve our global business travellers," senior vice president Perry Cantarutti said in a statement.
"This new service between Atlanta and Luanda will shave hours off of business travellers' itineraries between the US and Angola thanks to more direct routings," he said.
Flights will operate three times a week between Atlanta and Luanda via Dakar, and will be available from October 2.
Angola and the United States signed an air transport agreement in April.
Until now, the only direct air links between the United States and Angola have been charter flights for American expatriates working in Angola's booming oil sector.
Other passengers have typically had to fly through South Africa or Europe to reach the United States from Luanda.
Delta said it would also work with TAAG Angolan Airlines for TAAG to codeshare on the flights at a future date.
In March the European Union partially lifted a ban barring Angola's national carrier, TAAG, from flying to the European Union.
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