Delta Airlines have insisted that safety is their utmost priority and have maintained that all aircraft they flew to Nigeria are safe, well maintained aircraft that fly every other route that the airline traverses.
This is as the airlines states it has airlifted 900,000 passengers from Nigeria to the United states and will continue to fly the route as it has yielded the airline some positives.
Delta Air Lines Commercial Director East and West Africa; Bobby Bryan, Managing Director
Sky Logistics (GSA to Delta Air Lines in Nigeria), Olufemi Adefope and
Oluwatomi Vaughan of Sky Logistics at the Delta Air Lines End of Year Media Lunch in Lagos.
The airline also maintained that Nigeria as a destination is one of the airlines strong market emphasizing that the market in the country does not follow the usual trend making it a unique market for Delta to benefit from and vice versa.
Delta commercial Director East and West Africa, Mr. Bobby Byran made this known while chatting with reporters giving an update of the airlines activities during the year and what is to follow in the coming year.
The Delta director was responding to questions based on aircraft been flown into Nigeria and their age where he said that Delta would only use the right equipment for the right market at any particular point in time.
“Delta only operates safe, well-maintained aircraft. All our aircraft are certified safe and we fly them everywhere. We do not have a particular aircraft for any one destination, we use aircraft as the market dictates. The same aircraft we fly into Lagos can be used for Amsterdam, Tokyo and any other place the traffic dictates. We do not keep dedicated aircraft to any route,” he said.
On the evaluation of the Nigerian market, the Delta boss said that the reality was clear,” Africa is the future and Nigeria is the future of Africa, the Nigerian market always comes back against the run of play. In other climes, other markets have periods where there is traffic peak and when it is low but the Nigerian market is the exception. There are times it slows down but it picks up again, sometimes a bit slow sometimes quickly”.
He said,” Delta started service between Nigeria and the United States in December 2007, since that date we have carried over 900,000 passengers on the route. Delta is now the only airline to operate a daily year-round service between the U.S. and Lagos. On average we carry approximately 10,000 passengers per month”
“Delta has a strong market share of Nigeria-U.S. traffic and on our Lagos to Atlanta flight have an average load factor of over 80% with bookings trending positively. Delta has strong links between Nigeria and the United States. Not only given the large amount of high yield oil related passenger traffic and Lagos’ status as the commercial capital of Nigeria, but also given the strong ties with Atlanta which is home to a large Nigerian population.”
He further said that the airline has been having a profitable year and its financial performance is increasing symbiotically with the airlines vast operations.
“Our operational performance has gone hand-in-hand with our financial performance. If we look after our people, they look after our customers, who in turn look after our shareholders. The numbers speak for themselves.”
“The 2015 Q3 results was the 10th record quarter in a row for Delta. We earned a pre-tax profit of $2.2 billion – an increase of $547 million year over year. This allowed us to return $532 million to our owners through $107 million of dividends and $425 million of share repurchases.”
“We have also strengthened the balance sheet by reducing adjusted net debt to $6.4 billion”