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By NBF News
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A United States-owned, Delta Airline, yesterday began direct flight operation from Atlanta to Abuja.

The company as part of   its inaugural flight from Abuja to New York yesterday announced $649 air fare including tax for the economy class and $2,738 on business elite class including tax from Lagos to United Kingdom.

Addressing newsmen during a brief ceremony to herald the landing of Delta's Air-bus a Boeing 757-200, the Director of Commercial for Africa and Middle East, Mr. Robert Bryan, said the air line will operate two weekly flights which would increase to three times weekly effective July 1.

He said Delta Airline flight was the only direct service from the Nigerian capital city to the United States.

“Delta is delighted to expand our presence in the Nigerian market to serve two cities and further strenghten the business and tourism links between Nigeria and United State,” said Bobby Bryan, Delta's Commercial Manager for West African and East Africa.

“Our new service will offer our passengers with more than 45 convenient connections to popular destinations such as Washington DC, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Houston, Boston and Chicago”, he said.

He described the company's venture  into the country's aviation industry as a mark of the growing confidence of the international community in Nigeria's aviation sector.

In his speech, the Minister of Aviation, Mr. Babatunde Omotoba, said though many other US-based airlines have expressed interest to fly Nigerian routes, the government would at the moment restrict their entry as a strategy speed-up the emergence of Nigeria's airport into Category one status.

Bryan said Delta will operate the service using a Boeing 757-200 ETOPS aircraft with 174 seats; 16 in business class and 158 in conomy.

According to him, each flight will  depart Abuja at 10.15pm and arrive into New York-JFK at 6.45a.m.  For the return trip, the flight departs New York at 3.50p.m and arrives into Abuja at 10:30a.m. the following day.