Yesterday, my favorite US airline, Delta, announced a new weekly flight from their hub in Atlanta to Monrovia, Liberia, with a stop in fabulous Cape Verde. Not sure how much business travel there is between the States and either Cape Verde or Liberia, but I'm definitely hoping this route takes off. Now, Delta hasn't paid me anything to talk about this, but I'm compelled to because I appreciate their expansion efforts into Sub-Saharan Africa since 2007, the only major US airline to do so. Granted, there's eight months of uncertainty between now and the scheduled start date for the flights next summer, and Delta already canceled a planned route from New York to Lagos and postponed another to Nairobi, but I'm sure those are business decisions in the face of economic challenges instead of the airline reneging on its move to offer extensive service between the States and Africa (something not done since the '70s). The company seems to be testing the waters for lucrative destinations on the continent, which means there might be some wishy-washiness, but I'm still excited about the idea of flying nonstop from the cultural capital of Black America to the source of that culture.
Currently, Delta flies daily or several times a week from Atlanta nonstop to Lagos, Nigeria and to Johannesburg, South Africa via Dakar, Senegal. New York-JFK has more offerings, with nonstops to Cairo, Egypt and Accra, Ghana, as well as a flight to Cape Town, South Africa, with a stop in Dakar to allow passengers from the Atlanta flight to board or folks flying in from NYC to switch to the Jo-burg flight. Book here.
In other news, with the approval of a new bilateral aviation agreement between Brazil and the US that has finally opened up direct routes beyond the megacities of Rio and São Paulo, Delta (along with another airline that I shall not name because my experiences with them have been exceedingly horrible each and every time I've been forced onto one of their unpainted, AA-initialed transport tubes from hell) is offering nonstops from Atlanta to Northeast Brazil, historically and culturally the South American equivalent of the American South.
I'm awarding Delta a strong Black Power fist for attempting to connect the folk in the Diaspora via their route network. One-time, Delta!
(Yes, I'm an airline geek.)