Delta Air Lines Inc. on Wednesday unveiled major expansion plans in a move it said will make it the dominant carrier between the United States and Latin America.
The third-largest U.S. airline plans to add five daily flights in April to Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama and Venezuela, doubling service from five daily Latin American flights today. Also, it filed for U.S. government approval Wednesday to add flights to Argentina, Belize, Colombia, Ecuador, Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia, for a total of 26 flights to Latin America.
"Our plan is to provide a level of service throughout Latin America that will match the level of service we offer business and leisure travelers across the North Atlantic to Europe," said Delta Chief Executive Leo F. Mullin.
Mullin said the Atlanta-based airline expects its Latin American expansion to be profitable within a year. It said it won't pursue an acquisition of international routes, which would be riskier. Instead, it will seek partnerships with Latin carriers as it faces a market dominated by AMR Corp.'s American Airlines.