Delta eyes Emirates tie-up and new routes

DeltaÕs inaugural New York flight arrives in Dubai to a water cannon salute.

Delta Air Lines, which has launched its Dubai-New York flight, is interested in starting other regional routes and would consider an alliance with Emirates, the American airline's president, Frederick Reid, said.

Delta launched its thrice-weekly direct flight between Dubai and New York's JFK airport last month in what the carrier's officials described as a highly successful Arabian Gulf commercial debut.

The airline operates a 258-seater, state-of-the-art MD-11 aircraft on the route.

"Emirates has a strong brand presence in this region and Delta has its strengths in the Americas, indicating each airline could leverage the strengths of the other for mutual benefit," Reid said at the launch of the new flight in Dubai.

He said the airline plans to increase its presence in South Asia, particularly India. It already operates flights to Mumbai.

Reid also said New York was the single biggest American destination for UAE travellers. He said last year more than 150,000 people travelled between the UAE and the US.

He said that while initially targeting the business traveller for inbound Dubai traffic, Delta would also look at the USA's leisure market and would work to boost awareness of Dubai as a tourist destination throughout America.

The UAE has become the 67th country on Delta's worldwide network.