Delta Air Lines Inc. announced Thursday it plans to offer daily nonstop flights between Atlanta and Tel Aviv, Israel, starting March 27.
The route has long been discussed but never scheduled. It is part of the Atlanta-based carrier's effort to expand internationally.
The announcement came during a news conference at the Carter Center in Atlanta, which was attended by Gov. Sonny Perdue and Delta's chief executive, Gerald Grinstein.
"I get a lot of questions these days about Delta Air Lines," Perdue said. "Today's announcement only strengthens my confidence in Delta."
Grinstein said Delta, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Sept. 14, is looking to international expansion as part of its efforts to return to profitability.
"It is the direction we want to head with most of our service," Grinstein said.
The idea of an Atlanta-Israel air link dates back more than a decade.
Delta spokesman John Kennedy said the airline "started looking at it again pretty seriously" during a recent strategic review of operations. He said the airline believes there will be will be a strong market for business and tourist traffic.
Delta flew from New York to Tel Aviv from 1991 to 1995 after buying Pam Am's European routes. But it dropped those flights, later signing a marketing deal to sell seats on Israeli airline El Al.
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