''b) kudos to DL for serving JNB and what, Dakar? Really, I mean it.''
I think what we are trying to attribute to you that it is your habit of mistaking your opinions for facts. For someone that wants to rely on "the facts" you seem to know so little.
DL serves in Africa: JNB, DSS, ACC, and LOS. And since it's so important to you, yes they're all year round and that's 4 more Africa destinations than any other US carrier. If ANY US3 get's to us the word "GLOBAL" it would be Delta, since they are the ONLY US carrier serving 6 continents. And, oh my gosh, year round! United will have their own claim to fame when the start their announced seasonal CPT service, but that's the future not the present reality. On an aside, 5th freedom routes are a thing of the past. And DL's Asia strategy is SHIFTING, not disappearing. (so why do you say the losing the NWA strategy is right or wrong? for who, you?) The NRT hub system just doesn't work for DL anymore. Times have changed. DL sees that.
man-oh-man, people sure are touchy about Delta.
nowhere did I say that service to HKG is the metric by which "global" is earned.
yet.... service to Africa is presented as proof that Delta is "global".
no where did I pronounce UA or AA as "global".
I gave respect to DL for serving Africa, and I'm big enough to acknowledge my errors, oversights and omissions. Thanks for pointing out their four Africa destinations. I think this thread is about Hong Kong, related Asia/TPAC strategy, and more broadly, International strategy. Yes - they serve Africa more so than UA/AA (at the risk of invoking more backlash, is there much competition on those routes?)
Yes, Delta's Asia strategy has shifted; did I say "disappear" ? Its not inaccurate to state that its abandon the NRT hub/5th freedoms (yes, I know why, economic realities, no need to rehash), shifted Asia flying to partner KE by funneling thru ICN, maintains modest direct services to PEK/PVG, has a few HND routes for the still premium Japan O/D . Do I have anything wrong there? Do I need to apologize for something?
Did I glorify AA or UA in there anywhere?
Is it okay if I legitimately pose a question about UA... do they not have brand recognition and point of sale in Asian countries? And AA... do they not have brand recognition and point of sale in Latin America? Does DL have brand recognition and point of sale in Africa? (I ask, I truly do not know)
Yes... my personal opinion on being "global" is that you've got to have a name, a brand and do some significant sales outside of your home turf, engendering some loyalty in other countries; you need ALL of these things (clearly visible with EK, even BA, CX, SQ - look at the loyal clientele they've cultivated in Australia, EU and elsewhere; its just an example, I'm not saying any US3 needs to be like EK).
This seems to me, a very reasonable bar. I don't know that UA/AA qualify, but it seems like they lean more in that direction, but as I acknowledge, perhaps DL has more going on with the African populace than I know?