By Bob Weiss, CBSBoston.com Travel Contributor


BOSTON (CBS) —  Delta Air Lines is eyeing Boston and Logan Airport for future growth.

The carrier is bringing over 500 marketing and sales people from around the world to Boston this week to discuss both immediate and long-range growth. It is the largest sales meeting of an airline ever held in the city.

The three-day event will be held at The Westin Waterfront Hotel. The last two annual international meetings have been held in Seattle and Los Angeles, both target markets for Delta’s international and domestic flight growth.

The airline has also recently announced that it is assigning a full-time corporate sales representative for the New England market.

Delta owns 49 percent of British Virgin Atlantic Airways and also has a partnership with Air France on U.S. flights.

When opening new routes, airlines frequently plan international sales meeting to preview activities in a city. Earlier, Cathay Pacific brought their sales team to Boston prior to the start of Hong Kong flights.

Delta’s east cost hubs are Atlanta and JFK Airport in New York City.

Delta also has a strong presence in the sports’ charter business flying both The Patriots and Red Sox to away games.

The airline has made improvements in its on-time performance and upgrades to its Business Class and on-board entertainment options.

Its financial performance is also strong for the first quarter of the year, helped by lower fuel prices.

As it turns out, Delta will not be the only U.S. carrier having a major marketing event in Boston this week.

American Airlines, which is merging with U.S. Airways, is holding a town hall meeting with regional corporate travel managers Wednesday evening.

It would appear that American and Delta are going to mount serious challenges against JetBlue Airways, currently the number one carrier in passenger traffic at Logan Airport.

Bob Weiss reports on business travel on Mondays at 5:55 a.m. on WBZ NewsRadio 1030.

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