“We already offer African menus, and the introduction of Nollywood films shows our commitment to this region and offering local customers popular local entertainment,” Bobby Bryan, Delta’s commercial director for East and West Africa, said in the release.
Delta Air Lines Inc., which operates flights from the U.S. to four African countries, now offers films from the continent’s largest movie market on its in-flight entertainment systems.
As part of an ongoing effort to offer culturally relevant programming on its flights, Delta has added the two first Nigerian-made films — Bambitious and A Place Called Happy — to its whole fleet of 339 planes operating domestically and internationally.
“Nollywood,” as the Nigerian industry is called, ranks just behind India’s Bollywood in terms of films produced. It’s a $3.3 billion industry that employs more than a million people, according to a Delta news release, which cited Nigerian government statistics.
The release also quotes Nigerian comedian and producer Ayo Makun as applauding the decision to bring Nollywood to the skies. Mr. Makun produced what is reportedly the highest-grossing film ever produced in Nigeria, 30 Days in Atlanta, a romantic comedy in which the action originates in Lagos and moves across the Atlantic when the protagonist wins a free trip to Delta’s hometown.
You can’t yet watch 30 Days on a Delta flight from Lagos to Atlanta, but the airline plans to add more Nollywood hits in the near future.
Delta flies to Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa; the airline has sales offices in Kenya and Uganda.