25 NOVEMBER 2019


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Article from BTNews 25 NOVEMBER 2019

Delta, Virgin deal approved

Final approval was handed down by the US Department of Transportation (DOT) last week for a controversial and wide-ranging expanded joint venture between Delta Air Lines, Air France-KLM and Virgin Atlantic covering US – Europe air services.

The airlines claimed the new partnership would offer passengers “the most comprehensive route network, convenient flight schedules, competitive fares and reciprocal frequent flyer benefits”.

The new partnership, given the green light by transportation secretary Elaine Chao, replaces previous agreements between Delta and Virgin Atlantic on US – UK flights and between Delta, Air France and KLM on US – Europe services.

The DOT said: “The new joint venture will offer consumers the same benefits from the prior joint ventures, such as increased capacity and frequent flyer cooperation, as well as new benefits such as more options on European flights.”

It noted the approval included conditions to protect competition and promote public benefits such as additional flights and increased seat availability. The airlines must report annually on progress and provide a detailed assessment after five years.

Plans by the carriers to form an amended joint venture were set out in July 2017 as it was revealed Delta was taking a 10% stake in Air France-KLM, and Air France-KLM was acquiring 31% of Virgin Atlantic. Delta also owns 49% of Virgin Atlantic.

www.transportation.gov     www.delta.com



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