ATLANTA and CALGARY, Alberta, July 19, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) and WestJet (TSX: WJA) have signed a definitive agreement to create a comprehensive transborder joint venture arrangement that will offer customers an extensive route network within the U.S. and Canada.
"Delta's future is global and together with WestJet, we can augment the two airlines' capabilities and bring together our strengths in this important trans-border market," said Ed Bastian, Delta's CEO. "Combined, we will be able to offer more destinations to customers with an integrated network, superior airline products, improved airport connections and significantly enhanced frequent flyer benefits. The JV will provide an unmatched passenger experience for customers travelling between the U.S. and Canada."
"WestJet continues its drive toward becoming a global airline, and the signing of this agreement marks a major milestone in that journey," said Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO. "Working together with Delta, the premier U.S. carrier, we are looking forward to providing enhanced offerings and more choice for guests. The joint venture will allow us to maximize our existing partnership with Delta to benefit customers by bringing greater competition to the trans-border market."
The agreement deepens the existing codeshare partnership between the carriers and follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding in December 2017 announcing the intention to form a joint venture. The joint venture will provide substantial reach into Canada and the U.S. with transborder service to more than 30 cities covering over 95 per cent of U.S.-Canada demand, providing customers of both airlines with more travel choices than ever before. The new JV will also enable Delta and WestJet to compete more effectively against other carriers.
Upon receipt of regulatory approvals in Canada and the U.S., Delta and WestJet will work together to implement all aspects of the enhanced cooperation including expanded codesharing, more closely aligned frequent flyer program and reciprocal elite benefits, joint growth across their U.S./Canada transborder network, and co-location at key hubs with more seamless passenger and baggage transit. The agreement will also include the ability to cooperate on cargo accompanying passenger flights as well as corporate contracts.
Delta has a strong track record of partnering with airlines around the globe, in Europe, Latin America, Asia, Australia and now Canada. These joint ventures connect complementary networks, allowing the carriers to expand service options, add more convenient connections, and provide a more seamless customer experience than would otherwise have been possible.
As WestJet continues its global transformation, its airline partners connect the growing WestJet network to an extensive list of international destinations. WestJet has one of the youngest fleets in the airline industry and continues to provide award-winning guest experience, recently being named Canada's Best Airline by TripAdvisor and North America's Best Low-Cost Airline 2018 by Skytrax.
Further information about Delta Air Lines and WestJet is available at delta.com and westjet.com.
Delta Air Lines serves more than 180 million customers each year. In 2018, Delta was named to Fortune's top 50 Most Admired Companies in addition to being named the most admired airline for the seventh time in eight years. Additionally, Delta has ranked No.1 in the Business Travel News Annual Airline survey for an unprecedented seven consecutive years. With an industry-leading global network, Delta and the Delta Connection carriers offer service to 324 destinations in 57 countries on six continents. Headquartered in Atlanta, Delta employs more than 80,000 employees worldwide and operates a mainline fleet of more than 800 aircraft. The airline is a founding member of the SkyTeam global alliance and participates in the industry's leading transatlantic joint venture with Air France-KLM and Alitalia as well as a joint venture with Virgin Atlantic. Including its worldwide alliance partners, Delta offers customers more than 15,000 daily flights, with key hubs and markets including Amsterdam, Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York-JFK and LaGuardia, London-Heathrow, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Salt Lake City, São Paulo, Seattle, Seoul, and Tokyo-Narita. Delta has invested billions of dollars in airport facilities, global products and services, and technology to enhance the customer experience in the air and on the ground. Additional information is available on the Delta News Hub, as well as delta.com, Twitter @DeltaNewsHub and Facebook.com/delta.
Together with WestJet's regional airline, WestJet Encore, WestJet offers scheduled service to more than 100 destinations in North America, Central America, the Caribbean and Europe and to more than 175 destinations in over 20 countries through its airline partnerships. WestJet Vacations offers affordable, flexible vacations to more than 60 destinations and the choice of more than 800 hotels, resorts, condos and villas. Members of the WestJet Rewards program earn WestJet dollars on flights, vacation packages and more. Members use WestJet dollars towards the purchase of flights and vacations packages to any WestJet destination with no blackout periods, and have access to Member Exclusive fares offering deals to WestJet destinations throughout our network and those of our partner airlines.
WestJet is proud to be recognized as Best Airline in Canada and Travellers' Choice winner – North America for 2017 and 2018 in the TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice awards for Airlines. The airline was also named the Travellers' Choice Winner – Economy, North America, 2018. All awards are based on authentic reviews from the travelling public on TripAdvisor, the world's largest travel site.
Recent recognition includes:
2018/2017 Best Airline in Canada and Travellers' Choice Winner Mid-Sized and Low Cost Airlines – North America (TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice awards for Airlines)
2018 Travellers' Choice Winner – Economy, North America (TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice awards for Airlines)
2018/2017/2016 Canada's Most Trusted Airline (Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria)
2016 Canada's most reputable company for Corporate Social Responsibility (Reputation Institute)
2016/2015/2014/2013/2012 Ranked top three for Canadian Brands (Canadian Business Magazine)
2016/2015/2014/2013 WestJet RBC World Elite MasterCard ranked #1 in Canada (MoneySense magazine)
Connect with WestJet on Facebook at facebook.com/westjet
Follow WestJet on Twitter at twitter.com/westjet
Subscribe to WestJet on YouTube at youtube.com/westjet
Follow WestJet on Instagram instagram.com/westjet
Read the WestJet blog at blog.westjet.com
SOURCE Delta Air Lines