ATLANTA, July 27, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) is deepening its longstanding and industry-leading partnership with Air France-KLM Group with a €375 million investment to acquire 10 percent equity in the joint venture partner and a seat on the Air France-KLM Group Board of Directors. Additionally, Delta, Air France-KLM and Virgin Atlantic will launch a combined long-term joint venture, supported by a 31 percent investment by Air France-KLM in Virgin Atlantic, to offer customers the most comprehensive trans-Atlantic route network.
"A dynamic global landscape means it's more important than ever for Delta to deepen ties with our global partners to provide opportunities for mutual growth," said Delta CEO Ed Bastian. "Bringing together the strengths of Delta, Air France-KLM and Virgin Atlantic into a combined joint venture will create the trans-Atlantic partnership of choice for customers."
The expanded joint venture, including Alitalia, will offer nearly 300 daily nonstop trans-Atlantic flights and convenient flight schedules. Customers also will benefit from the ability to earn and redeem miles across all carriers, co-location of facilities at key airports to improve connectivity and access to each carrier's airport lounges for premium customers.
The investment aligns with others Delta has made in recent years as it grows its international footprint through partnerships with key airlines in regions around the world. The demand created by Delta and Air France-KLM's combined customer base and hub airports has enabled new trans-Atlantic routes to give Delta customers expanded choice in destinations and flight frequencies.
"During the past decade, Delta's global partnerships have fueled significant international growth," said Steve Sear, President – International & EVP – Global Sales. "As we further develop these partnerships, our ability to align network, sales and other commercial and operational initiatives will provide even greater benefits for our customers and employees."
All transactions are subject to execution of definitive agreements and receipt of final shareholder, board and regulatory approvals.
The Atlanta-based airline's existing joint venture with Air France-KLM dates to 2009, with the addition of Alitalia in 2010. In 2012 Delta launched a joint venture with Virgin Australia followed in 2013 by both a 49 percent investment in, and joint venture with, Virgin Atlantic. In 2015, Delta entered into an enhanced marketing arrangement with, and acquired a 3.5 percent stake in, its SkyTeam partner China Eastern. In 2017, Delta launched its joint cooperation agreement with Aeromexico and increased its equity stake in the carrier to 49 percent. Also in 2017, Delta announced a joint venture with Korean Air Lines. Delta also holds a 9.5 percent equity interest in Brazil-based airline GOL.
Delta Air Lines serves more than 180 million customers each year. In 2017, Delta was named to Fortune's top 50 Most Admired Companies in addition to being named the most admired airline for the sixth time in seven years. Additionally, Delta has ranked No.1 in the Business Travel News Annual Airline survey for an unprecedented six consecutive years. With an industry-leading global network, Delta and the Delta Connection carriers offer service to 334 destinations in 62 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, 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, Google.com/+Delta, and Facebook.com/delta.
SOURCE Delta Air Lines