Unreal: Delta and LATAM Form Partnership

In an unbelievable announcement yesterday, Delta set forth a new era for the airline industry. If you don't have what someone else does, pull it out from right underneath them. Delta announced it would purchasing a 20% stake in the South American airline LATAM. For a casual $1.9 Billion, Delta will take over part of LATAM as well as 4 of its A350s and 10 additional purchase rights. Delta will also force LATAM to depart OneWorld and form its own joint venture. They'll pump an additional $350 million into the partnership so things start off strong.

Wow, wow, wow. That's a lot. To me, it's just so striking to see what Delta is doing. They've decided SkyTeam's value is little, so they're purchasing pieces of airlines left and right to form their own alliance. It's almost like they are setting out to do what Etihad tried with Etihad Airways Partners.... except they are succeeding.

Unfortunately, buried in this announcement is the break up of Delta and its Brazilian partner, GOL. Delta currently own 9% and will be selling it off.

Trust me - I love Delta and think they are the best airline in the US. That being said, I wonder how much longer I can keep the title "SkyTeam Traveler" given where the alliance is heading.

All images courtesy of Airbus.


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