Delta, Virgin Atlantic and AirFrance-KLM Transatlantic Joint Venture Closer to Completion


This week, the US Department of Transportation gave tentative approval to the Transatlantic Joint Venture applied for by Delta, Virgin Atlantic and AirFrance-KLM. Last year, these airlines applied for approval (and amended it dropping Alitalia). A joint venture is an agreement between the airlines to sell tickets on each other's airlines, in order to increase frequency. This is great because presumably we'll be able to use Virgin Atlantic miles for AirFrance-KLM flights soon.

What's interesting is that when the airlines amended their agreement last year, Alitalia was in a terrible financial situation (it still is), but now Delta has agreed to purchase part of it. I wonder if they'll loop in Alitalia again soon.

What does this mean for consumers? Well, it means you can fly all the airlines on one ticket both with cash or miles. It also means there's less competition, which can lead to increased fares. As of now, these airlines work pretty closely together through Delta, so this doesn't change much anyway.

Currently, there's a 14 day waiting period now where people can object. I doubt anyone will, as most airlines are in some sort of joint venture, so it would only look bad on them. We'll know soon enough if this is fully approved and when it'll start.

This agreement brings Virgin Atlantic even closer to SkyTeam, without being a member. I wonder if one day they'll join considering they're owned by Delta (49%) and AirFrance-KLM (31%).

Image courtesy of Delta.

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