Delta Air Lines Acquires 49% Stake in Virgin Atlantic

Delta A330

Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic Airways have detailed a codeshare agreement across 108 routes, connecting passengers to 66 destinations across North America and the UK.  The announcement coincides with Delta acquiring a 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic, marking the next step towards a full joint venture between the two carriers.
Virgin Atlantic will place its code on 91 Delta routes, including both trans-Atlantic and domestic US routes, whereas Delta will place its code on 17 Virgin Atlantic routes, including the recently-launched Little Red domestic UK services linking London to Manchester, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.
Delta’s President Ed Bastian said the partnership would form “a more formidable competitor across the Atlantic”.
The two airlines announced their intention to enter into a joint venture agreement in December 2012.  Last week, unconditional merger clearance was granted by the European Commission and the US Department of Justice closed its review of the transaction.  The US Department of Transportation is currently reviewing the application for antitrust immunity relating to the proposed joint venture of the parties’ operations on nonstop routes between the US and the UK, expected to be completed during the third quarter of 2013.  The implementation of the joint venture is expected at the start of next year.
(Image:  Delta)