Delta Air Lines Acquires 10% of Air France KLM
Delta Air Lines is increasing its investment in Air France KLM by acquiring 10 % equity in the joint venture partner. The deal also brings a seat on the Air France KLM Board of Directors. Air France KLM also purchased 31% of Virgin Atlantic.
“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.”
Delta, Air France, KLM, Alitalia, and Virgin offer nearly 300 daily nonstop trans-Atlantic flights. Customers also benefit from the ability to earn and redeem miles, use facilities at key airports, and gain access to each carrier’s airport lounges.
Delta’s existing joint venture with Air France-KLM dates to 2009; Alitalia was added in 2010. In 2012 the Atlanta-based airline launched a joint venture with Virgin Australia. This was followed in 2013 by both a 49 percent investment in, and joint venture with, Virgin Atlantic.
In 2015, Delta Air Lines acquired a 3.5 percent stake in China Eastern. In 2017, Delta increased its equity stake in Aeromexico to 49 percent. Also in 2017, the airline enhanced its joint venture with Korean Air Lines. Delta also holds a 9.5 percent equity interest in Brazil-based airline GOL. As of July 2017, Delta is considering investing in India’s Jet Airways, although nothing has been announced formally.
Delta and it’s partners have the most trans-Atlantic routes, while presence in the pacific markets is increasing. Seattle has been growing as a hub for Delta’s trans-pacific flights, while increased code-shares with Mexican and South American airlines will increase Delta’s footprint there. A strategic partnership with Jet could provide access into the growing Indian and South Asian market.