Delta Acquires 10% of Air France KLM

Delta Air Lines Acquires 10% of Air France KLM

delta klm air france

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.

Partnerships :

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.




Delta’s New Terminal at LaGuardia Airport

Delta’s New Terminal at LaGuardia Airport


The Port Authority of NY has given final approval to a lease agreement with Delta for it’s new $4 Billion terminal at LaGuardia Airport.

The Port Authority will pay $600 Million, with the airline responsible for $3.4 Billion plus any cost overruns.

The nearly all-new airport will be closer to the Grand Central Parkway, allowing more room on the airfield. This should result in fewer delays and less congestion. Construction started in summer 2016 on the roadways, parking facilities, and other terminals.

The Central Terminal will also be all new, and feature better connections, direct access to parking, and a link to a hotel. There is also still ongoing debate about how to get public transportation to the airport.

Delta’s terminal will feature 37 gates, 4 concourses with a central check-in / security / baggage area, and more concession space than currently. Also, Delta’s site promises a roof-deck Sky Club, similar to JFK. This terminal replaces the recently-updated-but-still-mostly-crappy terminals C & D. Completion is scheduled for 2026, which we can only hope happens on time.

Maho Beach May Be Changing After Recent Tourist Death

Maho Beach May Be Changing After Recent Tourist Death


Last week, a New Zealand woman was killed while watching planes take off at Maho Beach, St. Maarten.

The woman was clinging to a fence directly behind a jet which was taking off. The jet blast threw into a curb, where she hit her head and died.

While people have been injured at this famous aviation spot, no one has died. The beach is famous for being just a few feet from the runway; planes regularly position to take off and while the engines rev up, tourists feel the direct blast. For larger planes, the blast can be strong. Numerous videos can be found online showing visitors being blown across the sands.

The 747 doesn’t visit the island as of last year; this blast was from a smaller 737. Authorities remind tourists that the jet blast is no joke, as signs and warnings are posted all over the area. The heated blast can reach 200mph, throwing sand and pebbles into the faces of onlookers.

maho beach warning

This AV Geek paradise may face changes in the near future, as the international broadcast of the woman’s death has made authorities put a plan into action with stricter rules. There is no confirmation yet, but travelers can probably expect to see the fence moved further away from the runway, as well as changes to the roadway and curbs. In addition to the many signs posted, there will probably be more warnings added.

Delta MQD Waiver – What’s The Future?

Delta MQD Waiver – What’s The Future?

delta logo

Airline Status

Gaining “status” with any of the major domestic airlines requires not just flying many miles, but also achieving certain levels of dollar spend. A few years ago, the distance you flew translated directly to eligible miles towards “status”. Currently, you must ALSO spend a certain amount for each status level. This means that if you always buy the least expensive tickets, you’ll find it harder to achieve “status”. Conversely, if you fly for business and your employer buys expensive business class tickets, it’s easier to become an elite member.

Delta uses this concept to apply to all Medallion members and those who want Medallion elite status (Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond.

Click on the link to view the requirements :

The miles requirement is called MQM (Medallion Qualification Miles). The dollar spend requirement is called MQD (Medallion Qualification Dollars).

gold amex


Delta offers a waiver for MQDs – if you have a Delta Amex (available in Gold, Platinum, and Reserve varieties) and you spend $25,000 in one year on one of those cards, you do not have to hit the MQD requirement.

This is a huge deal, since to hit Platinum or Diamond status you would have to spend $9,000 or $15,000, respectively, on Delta tickets. I hit Diamond status this year, which is 125,000 MQMs, but spent less than $4,000 on actual tickets, thanks to the MQD waiver via the Delta Amex card.

There have been rumors circulating that Delta will remove this MQD waiver for Diamond status. This would effectively prevent many loyal fliers from achieving Diamond status, as the MQD requirement would be too hard to hit.


Is the airline trying to limit top-tier status, therefore making it more exclusive for those business travelers that don’t care about ticket price? Preventing most fliers from getting to Diamond will make travelers spend their money elsewhere; it gives them less reason to stay with Delta as a brand.


I wrote to Delta and received this response, which is a neutral answer and doesn’t really give any definitive insight (although this representative was very professional & polite, and replied within 24 hours, which was great!) :

Thank you for contacting us.

At this time, we do not have an MQD waiver for our Diamond Medallion flyers. We do, however, have a spend waiver for any Medallion spending over $25,000 when using their Delta American Express Card. We have not announced that we are discontinuing the spend waiver. Normally, when we make changes to our Medallion program, we make an announcement via email and on 6 months to a year ahead of time. I, nor my co-workers, have heard anything about this. Please let us know if you have any further questions.

Thank you again for giving us an opportunity to respond to your concern. We very much appreciate your Diamond Medallion loyalty to Delta and look forward to the privilege of serving you again soon.

Dear Delta & Dear Amex : this would be a huge black eye on the SkyMiles Program and for Amex (I spend a lot of money with my Amex cards). Chase and others now have a more versatile program with equal or more impressive rewards, and this initiative would be a demerit for the airline and its partners. Diamond is a status that loyal fliers want to achieve! Do not remove the waiver for any status!



How Can SkyTeam Fliers Get on the 787 Dreamliners

SkyTeam Dreamliners

SkyTeam Dreamliners

As a loyal Delta flyer, I’ve been unable to get on the newest planes due to the company’s capex plans of buying refurbished planes like the 717. They’ve been the last of the legacy carriers to begin overhauling their fleet. United was the launch customer for the 787 Dreamliner, and American started taking delivery of the model last year. Delta had some on order from Northwest, but cancelled in 2016. They currently have no plans to fly Dreamliners, a bummer since I’ve been dying to get on one (but obviously still get miles for the flight, so United won’t suffice).

While medallion members are excited for the launch of the A350 on Delta later this year, they won’t be flying them out of NYC/JFK – instead they will be replacing the 747-400 on routes from Detroit. Until the A350 becomes more available, can I get on any Dreamliners?

Turns out the answer is yes – if you are ok with flying on a SkyTeam partner.

AeroMexico flies Dreamliners out of JFK to Mexico City – it also uses the plane on routes from MEX to New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Madrid, London, Seoul, Amsterdam, Tokyo, and Santiago.

KLM uses the 787 out of JFK to Amsterdam – the airline also uses the plane on routes from AMS to Abu Dhabi, Osaka, San Francisco, Rio, Shanghai, Colombo, Dubai, New York, Calgary, Kuala Lumpur, and Xiamen.

Air France is the latest SkyTeam Dreamliner purchaser – it will start using the plane from Paris to Atlanta and Boston next year, but currently uses it on routes from CDG to Cairo and Montreal.

I was trying to get to Mexico City via Dreamliner last year, and the mileage redemption rates were quite reasonable – sometimes as low as 30,000 for 787 Business Class one-way. There is a daily flight, but the prices in dollars are much more than the non-787 flights. Recently, I have not been able to find availability on Dreamliners using SkyMiles – not sure what’s going on with the Delta site currently.

Similarly, I was not able to price out the KLM 787 flights in miles either – only in dollars.

My goal is to get on a 787 using miles – stay tuned for an update after my call with Delta customer service to see what’s going on with redemption availability. For now, it is possible to check out the advanced 787 with a couple of SkyTeam airlines – hopefully it will become easier as more of these planes go into service.