Delta Air Lines and the LATAM group were given the green light by the US Department of Transportation (DOT) to establish a comprehensive joint venture between them.
The merger of the two airlines’ businesses was expected since Delta became a shareholder of LATAM in 2019. According to them, there will now be the establishment of a commercial agreement that will offer new possibilities to its passengers.
“Delta’s partnership with LATAM will help grow the market between North and South America and provide significant and much-needed benefits for customers, and we applaud the DOT for this final approval,” said Ed Bastian, CEO of Delta Air Lines. “We will now work with LATAM to transform the travel experience for all our customers and create new opportunities for our employees.”
“The approval by the DOT will give rise to the start of work with Delta to deliver more and better benefits to LATAM and Delta customers, such as faster connections, and the joint accrual of miles in frequent flyer programs, among many others. I am sure that, over time, we will be able to offer the best connections, while incorporating a sustainable view of the future,” says Roberto Alvo, CEO of the LATAM Airlines Group.
Despite the joint venture, Delta and LATAM had already strengthened their relationship, such as allowing customers to redeem points from their loyalty programs, use of VIP lounges at various airports, as well as codeshare flights at hubs in Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, Santiago, Lima, Bogotá and São Paulo.
Delta also took over A350 aircraft from LATAM, which gave up operating Airbus’ advanced jets. To form the joint venture, Delta and LATAM abandoned their former partners, Gol and American Airlines, respectively.