Delta Air Lines and LATAM Airlines Group have signed a trans-American joint venture agreement, which will operate across the carriers’ route networks between North and South America.
The news follows last year’s announcement that Skyteam member Delta would take a 20 per cent stake in LATAM.
As a result of this deal LATAM confirmed it would quit the Oneworld alliance, a move which took effect on May 1.
Delta CEO Ed Bastian said that the airline had “set out to build the leading strategic alliance in Latin America together with LATAM,” adding that “while the industry landscape has changed, our commitment to this joint venture is as strong as ever”.
“Even as our carriers contend with the impact of COVID-19 on our business and take steps to protect the safety of our customers and employees, we are also building the airline alliance we know they’ll want to fly in the future.”
Delta highlighted a number of milestones in the LATAM agreement, including:
- Codeshare agreements between Delta and LATAM’s affiliates in Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Brazil that allow customers to purchase flights and access onward destinations in their respective networks and will be expanded to cover long-haul flights between the United States/Canada and South America, as well as regional flights. Delta and LATAM’s affiliates in Chile and Argentina also plan to sign codeshare agreements in the coming weeks.
- Frequent flyer benefits: Delta SkyMiles members can earn and use miles on LATAM flights, while LATAM Pass members can earn and use miles on Delta flights across their respective networks. Reciprocal top tier loyalty recognition is expected to be available during June 2020.
- Smoother connections at hub airports: Customers can easily connect between Delta and LATAM flights in hub airports where the carriers have collocated, including Terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy International Airport (New York City) and Terminal 3 at São Paulo’s Guarulhos Airport.
- Mutual lounge access: Eligible LATAM customers can access the Delta Sky Club in New York-JFK and eligible Delta customers can access LATAM’s lounge in Bogota/BOG. Expanded reciprocal lounge access at airports throughout the Americas is planned for June 2020.