Virgin Atlantic says it is evaluating the benefits of Skyteam membership, following today’s announcement that Delta is to purchase a 49 per cent stake in the carrier.
Skyteam founder member Delta is buying the stake for US$360 million from Singapore Airlines, with the deal – along with antitrust immunity for a transatlantic joint venture – expected to be completed by the end of 2013.
Speaking at a press conference in New York, Virgin’s chief commercial officer Julie Southern said that the carrier was evaluating the benefits of joining Skyteam, adding that it aims “to come to to a conclusion on that in the next few months”.
Southern also said that Virgin and Delta will look to implement intra US and UK domestic codeshares, as well as reciprocal earn and burn FFP privileges, ahead of the full transatlantic joint venture being completed.
In addition Southern said that Virgin and Delta would eventually aim to co-locate their Heathrow services at Terminal 3 (Delta currently operates out of Terminal 4), although no timescale was given for this.
Heathrow airport today announced that Virgin will use the forthcoming new Terminal 2 for its domestic services when they launch next year, although it added that it will “continue to work with Virgin Atlantic on how its services might be co-located in the future”.
Report by Mark Caswell