Air France, KLM, Delta and Virgin Atlantic have announced a single transatlantic joint venture to offer customers more destinations and ways to earn and spend frequent flyer points, the airlines said.
Air France, KLM and Delta have been in a joint venture partnership between Europe and North America since 2009, while Virgin Atlantic and Delta have had a partnership between the UK and North America since 2013.
The new partnership provides customers with more convenient flight schedules and a shared goal of ensuring a smooth and consistent travel experience, whichever airline people fly. The partnership also provides the flexibility to book flights on any of the four carriers through their respective mobile apps, websites, or via travel agents.
Enhanced customer benefits starting from 13 February mean that loyalty programme members will be able to earn and use miles or enjoy elite benefits for flights on any of the four airlines´ worldwide operations, including a trans-Atlantic trip, intra-Europe hops, or domestic US journey, offering more opportunities to quickly move through loyalty tiers and reach a higher status.
The joint venture (JV) represents approximately 23% of total passenger and cargo trans-Atlantic capacity. Combined annual revenues of the JV are estimated at USD 13 billion.
Governance of the joint venture will be equally shared between the Air France-KLM Group, Delta and Virgin Atlantic. An executive committee comprising the three CEOs and a management committee of representatives from departments across the businesses will define future strategy.
Air France-KLM offers its customers access to a network covering 314 destinations in 116 countries thanks to Air France, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Transavia. With a fleet of 548 aircraft and 101.4 million passengers carried in 2018, Air France-KLM operates up to 2,300 daily flights, mainly from its hubs at Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Amsterdam-Schiphol.
KLM carried 34.1 million passengers in 2018, offering its passengers direct flights to 162 destinations with a modern fleet of more than 214 aircraft.
Since the merger in 2004, KLM has been part of the Air France–KLM Group.
Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) is a US global airline that offers more than 5,000 daily departures, and serves over 200 million people every year, taking customers to more than 300 destinations in over 50 countries.
Virgin Atlantic carries 5.4 million customers annually, and operates a fleet of 45 aircraft serving 25 destinations across four continents.