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CALGARY — In a move that will strengthen its bid to become a global airline, WestJet has deepened its existing partnership with Delta Air Lines with a new joint venture that gives passengers more travel options between Canada and the United States.
The two airlines, which earlier this year expanded its reciprocal frequent flyer agreement, have entered into a preliminary memorandum of understanding that will offer customers access to an extensive transborder route network, world-class airline products, enhanced frequent flyer benefits, and shared airport facilities and amenities.
“This agreement will bring heightened competition and an enriched product offering to the transborder segment, both of which will benefit our guests,” said Ed Sims, WestJet Executive Vice-President, Commercial. “This is an important step in WestJet’s mission to become a global airline. We are delighted to be working with the premier U.S. carrier, Delta Air Lines, in this joint venture.”
Highlights of the planned joint venture arrangement include coordinated flight schedules for new nonstop flights to new destinations, expanded codesharing and convenient connections on the airlines’ networks in both countries. Passengers will also benefit from enhanced frequent flyer benefits including reciprocal benefits for top-tier members of both airlines.
“With its strong brand and employee- and customer- centric culture, WestJet is the perfect partner for us in the U.S./Canada transborder segment and together we will produce great results for our respective employees, customers and investors” said Steve Sear, Delta’s President – International and Executive Vice President – Global Sales. “We look forward to applying Delta’s experience building successful joint venture partnerships to this important segment of transborder travel, the second largest international segment for U.S. travel.”
With this agreement (subject to board approvals, execution of definitive agreements and applicable regulatory approvals), Delta will have eight partnerships with leading carriers in the world’s biggest aviation segments spanning Europe, Latin America, Asia, Australia and Canada. It boasts a 25-year track record of partnering closely with airlines around the world.