Delta, Korean Air joint venture gets final stamp of approval

Delta, Korean Air joint venture gets final stamp of approval

ATLANTA — The Korean government has given the green light to Korean Air’s joint venture with Delta Air Lines, clearing the deal for takeoff.

The new partnership will offer passengers travel benefits across one of the most comprehensive route networks in the trans-Pacific market, says Delta.

The joint venture was approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation back in November 2017.

The two carriers’ combined network gives Delta and Korean Air passengers seamless access to more than 290 destinations in the Americas and more than 80 in Asia.

“This is an exciting time for customers of both Delta and Korean Air as we launch our trans-Pacific partnership,” says Delta CEO Ed Bastian. “Our expanded partnership means a host of new destinations and travel options across Asia and North America, with seamless connectivity, world-class reliability and the industry’s best customer service.”

Yang Ho Cho, Chairman and CEO of Korean Air, added: “We are delighted to announce the launch of our partnership with Delta. This partnership will bring more comfort to customers flying between Asia and the Americas. With the recent relocation to Terminal 2 at Incheon Airport alongside with Delta, we will be able to provide seamless service to our customers. Korean Air will provide extensive support to develop a successful partnership with Delta.”

The joint venture will include growth in the trans-Pacific market, optimized schedules, a more seamless customer experience, improved loyalty program benefits, integrated IT systems, joint sales and marketing activities, and co-location at key hubs.

Delta and Korean Air will implement full reciprocal codesharing on each other’s networks as well as offer improved reciprocal loyalty program benefits, including providing customers of both airlines the ability to earn more miles on Korean Air’s SKYPASS program and Delta’s SkyMiles program. The two airlines will also begin implementing joint sales and marketing initiatives.

The new joint venture builds on nearly two decades of close partnership between Korean Air and Delta. Both were founding members of the SkyTeam alliance and have offered customers an expanded codeshare network since 2016.

Earlier this year, Delta and Korean Air co-located into the new Terminal 2 at Seoul’s Incheon International Airport (ICN).

Delta anticipates that Seoul Incheon will continue to grow as a major Asia gateway for Delta and Korean Air. Delta is the only U.S. carrier to offer nonstop service to three major U.S. gateways, including Seattle, Detroit and Atlanta from ICN, while Korean Air is the largest trans-Pacific carrier.

Meanwhile Delta’s proposed joint venture with WestJet continues to work its way through regulatory approval channels. WestJet and Delta announced their proposed new joint venture in December 2017, pending government approval.

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