Delta Air Lines and the Virgin Blue Airlines
Group are seeking regulatory approval to form a joint venture that
will expand both carriers’ reach between the U.S., Australia and
the South Pacific.
The alliance will allow Delta and the Virgin
Blue to compete more effectively in those markets
by collaborating on route and product planning, codesharing on
their respective networks and extending frequent flyer program
benefits and lounge access to customers of both airlines.
“Virgin Blue and Delta make a tremendously exciting fit,” said
Brett Godfrey, chief executive officer and co-founder of Virgin
Blue. “Not only will we offer travelers many new
benefits and possibilities, but also the alliance of two new
entrant operators will ensure that vital competition is sustained
on the trans-Pacific route.”
In advance of their joint venture,
the carriers are moving forward to implement codesharing, frequent
flyer program reciprocity and lounge exchange privileges.
and Virgin Blue today file antitrust
immunity applications with the U.S. Department of Transportation
and with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
Delta began daily nonstop service between Los Angeles and Sydney
on July 1, 2009, with a Boeing 777-200LR equipped with 180-degree,
full-flat beds in its BusinessElite class.
V Australia, a Virgin
Blue Group airline, operates a daily nonstop Boeing 777 service
between Los Angeles and Sydney, and service three times weekly
between Los Angeles and Brisbane.
A new, three times weekly
service between Los Angeles and Melbourne is planned for September
2009. The three class airline offers 33 International Business
Class fully lie-flat beds, 40 International Premium Economy Class
seats and 288 International Economy Class seats plus two in-flight
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