Delta and Virgin Blue to Form Joint Venture

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Podcasts Thursday, 9 July 2009

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.

Delta 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 bars.

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