By Dana Niland
Two aviation power players are about to start working together in a big way — and one that could have a significant impact on air travel in the Americas.
Delta Air Lines and Chile-based LATAM Airlines Group have entered into a strategic partnership that the two carriers said would “combine the strengths of each airline.”
Together, the two airlines will serve 435 destinations worldwide.
“This transformative partnership with LATAM will bring together our leading global brands, enabling us to provide the very best service and reliability for travelers to, from and throughout the Americas,” said Ed Bastian, Delta’s chief executive officer. “Our people, customers, owners and communities will all benefit from this exciting platform for future growth.”
The strategic partnership will “unlock new growth opportunities,” building upon Delta’s and LATAM’s global footprint and joint ventures worldwide, including Delta’s existing partnership with Aeroméxico.
“This alliance with Delta strengthens our company and enhances our leadership in Latin America by providing the best connectivity through our highly complementary route networks,” said Enrique Cueto Plaza, chief executive officer of LATAM. “We look forward to working alongside one of the world’s best airlines to enhance the travel experience for our passengers.”
With their complementary networks, Delta, LATAM and their partners will be able to offer access to a greatly expanded array of flights to worldwide destinations, they said.
Within the terms of the partnership, Detla will invest $1.9 billion for a 20 percent stake in LATAM.
Delta will also invest $350 million to support the establishment of the strategic partnership, it said.
Delta will acquire four A350 aircraft from LATAM and has agreed to assume LATAM’s commitment to purchase 10 additional A350 aircraft to be delivered beginning in 2020 through 2025, supporting Delta’s ongoing fleet transformation.
Delta will be represented on LATAM’s Board of Directors.