MIAMI — Aeromexico (AM) and Delta Air Lines (DL) have filed an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Economic Competition Commission of Mexico (CFC) to seek antitrust immunity to set the grounds on a new joint venture that would enhance flight options of both carriers between Mexico and the United States.
The application, if approved by both entities, will not just reinforce the already existing commercial and marketing links between Aeromexico and Delta; it would also clear the path to create a $1.5 billion USD joint venture that would offer customers an expanded and optimized network through Aeromexico’s hubs—Mexico City (MEX), Guadalajara (GDL), Hermosillo (HMO) and Monterrey (MTY)—as well as Delta’s key hubs in the United States—Atlanta (ATL), Detroit (DTW), Los Angeles (LAX), Minneapolis (MSP), New York (JFK), Salt Lake City (SLC) and Seattle (SEA)—altogether. Plus, co-locating and investing in airport facilities to improve boarding gates and lounges, and renewing cabin products would have a very positive impact on the overall passenger experience.
“Mexico is the most popular international destination for Delta customers, and our proposed joint venture will offer our customers more schedule and destination choices, whether traveling for business or pleasure,” said Ed Bastian, Delta Air Lines President. “Approval of antitrust immunity will allow travelers to fully benefit from all the aspects of a future Delta-Aeromexico joint venture, including the combination of two complementary networks.”
“We are thrilled at this opportunity to further deepen our relationship with Delta. The potential to align our networks and scheduling means that we will be able to offer greater customer choice than we would have been able to offer individually,” said Andres Conesa, CEO of Grupo Aeromexico.
The interest of Aeromexico in deepening its relationship with Delta demonstrates the need for the Mexican carrier to settle a vantage point against its direct competitor, Interjet (4O), which is currently redefining its business strategies by code-sharing with oneworld alliance members, American Airlines (AA), British Airways (BA) and Iberia (IB).
Meanwhile, Delta would be able to get ahead of the new bilateral aviation agreement, subscribed between Mexico and the United States in November 2014, to enter in full force in January 2016; this grants unlimited intra-national market access for Mexican and U.S. carriers, among other commercial rights.
With a long-standing commercial and strategic partnership started in 1994, and founders of the SkyTeam alliance fifteen years ago, Aeromexico and Delta Air Lines are currently offering more than 4,000 code-shared flights a week, representing more than 80 daily trans-border round-trip flights. Needless to say, the joint venture offers excellent future prospects for growth in both business and traffic in one of the most competed and fast-growing markets in Latin America.