MIAMI – Delta Air Lines (DL) and WestJet (WS) on Friday canceled joint venture plans following changes stipulated by the US government.

The changes, deemed “unreasonable and unacceptable” by the airlines are primarily based on grounds of competition concerns.

The Department of Transportation in granting antitrust immunity said it would require the carriers to remove WS low cost affiliate Swoop (WO) from the alliance along with divesting 16 takeoff and landing slots at New York LaGuardia International Airport (LGA).

Delta-Boeing-717-N896AT. Photo: Delta Air Lines

A Backup Plan

The airlines additionally called the US demands, particularly those regard the slot divestitures, “arbitrary and capricious”. Nevertheless, both airlines stated they are still “committed to developing a U.S. – Canada Joint Venture but in the meantime will explore deepening the alliance for the benefit of our mutual guests.”

With WS offering COVID-19 insurance and DL blocking middle seats, both airlines are working to safely continue operations amid the pandemic, albeit with hopes of collaboration dampened.

Featured image: WestJet Boeing 767-300ER [C-FOGT]. | Photo: © Aaron Davis (IG: