MIAMI – Delta Air Lines (DL), LATAM Airlines Group and its affiliates have signed a trans-American Joint Venture Agreement that marries the airlines’ complementary route networks throughout the Americas.
The agreement, pending regulatory approval, will offer a seamless travel experience and extensive connectivity throughout the region.
Delta CEO Ed Bastian stated that as of late last year, Delta had set out to build the leading strategic alliance in Latin America together with LATAM, adding that “while the industry landscape has changed, our commitment to this joint venture is as strong as ever.”
As many in the industry are grappling with the impact of COVID-19, Bastian assured that the company, while protecting the safety of its customers and employees, is also “building the airline alliance we know they’ll want to fly in the future.”
On his part, Roberto Alvo, CEO, LATAM Airlines Group said that while it dealt with the COVID-19 crisis, similarly focusing on the safety of customers and employees, it also aims to ensure “the best possible customer experience and support the long-term sustainability of the group.”
Alvo added that the bilateral strategic alliance with DL remained a priority, firmly believing that “it still promises to offer customers the leading travel experience and connectivity in the Americas.”
Customer benefits from the joint venture
According to the company’s press release, since September 2019, DL and LATAM have achieved various milestones in their framework agreement with customer benefits including:
Codeshare agreements between Delta and LATAM’s affiliates in Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, and Brazil that allow customers to purchase flights and access onward destinations in their respective networks and will be expanded to cover long-haul flights between the United States/Canada and South America, as well as regional flights.
Delta and LATAM’s affiliates in Chile and Argentina also plan to sign codeshare agreements in the coming weeks.
Frequent flyer benefits: Delta SkyMiles members can earn and use miles on LATAM flights, while LATAM Pass members can earn and use miles on Delta flights across their respective networks. Reciprocal top tier loyalty recognition is expected to be available during June 2020.
Smoother connections at hub airports: Customers can easily connect between Delta and LATAM flights in hub airports where the carriers have collocated, including Terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy International Airport (New York City) and Terminal 3 at São Paulo’s Guarulhos Airport.
Mutual lounge access: Eligible LATAM customers can access the Delta Sky Club in New York/JFK and eligible Delta customers can access LATAM’s lounge in Bogota/BOG. Expanded reciprocal lounge access at airports throughout the Americas is planned for June 2020.
A year of mutual agreements
Last February, LATAM and DL signed a loyalty program agreement to offer reciprocal frequent flyer benefits to over 30 million LATAM Pass and Delta SkyMiles members, enabling them to earn and redeem miles to 300+ and 145 destinations respectively across five continents.
At the time, the codeshare with DL included South American LATAM Airlines Peru, LATAM Airlines Ecuador, and LATAM Airlines Colombia, with LATAM Airlines Brazil signing a new codeshare agreement that would offer connections to up to 65 onward routes in 26 countries.