It seems there’s one heck of a lot of buying and selling today, with Delta Air Lines, Virgin Atlantic and Air France-KLM all involved.
Delta, Air France and Virgin Atlantic Crews together – Image, Virgin Atlantic
So let’s first look at Virgin Atlantic. Virgin group will selling 31% of the total ownership of Virgin Atlantic to Air France-KLM, with the Virgin Group retaining 20% of the airline.
The new share ownership structure will be:
- 49% Delta Air Lines
- 31% Air France KLM
- 20% Virgin Group
Meanwhile, Delta Air Lines is strengthening its partnership to take 10% ownership of Air France-KLM Group – valued at €375 million (and take a seat on the Air France-KLM group board), along with China Eastern who are taking… another 10%..
In turn, all four airlines and Alitalia will form an expanded Joint Venture for services across the Atlantic – with up to 300 departures a day between Europe and the USA.
Customers be able to earn and redeem miles across all carriers too.
There will be co-location of facilities at key airports to improve connectivity and access to each carrier’s airport lounges for premium customers
In quotes from all the major airlines on their moves today:
Jean-Marc Janaillac, CEO, Air France KLM, states
“With our partners Delta and Virgin Atlantic, we are pleased to reinforce our transatlantic partnership, offering our customers even more choice between Europe, UK and the United States via twelve hubs on both sides of the Atlantic.”
Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group Founder states
“Virgin Atlantic has made a big difference to people’s flying experience over the past 33 years and transformed the airline industry for the better. This is a fantastic opportunity to extend our network and create a stronger customer champion, as well as being extremely beneficial to our people and the Virgin Atlantic brand that our customers love dearly.”
You might want to look at his blog too, with Richard Branson doing what he does best – on the attack.
Craig Kreeger, CEO, Virgin Atlantic states
“We built the Virgin Atlantic brand by providing customers with the choice they deserve and a travel experience they love. We couldn’t be more excited that the next stage of our growth will be at the heart of the strongest partnership for customers traveling between Europe and North America. Together with our friends at Air France-KLM and Delta we will build on this vision of our teams creating irresistible experiences for customers flying on our network.”
Ed Bastian, Delta’s CEO, notes
“By working even more closely with our great partners at Air France-KLM and Virgin Atlantic, together we will develop a path to increase competition across the Atlantic that will spur additional benefits for customers, employees and shareholders.”
In addition Delta’s Steve Sear, President – International & EVP – Global Sales states
“During the past decade, Delta’s global partnerships have fueled significant international growth,
As we further develop these partnerships, our ability to align network, sales and other commercial and operational initiatives will provide even greater benefits for our customers and employees.”
Virgin Atlantic remains outside a major alliance, and instead has worked on Joint Ventures instead to deliver customers to the airline.
As alliances fade slightly (where everyone pretends to be friends, and fails at it), Joint Ventures are seemingly giving what the airlines want in terms of customer, income and traffic.
By buying each other, and deepening the links – it’ll be hard to smash these joint ventures…
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