It seems Delta Air Lines didn’t stop shopping after the Paris Air Show, with the airline taking an equity stake in fellow SkyTeam member Korean Air.
Delta has acquired a 4.3 percent equity stake in Hanjin-KAL, the largest shareholder of Korean Air. According to the airline, it’s a demonstration of Delta’s commitment to the joint venture which it has with Korean Air.
Delta intends to boost its equity in Hanjin-KAL to 10 percent over time, subject to regulatory approval.
The cost of this has not been disclosed.
Together, Delta and Korean Air operate a transpacific joint venture agreement which launched in 2018. This has expanded to 1,400 codeshare flights, enhancing loyalty benefits (such as mileage earning) as well as increasing presence at Seoul Incheon airport as their transpacific hub. Both airlines have also started cargo cooperation for transpacific flights too.
Delta CEO Ed Bastian said:
“Together with the team at Korean Air, we have a vision to deliver the world’s leading trans-Pacific joint venture for our shared customers, offering the strongest network, the best service and the finest experience connecting the U.S. with Asia,”
“This is already one of our fastest-integrating and most successful partnerships, and experience tells us this investment will further strengthen our relationship as we continue to build on the value of the joint venture.”
Equity is everything these days
The in thing with airlines these days is deepening relationship by purchasing parts of airlines they like to call friends or allies – going beyond traditional alliances and codeshares, and even a little influence along the lines.
Indeed, Delta has stakes in Virgin Atlantic and AeroMexico, with joint ventures with Virgin Australia and Air France-KLM/Alitalia.
With airlines seeking to carve more revenue for themselves, looking at other airlines as possible investments, as well as ways of extending their own influence, could be a way to profit in the future.
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