US-based Delta Airlines recently said that it has finalized its deal with Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic Airways. The president of Delta Airlines, Ed Bastian announced the deal to the reporters at a press conference on Monday, June 24, 2013.
Bastian said, “We are very excited to announce today that share transaction has been completed and we stand firmly together as partners. This is a strategic investment that will enhance Delta’s network and create a trans-Atlantic joint venture between the U.S. and the U.K., which is going to be a $3 billion entity.” The recent move is not a full merger between the two carriers, but it still gives Delta an important ownership stake, as well as a seat on the board of the second-largest UK carrier.
Craig Kreeger, CEO of Virgin Atlantic has described the deal with Delta as truly a crucial turning point in the history of the company. When it comes to passengers, the tie-up is expected to bring pooled flight options and frequent-flier benefits for customers of both fliers.
The most tangible sign of codesharing begins next month, in July 2012, when the airlines will begin selling seats on some of each other’s flights. They have also opened a lounge access to the eligible members of either carrier.