- The Latin America Report
Delta/LATAM joint venture approved
The U.S. Department of Transportation has approved a Delta and LATAM Joint Venture which will allow passengers to access more than 300 destinations between the US/Canada and South America (Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay).
According to a joint press release, the partners will deepen their level of cooperation in these markets with expanded route offerings, more and better connections and strengthening of codeshare routes and reciprocal loyalty benefits already in place.
Delta Air Lines and the LATAM Group will work closely to create the leading airline partnership between the United States/Canada and South America (Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay) and “connect the Americas to the world like never before,” says the press release.
Once implemented, the approval enables Delta and LATAM Airlines Group, LATAM Airlines Brasil, LATAM Airlines Colombia, LATAM Airlines Peru and LATAM Airlines Paraguay to begin the work of unlocking new customer and cargo benefits – including enhanced service and expanded route offerings – that will add to the codeshare routes and reciprocal loyalty benefits already in place. More details on the benefits of the partnership will be shared in the coming months.
“Delta’s partnership with LATAM will help grow the market between North and South America and provide significant and much-needed benefits for customers, and we applaud the DOT for this final approval,” said Ed Bastian, Delta’s chief executive officer. “Now, we’ll get to work with LATAM to transform the travel experience for our collective customers and create new opportunities for our employees.”
“The approval by the DOT will give rise to the start of work with Delta to deliver more and better benefits to LATAM and Delta customers, such as faster connections, and the joint accrual of miles in frequent flyer programs, among many others. I am sure that, over time, we will be able to offer the best connections, while incorporating a sustainable view of the future,” said Roberto Alvo, CEO of LATAM Airlines Group.
Delta and LATAM announced in 2019 that they would form the leading airline partnership throughout the Americas, with the goal of significantly expanding travel choices across North and South America and offering an industry-leading customer experience. Since then, the partners have achieved a number of milestones that include mutual frequent flyer mile accumulation/redemption; reciprocal elite frequent flyer benefits; shared terminals at hub airports like New York JFK, São Paulo, Brazil, and Santiago, Chile; and mutual access to 53 Delta Sky Club lounges in the United States and five LATAM Lounges in South America, including Delta’s new show-stopping Sky Club in Los Angeles and the new LATAM Lounge Santiago de Chile, the largest customer lounge in South America.
In 2020, Delta and LATAM introduced their first codeshare services in South America, and in 2021 expanded codeshare services to 20 U.S.-South America routes plus connections to a broad range of domestic and regional destinations from their hubs in Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, Santiago, Lima, Bogota and São Paulo, improving connectivity between the two regions.