Korean Air and Delta Airlines have announced their plans for a fully integrated trans-Pacific joint venture, with both airlines sharing the costs and revenues on flights and coordinating schedules for connections.
For customers of the two airlines, a number of benefits are expected; not least a combined network serving more than 290 destinations in the Americas and more than 80 in Asia, providing passengers with more travel choices than ever before.
In addition, enhanced frequent flyer benefits are expected to give customers of both airlines the ability to earn and redeem miles on Delta’s Sky Miles and Korean Air’s SKYPASS programs simultaneously.
“This Joint Venture will benefit our customers by providing more convenient connection schedules and widen their opportunities in earning mileages,” said Korean Air’s Chairman and CEO, Yang Ho Cho. “With this agreement, we will reinforce Incheon airport’s position as a major international hub in North East Asia and support the growth of Korea’s aviation industry.”
Delta and Korean Air will work together to implement all aspects of the enhanced co-operation, including expanded code sharing, frequent flyer programs and joint growth in the trans-Pacific market, with co-location at key hubs with seamless passenger and baggage transit experience.
“This agreement deepens our longstanding partnership with Korean Air and will provide the global access and seamless service our customers demand,” said Delta CEO Ed Bastian. “We look forward to providing customers of both carriers with industry-leading service between the U.S. and Asia.”
Delta will be launching a new nonstop service between Atlanta and Seoul in June 2017, a flight that complements Korean Air’s existing service.
At the same time Korean Air will continue to expand its U.S. – Korea network in summer 2017 with the introduction of a third return flight between Los Angeles and Seoul, as well as a second flight between San Francisco and Seoul.
Korean Air and Delta Air Lines have already signed a memorandum of understanding to implement the joint venture. Upon the signing of the final joint venture agreement and subject to regulatory approval, their new partnership will come into operational existence.