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Civil Aviation
Air France, KLM, Delta and Virgin Atlantic together over Atlantic
Air France, KLM, Delta and Virgin Atlantic together over Atlantic
© DR

| Alexandre Rocchi

Air France, KLM, Delta and Virgin Atlantic together over Atlantic

On February 3, the four airlines have confirmed their joint venture for Europe, the United Kingdom and North America services, whose combined annual revenues are estimated $13 billion.

Green light for the trans-Atlantic partnership. Air France, KLM, Delta and Virgin Atlantic launch their nonstop or one-stop connections between North America, Europe and the UK joint venture. The enhanced network, also fully available to cargo customers, will give access to 341 peak daily trans-Atlantic services, covering the top 10 routes on a nonstop basis, with onward connections to 238 cities in North America, 98 in continental Europe and 16 in the UK and a choice of 110 nonstop trans-Atlantic routes.

The joint venture accounts for approximately 23% of total passenger and cargo trans-Atlantic capacity. Its combined annual revenues are estimated at $13 billion. Governance of the joint venture will be equally shared between the Air France-KLM Group, Delta and Virgin Atlantic. An executive committee comprising the three CEOs and a management committee of representatives from departments across the businesses will define future strategy.

Air France-KLM specifies “the customer benefits of the joint venture are unaffected by the recent confirmation that Air France-KLM will no longer buy a 31 per cent stake in Virgin Atlantic. Virgin Group will retain its 51 per cent majority stake in Virgin Atlantic, with Delta continuing to hold 49 per cent.”

Air France, KLM and Delta have been in a joint venture partnership between Europe and North America since 2009, while Virgin Atlantic and Delta have had a partnership between the UK and North America since 2013. Establishing a single transatlantic joint venture was the next strategic step in the collaboration between the airlines. In 2019 the airlines began paving the way for their expanded cooperation with the start of the first codeshares between Air France, KLM and Virgin Atlantic. The agreement offered Virgin Atlantic customers up to 58 new routes from 18 UK airports across the Atlantic via Paris and Amsterdam, while Air France and KLM customers were given access to 24 new North America routes operated by Virgin Atlantic and Delta departing the UK including connections via London Heathrow and Manchester.

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