The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has approved Delta and LATAM Joint Venture Agreement, the airlines announced on Friday. This is a massive step for both airlines to boost their partnership. 

Unparalleled network

The Joint Venture will allow passengers to access more than 300 destinations between the US and South America. Now that the DOT has approved the JV, both carriers will work closely “to create the leading airline partnership and connect the Americas to the world like never before.”

The DOT concluded that the alliance is likely to generate substantial benefits for the traveling public. 

Ed Bastian, Delta’s Chief Executive Officer, said, 

“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. Now, we’ll get to work with LATAM to transform the travel experience for our collective customers and create new opportunities for our employees.”

Roberto Alvo, CEO of LATAM Airlines Group, said, 

“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.”

A brief history

In 2019, Delta and LATAM announced they would form a partnership in the Americas. Delta invested in the South American carrier, expanding its regional reach, following its investment in Grupo Aeromexico. 

Their partnership’s goal was to expand travel choices across the region significantly. 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 they expanded the codeshare services to 20 routes plus connections from their hubs in Atlanta (ATL), New York (JFK), Los Angeles (LAX), Santiago (SCL), Lima (LIM), Bogota (BOG), and Sao Paulo (GRU). 

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Daniel Martínez Garbuno is a Mexican journalist. He has specialized in the air industry working mainly for A21, a Mexican media outlet focused entirely on the aviation world. He has also published on other sites like Simple Flying, Roads & Kingdoms, Proceso, El Economista, Buzos de la Noticia, Contenido, and Notimex.

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