Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) and WestJet (TSX: WJA) have signed a definitive agreement to create a comprehensive transborder joint venture arrangement that will offer customers an extensive route network within the U.S. and Canada.
"Delta's future is global and together with WestJet, we can augment the two airlines' capabilities and bring together our strengths in this important trans-border market," said Ed Bastian, Delta's CEO. "Combined, we will be able to offer more destinations to customers with an integrated network, superior airline products, improved airport connections and significantly enhanced frequent flyer benefits. The JV will provide an unmatched passenger experience for customers travelling between the U.S. and Canada."
"WestJet continues its drive toward becoming a global airline, and the signing of this agreement marks a major milestone in that journey," said Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO. "Working together with Delta, the premier U.S. carrier, we are looking forward to providing enhanced offerings and more choice for guests. The joint venture will allow us to maximize our existing partnership with Delta to benefit customers by bringing greater competition to the trans-border market."
The agreement deepens the existing codeshare partnership between the carriers and follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding in December 2017 announcing the intention to form a joint venture. The joint venture will provide substantial reach into Canada and the U.S. with transborder service to more than 30 cities covering over 95 per cent of U.S.-Canada demand, providing customers of both airlines with more travel choices than ever before. The new JV will also enable Delta and WestJet to compete more effectively against other carriers.
Upon receipt of regulatory approvals in Canada and the U.S., Delta and WestJet will work together to implement all aspects of the enhanced cooperation including expanded codesharing, more closely aligned frequent flyer program and reciprocal elite benefits, joint growth across their U.S./Canada transborder network, and co-location at key hubs with more seamless passenger and baggage transit. The agreement will also include the ability to cooperate on cargo accompanying passenger flights as well as corporate contracts.
Delta has a strong track record of partnering with airlines around the globe, in Europe, Latin America, Asia, Australia and now Canada. These joint ventures connect complementary networks, allowing the carriers to expand service options, add more convenient connections, and provide a more seamless customer experience than would otherwise have been possible.
As WestJet continues its global transformation, its airline partners connect the growing WestJet network to an extensive list of international destinations. WestJet has one of the youngest fleets in the airline industry and continues to provide award-winning guest experience, recently being named Canada's Best Airline by TripAdvisor and North America's Best Low-Cost Airline 2018 by Skytrax.
Further information about Delta Air Lines and WestJet is available at delta.com and westjet.com.