Mexican airline Aeroméxico and US carrier Delta Air Lines Inc. finalized an agreement on Wednesday to form the largest joint airline venture in North America. The United States Department of Transportation approved the alliance that will allow the companies to share routes and infrastructure in Mexico and in the United States.
The deal is an important step forward in Delta’s bid to acquire 49 percent of Aeroméxico shares, and is positive news for US–Mexico business relations after a US election campaign during which President-Elect Donald Trump consistently attacked Mexico.
“Together, Delta and Aeroméxico are stronger in the US-Mexico market than either airline can be on its own,” Ed Bastian, Delta’s chief executive officer, said after the deal was finalized. “The partnership will make it possible for us to offer customers more flights to more destinations, with more choices every time someone travels across the border. We will offer industry-leading reliability, great service and an unmatched array of options,” he added.
Aeroméxico and Delta will make joint investments in infrastructure in both countries, share airport gates and lounges for frequent flyers. The partnership will allow the carriers to offer more connections for Aeroméxico’s 130 flights and Delta’s 800 flights every day.
Aeroméxico will open its offices in Mexico City, Monterrey and Guadalajara to Delta and the American airline will share its bases in Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Seattle and Salt Lake City.
“This agreement marks the beginning of a new era in the aviation of North America, as the first and the largest cross-border alliance between Mexico and the United States,” said Aeroméxico CEO Andrés Conesa. “It is the next step in our relationship, and our networks will provide more benefits to our customers while increasing the options for connectivity, and products and services.”
In order to approve the deal, the US Department of Transportation required Aeroméxico and Delta to relinquish 24 slot pairs (or take-off and landing slots) in Mexico City and four at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport, thus making space for competitors and preventing the creation of a monopoly among airlines that serve the US–Mexico market.
Aeroméxico and Delta will make joint investments in infrastructure in both countries and share airport gates
Delta and Aeroméxico have been partners for 22 years and wish to strengthen their alliance in the coming months.
English version by Dyane Jean François.