The FINANCIAL — Delta Air Lines and Aeroméxico on December 21 accepted the final order issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation granting them antitrust immunity and allowing the airlines to establish a joint cooperation agreement.
This historic agreement will establish the largest transborder alliance between Mexico and the United States, expand competition and benefit customers of both airlines.
“Together, Delta and Aeroméxico are stronger in the U.S.-Mexico market than either airline can be on its own,” said Delta CEO Ed Bastian. “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.”
“This agreement will mark 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, products and services.”
Bastian added that the partnership will benefit employees as well. “Our partnership means growth of services and jobs for both Delta and Aeroméxico,” he said.
Once conditions requested by DOT and the Mexican Federal Economic Competition Commission have been fulfilled, the agreement will allow Aeroméxico and Delta to coordinate efforts to enhance the travel experience with expanded destinations and frequencies, improved connecting schedules and seamless operations.
The agreement will also improve the experience on the ground, allowing the airlines to co-locate and invest in airport facilities by improving gates and lounges. The airlines also will increase joint sales and marketing initiatives.
Delta will offer a strong presence in the United States through its hubs in Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York, Salt Lake City and Seattle; while Aeromexico will offer larger access to Mexico through its hubs in Mexico City, Monterrey and Guadalajara.
The airlines have been partners for 22 years. The regulatory approval represents an important milestone in the process, announced last year, to launch a cash tender offer for Delta’s acquisition for up to 49 percent of Grupo Aeromexico S.A.B. de C.V., capital stock, further strengthening the partnership between the two airlines.