Thursday, 20 June 2019

Delta equity investment deepens ties to joint venture partner Korean Air

Delta has acquired a 4.3% equity stake in Hanjin-KAL, the largest shareholder of Korean Air. The investment demonstrates Delta’s ambition of doing a complete buy-out of the South Korean carrier. However, for the time being, the US airline is content to slowly edge forward, by the way of the 'joint-venture' they launched in 2018. The deal is not expected to impact on passengers of either airline. Delta has publically stated it intends to increase its equity stake to 10% over time, after receiving regulatory approval. However, moves are already in play to be able to increase that amount in future. 

“Together with the team at Korean Air, we have a vision to deliver the world’s leading trans-Pacific joint venture for our shared customers, offering the strongest network, the best service and the finest experience connecting the U.S. with Asia,” said Delta CEO Ed Bastian. “This is already one of our fastest-integrating and most successful partnerships, and experience tells us this investment will further strengthen our relationship as we continue to build on the value of the joint venture.”


Delta and Korean Air operate the industry’s most robust trans-Pacific joint venture, providing customers with seamless access to more than 290 destinations in the U.S. and over 80 destinations in Asia, including the partnership’s award-winning hub at Seoul-Incheon (ICN). 

Since launching in May 2018, Delta and Korean Air have strengthened cooperation by expanding joint operations in the trans-Pacific to include more than 1,400 codeshare flights, including connections throughout Asia and the U.S. Teams at both airlines have also worked closely together to provide the best travel experience for customers between the U.S. and Asia, integrate sales and marketing activities, and enhance loyalty program benefits, such as the ability to earn more miles on both loyalty programs and redeem them on a wider range of flights. Additionally, Korean Air and Delta have launched cargo cooperation across one of the most comprehensive route networks in the trans-Pacific market.

The partnership is contributing to Delta’s first year-over-year growth in the Asia Pacific region since 2012, with new service launched earlier this year between Minneapolis/St. Paul and Seoul, as well as Seattle and Osaka, operated in partnership with Korean Air. Additionally, Korean Air has launched new service linking Boston with Seoul.

The joint venture builds on nearly two decades of close partnership between Korean Air and Delta, both founding members of the SkyTeam airline alliance.

Delta is growing its international footprint and leveraging partnerships with key airlines in regions around the world, including through joint ventures and equity investments. These investments improve alignment between Delta and its partners, creating a more stable environment for growth amid an increasingly dynamic global landscape.



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