Delta invests US$1.2 billion in struggling partner network

Delta Air Lines will make investments in Virgin Atlantic, Aeromexico and LATAM as its partner airlines seek to survive Covid-19.

Prior to the pandemic, Delta was achieving record international expansion, which it attributed to a combination of organic growth and its global network.

The American carrier hopes to be well positioned when the recovery gathers pace in the aviation sector.

“These strategic investments in our partners will transform our ability to improve the travel experience for our customers, enabling us to deliver a seamless travel experience alongside offering our customers an unrivalled network between North American and premier markets worldwide,” said Delta chief executive, Ed Bastian.

“The work each of our partners has done to strengthen their businesses for the future makes these partnerships even more valuable and creates a new era of international travel to benefit our customers, our employees and our investors as global travel rebounds in 2022 and beyond.”

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In support of its global future, Delta is investing in Virgin Atlantic, Aeromexico and LATAM as each carrier emerges from restructuring or recapitalisation.

Upon completion of their respective processes, Delta is targeting a 20 per cent equity stake in Aeromexico and a ten per cent equity stake in LATAM.

In addition, Delta will maintain its 49 per cent equity stake in Virgin Atlantic.

The investment in these carriers will be approximately $1.2 billion, Delta said.

Combined with fresh cash from Virgin Group owner, Richard Branson, the UK-based carrier will receive £400 million under the proposals.

Delta said there was no change to its investments in Air France-KLM, Korean Air and China Eastern.

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