Delta Air Lines and WestJet have signed a definitive deal that will see the two airlines “create a comprehensive transborder joint venture arrangement” that they say is designed to offer consumers an extensive route network within the U.S. and Canada.
Delta CEO, Ed Bastian (on the left in the photo) said that: “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.”
Bastian pointed out that “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.”
And he added: “The JV will provide an unmatched passenger experience for customers travelling between the U.S. and Canada.”
As WestJet president and CEO, Ed Sims (on the right in the photo) sees it: “WestJet continues its drive toward becoming a global airline, and the signing of this agreement marks a major milestone in that journey.”
Sims observed that: “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 new JV 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% 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
- Co-location at key hubs with more seamless passenger and baggage transit.
As well, the deal 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.