Delta Airlines and Virgin Atlantic Airways have endorsed an agreement across 108 routes that offer customers seamless connections to 66 destinations across North America and the United Kingdom.
The codeshare announcement coincides with Delta’s acquisition a 49 per cent stake in Sir Richard Branson’s airline - marking the next step towards a full joint venture between the two carriers.
Virgin Atlantic will place its code on 91 Delta routes, including both trans-Atlantic and domestic United States routes. Delta will place its code on 17 Virgin Atlantic routes, including the recently launched Little Red domestic UK services connecting London to Manchester, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.
Speaking on the development, President of Delta Airlines, Ed Bastian said it is a strategic investment that enhances Delta’s network with greatly improved access to London Heathrow, the leading marketplace on the trans-Atlantic.
“As we unite two leading global airline brands in an innovative partnership that focuses on delivering enhanced benefits and services for our customers, we also become a more formidable competitor across the Atlantic.”
On his part, Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Atlantic, Craig Kreeger said; “Today is an important day for Virgin Atlantic and our customers in both the US and UK as new shareholders in the airline, Delta is an important ally in the all-important trans-Atlantic market. We can stand firm together against the competition and can now offer more destinations, a smoother connecting airport experience and ultimately the best trans-Atlantic on board experience. Virgin Atlantic’s award-winning customer experience is loved around the world and we look forward to sharing our unique Clubhouse and in-flight hospitality with many Delta passengers over the years.”
The companies said the agreement has many benefits.
“Virgin Atlantic customers will now enjoy a vast network of connecting North American destinations while Delta customers will gain an additional six daily frequencies between London to New York
SkyMiles and Flying Club loyalty programs that will offer up to 125 per cent tier bonus miles to frequent fliers on all Delta and Virgin Atlantic flights - not just those within the codeshare agreement
Reciprocal Delta Sky Club and Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse access at applicable airports for Upper Class and BusinessElite passengers and Flying Club Gold members and SkyMiles Platinum and Diamond members,” they said.