A joint venture between Air France, KLM, Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic was announced this week that promises airline customers more travel options in the form of expanded routes, an improved loyalty program, and a more consistent travel experience.
“Our expanded partnership is a major step forward for all of our airlines as we deliver greater reliability, top travel benefits and leading service that our customers deserve,” said Ed Bastian CEO of Delta. “Today’s launch brings our historic, long-standing collaboration to a new level as we continue to build the partnership of choice across Europe and North America that sets us apart from the rest of the industry.”
Through the partnership, travelers and advisors will have the flexibility to book flights on any of the four participating carriers. Travelers will also have access to 110 nonstop trans-Atlantic routes, with connections to hundreds of destinations throughout North America and Europe.
“Ten years after starting our joint venture with Delta, this new agreement is a major milestone that will even further reinforce our presence on the Atlantic, by allowing our passengers the choice between four major airlines combining their network for the benefit of our customers,” said Benjamin Smith, CEO of the Air France-KLM Group. “For Air France-KLM, it also means greater access to the UK market and especially London Heathrow, the leading global travel market.”
Customers can also enjoy award-winning service, top-tier premium cabin products and complimentary food, drink and seatback in-flight entertainment in all cabins on all trans-Atlantic flights.
And beginning Feb. 13, the joint venture will introduce enhanced customer benefits, giving loyalty program members the ability to earn and use miles and enjoy elite benefits for flights on any of the four participating airlines. Eligible Elite loyalty program members can also enjoy priority boarding and relax in over 100 airport lounges when traveling internationally.
“Customers are at the heart of this expanded joint venture with our partners Delta, Air France and KLM, where seamless connections, a greater range of flights, unrivalled customer service and increased frequent flyer benefits will reinforce its position as the choice passengers most love to fly,” said Shai?Weiss, CEO of Virgin Atlantic.?“One of the pillars of our strategy is successfully collaborating with our partners. Combining our strengths,?our network, and our people allows us to achieve more together.”?
Additional initiatives will be rolled out later this year, including the addition of more codeshare routes; synchronizing schedules to reduce connection times; and the ability for customers to check in and select their seat through any of the partner airline mobile apps or websites.