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Korean Air and Delta finalize joint agreement

June 30,2017
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Representatives from South Korea’s flagship carrier, Korean Air, and major American airline, Delta Air Lines, sign an agreement on trans-Pacific routes. Cho Yang-ho, chairman of Hanjin Group, the parent company of Korean Air, and Delta CEO Ed Bastian attended the ceremony. [KOREAN AIR]
Following a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed in Incheon this March, South Korea’s flagship carrier, Korean Air, and major American airline, Delta Air Lines, held a signing ceremony in June to celebrate the finalization of its joint venture agreement on trans-Pacific routes.

Cho Yang-ho, chairman of Hanjin Group, the parent company for national airline Korean Air, gave his words at the signing ceremony at the Wilshire Grand Center at Los Angeles, saying “this cooperation through the joint venture agreement will bring about enormous benefits for passengers as they will be able to enjoy more convenient flight connection schedules.” From the partnership with Delta along with the opening of its second passenger terminal, Korean Air expects to reinforce Incheon International airport’s position as a major transportation hub of Northeast Asia and enhance the competitiveness of Korea’s aviation industry to the highest level.

Ed Bastian, Delta’s CEO, stressed that “an expanded trans-Pacific network resulting from the joint venture agreement will offer unmatched convenience for passengers. The strong partnership between Delta and Korean Air will benefit our passengers and transfer passengers as well as our employees and investors.”

The joint venture agreement will enable the two airlines to offer a combined network connecting more than 290 destinations in the Americas and 80 destinations in Asia. The comprehensive flight route network will provide passengers of both airlines more travel choices and enable faster and convenient connections. In addition to offering customers of both airlines a shortened transfer time as well as flight tickets with varied price and schedule options, it will also benefit cargo flights with increased belly cargo cooperation across the trans-Pacific. Another benefit that passengers of both airlines can enjoy include is shared mileage programs in which they can earn and redeem miles on Delta’s SkyMiles and Korean Air’s SKYPASS programs.

The joint venture, subject to regulatory approval, aims to maximize growth in the trans-Pacific market by expanding trans-Pacific code sharing, increasing joint sales and marketing initiatives in Asia and the United States, and solidifying the airlines’ cargo delivery businesses. In the end, they both hope to improve passengers’ accessibility to connecting flights and enable passengers to have more opportunities to connect to destinations in the Korean Air-Delta network.

With Korean Air having the most routes in the Asia-Pacific region and Delta being the world’s largest airline with an extensive network in the US, both airlines believe that the joint venture will drive a substantial share of demand for transfers. The companies both work to meet the needs of their passengers with services that offer quick transfers, price options and a shared mileage program. A Korean Air spokesperson noted after the signing ceremony that Korean Air and Delta Air Lines are speeding up their progress to deliver improvements to passengers as quickly as possible.