Delta and WestJet Agree to Form Joint Venture
Delta Air Lines and Canadian low-cost carrier WestJet announced on Wednesday that the two have reached an agreement to form a joint venture. Their existing partnership will be deepened with the new agreed-upon comprehensive transborder joint venture, which will increase the number of options passengers have to travel between the US and Canada.
Wednesday's announcement from the two carriers isn't final — the JV still has to get both board and applicable regulatory approvals. Overall, if approved, passengers can look out for a more extensive transborder route network between the US and Canada, as well as access to both Delta and WestJet's hard products, enhanced frequent flyer benefits, shared airport facilities and amenities and a more seamless travel experience.
Top-tier members of both the Delta SkyMiles and WestJet Rewards programs will get reciprocal benefits when flying with the other carrier. In addition, the two will offer coordinated flight schedules for nonstop flights to new destinations, expanded codesharing and easier connections when traveling between the US and Canada.
WestJet and Delta have long been partners, but the proposed joint venture would help expand that relationship. Delta has never been particularly strong in the Canadian market, so this JV will help the carrier to expand its offering with the route network of WestJet.
The carrier already has joint ventures in place with Korean, Air France-KLM, Virgin Atlantic and Aeromexico. The proposed joint venture would generally be good news for passengers looking to seamlessly get between the US and Canada with more extensive route networks. However, with less competition with the joint venture, it could mean that people will be paying higher fares.