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Virgin Atlantic, Air France, KLM and Delta launch joint venture

Feb. 03, 2020
3 min read
Virgin Atlantic, Air France, KLM and Delta launch joint venture
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Virgin Atlantic, Air France, KLM and Delta Air Lines have officially launched their long-awaited joint venture. The carriers announced on Monday that they had launched their expanded joint venture, with additional benefits set to roll out on Feb. 13

The airlines say that the joint venture will allow passengers to book travel with any of the four carriers through the airline's respective app. Better yet is the opportunity for members of the airlines' respective loyalty programs to earn and redeem miles for travel on any of the four airlines' worldwide route networks as of Feb. 13. In addition, elite members in any of the programs will be able to take advantage of reciprocal lounge access when traveling internationally as well as elite benefits.

Unfortunately, as of Monday's announcement, specific details as to the earning and redemption rates had not yet been made public.

With the joint venture, the four airlines said they will offer a total of 341 daily combined transatlantic flights while carrying approximately 23% of total passenger and cargo capacity on transatlantic routes. In addition, passengers traveling on transatlantic routes will be able to connect on to the domestic networks of the appropriate carriers. For example, flying from Paris to Atlanta with Air France and then connecting on to Delta's U.S. route network and then returning from Seattle to London with Virgin Atlantic.

(Photo courtesy of Delta Air Lines)

For Air France, KLM and Virgin Atlantic in particular, the joint venture expands the reach within Europe. Additionally, the joint venture is a big improvement for the U.K. regions, as Air France and KLM's route networks in the U.K. are much larger than what Virgin Atlantic offers alone. The tie-up also strengthens the airlines' collective position against British Airways, which has the most robust route network from the U.K.

"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", Air France-KLM Group CEO Benjamin Smith said in a statement. "For Air France-KLM, it also means greater access to the U.K. market and especially London Heathrow, the leading global travel market".

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In future months, the airlines said they'll continue to expand upon the joint venture by launching more initiatives. Later this year, for example, passengers can expect to see "the launch of more codeshare routes, aligning schedules to reduce connection times and smoothing the airport experience from check-in to baggage claim", according to a press release. Included in that is also the ability to book a multi-carrier journey and check-in and select a seat through any of the airline apps or websites.

Since 2009, Delta had partnered in a joint venture with Air France and KLM. Meanwhile, since 2013, Delta had partnered with Virgin Atlantic. The new joint venture between the four airlines establishes the group as a larger player in the transatlantic market.

Featured image by FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES We wouldn't be everywhere we are today without some connections of our own. We've partnered with a wide range of travel services to offer you a complete and seamless suite of options. - Benoit Hilaire - Air France; Nioka Antoine-Poleon - Virgin Atlantic; Yui Young - Delta Air Lines; Juliette van der Maas - KLM These images are protected by copyright. Delta has acquired permission from the copyright owner to the use the images for specified purposes and in some cases for a limited time. If you have been authorized by Delta to do so, you may use these images to promote Delta, but only as part of Delta-approved marketing and advertising. Further distribution (including providing these images to third parties), reproduction, display, or other use is strictly prohibited.

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  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
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Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
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  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

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  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
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Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023