The merger of Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic Airways has taken a huge step forward. They have received clearance from the EU Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice for Delta’s acquisition of a 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic. The deal was signed in December 2012, but just got official clearance.
As a result of the new codeshare agreement between the airlines, customers will have 66 more destinations to choose from starting July 3. The codeshare affects 108 routes across North America and the United Kingdom.
Virgin Atlantic will place code on 91 Delta routes, and Delta’s code will go on 17 Virgin Atlantic routes. Virgin’s recent launch of Little Red domestic service in the U.K., which connects London with Manchester, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, is included in the codeshare agreement.
Frequent flyers who are members of either Delta SkyMiles or Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club can get up to 125% tier bonus miles on all Delta and Virgin Atlantic flights, regardless of whether they are part of the new codeshare agreement.
Other perks of the agreement include:
- More North American destinations for Virgin customers to connect to, and six more daily London to NYC flights for Delta customers.
- Delta Sky Club and Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse members can enjoy reciprocity when flying qualifying elite-level flights; SkyMiles Platinum and Diamond members and Flying Club Gold members also get VIP lounge access through both Delta and Virgin Atlantic.
- Virgin Atlantic Upper Class and Flying Club Gold members, and Delta BusinessElite and SkyMiles Gold, Platinum or Diamond members will get priority check-in, boarding, baggage handling and extra baggage allowance on all Virgin Atlantic and Delta flights—not just those with a codeshare agreement.
This is only another step toward the complete merge of the airlines, which are scheduled to become a fully integrated joint venture in the first quarter of 2014. When that happens, the airlines expect to offer more customer benefits and further expanded service.