ATLANTA, GA and MEXICO CITY, Mexico – Delta Air Lines and Grupo Aeromexico have filed an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation seeking antitrust immunity for a new joint venture on flights between the United States and Mexico.
The application marks a significant step in the creation of a $1.5 billion joint venture that will allow Delta and Aeromexico to compete more effectively on routes between the U.S. and Mexico. The joint venture will provide more options for travelers in both countries, while enabling joint investments by the two airlines, further improving the customer experience.
“Mexico is the most popular international destination for Delta customers, and our proposed joint venture will offer our customers more schedule and destination choices, whether traveling for business or pleasure,” said Ed Bastian, Delta’s President. “Approval of antitrust immunity will allow travelers to fully benefit from all the aspects of a future Delta-Aeromexico joint venture, including the combination of two complementary networks.”
“We are thrilled at this opportunity to further deepen our relationship with Delta. The potential to align our networks and scheduling means that we will be able to offer greater customer choice than we would have been able to offer individually,” said Andres Conesa, CEO of Grupo Aeromexico.
The request also will be submitted for approval to the Mexican antitrust authorities, the Comision Federal de Competencia Economica (Federal Economic Competition Commission). Upon receipt of the required governmental approvals, Delta and Aeromexico will seek to expand opportunities to co-locate and invest in airport facilities by improving gates, lounges and the overall connecting experience. Additionally the airlines will increase joint sales and marketing initiatives.
Through the proposed joint venture, the airlines will offer an expanded network within Mexico and connections to U.S. business centers in Los Angeles and New York. Aeromexico’s hubs – Mexico City, Monterrey, Guadalajara and Hermosillo – will give Delta customers greater access to cities throughout Mexico. Delta will provide Aeromexico with a broad North American network via Delta’s key hubs, including Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Salt Lake City and Seattle, and a strong marketing presence throughout the U.S.
Delta and Aeromexico launched their first codeshare in 1994 and both became founding airlines of SkyTeam in 2000. In 2011, Delta entered into an enhanced commercial agreement with Aeromexico, and in 2012, Delta invested $65 million in shares of Grupo Aeromexico, the parent company of Aeromexico. Currently Delta and Aeromexico offer more than 4,000 weekly codeshare flights, representing more than 80 daily transborder round-trip flights. A year ago, Delta and Aeromexico opened a joint MRO in Queretaro.