23. June 2011 11:10
The US Department of Transportation (DOT) recently gave its final approval of antitrust immunity for the Trans-Pacific alliance between the Delta Air Lines and Virgin Australia.
Both the airlines have welcomed the DOT’s decision.
Expressing his happiness, Richard Anderson, CEO of Delta Air Lines, said, “This final ruling by the DOT will expand competition and enhance customer service and travel options for passengers flying between the US and Australia.” He said, “We thank the DOT for their thorough review of our application and welcome their conclusion that consumers will benefit from a strong partnership between Delta and Virgin Australia.”
John Borghetti, CEO of Virgin Australia, was also visibly pleased over the DOT approval. Borghetti said, “The ATI is a key enabler for an integrated alliance between Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic Airlines. We are extremely pleased that the way is now cleared for us to work together with Delta Air Lines to deliver a more attractive and competitive service for travelers in Australia and North America.”
Talking about the partnership with Delta Air Lines, Borghetti remarked, “We have been operating a successful partnership with Delta Air Lines for the past three years. The DOT approval will now allow us to work together more efficiently to achieve better schedules, connections and network coverage for our guests. With the DOT approval, we will now move quickly to implement the joint venture and plan to have it up and running by the end of the year.”
The DOT approval will allow the Delta Air Lines and Virgin Australia Airlines to implement a joint venture on service between the United States, Australia and the South Pacific. The antitrust immunity approval will also allow both the airlines to offer a seamless product and coordinate flight schedules for maximum convenience thus expanding travel choices and competition for passengers. The DOT approval will also allow both the airlines to collaborate with each other through codesharing, coordinating products and services and extending frequent flyer program benefits and lounge access to their customers.