Delta Air Lines Inc. is looking north of the border for its next partnership, announcing today its intentions to form a joint venture with WestJet, Canada’s second largest airline.
Delta has used joint ventures to spread its wings around the world, tying up with airlines in China, Brazil, Mexico and across the Atlantic in Europe over the last 25 years.
The practice has especially accelerated in the last five years as Delta has paired greater global connectivity with its extensive network in the U.S., centered at its hub in Atlanta.
WestJet has airline alliances that give its customers access to 175 destinations in 20 countries. The deal would coordinate schedules for new nonstop flights and expand codesharing with Delta, which WestJet sees as a key partner in its quest to become a more global airline. The joint venture is subject to board, shareholder and regulatory approval, according to a Delta news release. It’s unclear whether it would mean more nonstop flights to Canada from Atlanta.
“We look forward to applying Delta’s experience building successful joint venture partnerships to this important segment of transborder travel, the second-largest international segment for U.S. travel,” said Steve Sear, Delta’s president of international and executive vice president of global sales.
WestJet is based in Calgary in the province of Alberta.