Air France, KLM, Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic launch world’s leading partnership (also for cargo)

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Customers benefit from more destinations and ways  to earn and spend frequent flyer points

The new partnership provides customers with more convenient flight schedules and a shared goal of ensuring a smooth and consistent travel experience, whichever airline people fly.  The partnership also provides the flexibility to book flights on any of the four carriers through their respective mobile apps, websites, or via travel agents. Customers will enjoy award-winning service, top-tier premium cabin products and complimentary food, drink and seat-back in-flight entertainment in all cabins on all trans-Atlantic flights.

Enhanced customer benefits starting from 13 February mean that loyalty programme members will be able to earn and use miles or enjoy elite benefits for flights on any of the four airlines’ worldwide operations, including a trans-Atlantic trip, intra-Europe hops, or domestic U.S. journey, offering more opportunities to quickly move through loyalty tiers and reach a higher status. Eligible Elite loyalty programme members can also enjoy priority boarding and relax in over 100 airport lounges when travelling internationally.

Other highlights include:

  • Up to 341 peak daily trans-Atlantic services, covering the top 10 routes on a nonstop basis
  • Onward connections to 238 cities in North America, 98 in continental Europe and 16 in the UK
  • A choice of 110 nonstop trans-Atlantic routes

The enhanced network is also fully available to cargo customers and is built around the carriers’ hubs in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, London Heathrow, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York-JFK, Paris, Seattle and Salt Lake City. It creates convenient nonstop or one-stop connections to every corner of North America, Europe and the U.K.

Virgin Atlantic CEO Shai Weiss said: “Customers are at the heart of this expanded joint venture with our partners Delta, Air France and KLM, where seamless connections, greater range of flights, unrivalled customer service and increased frequent flyer benefits will reinforce its position as the choice passengers most love to fly. One of the pillars of our strategy is successfully collaborating with our partners. Combining our strengths, our network, and our people allows us to achieve more together.

The customer benefits effective this month are just the start with more initiatives being rolled out later this year such as the launch of more codeshare routes, aligning schedules to reduce connection times and smoothing the airport experience from check-in to baggage claim. Customers will also soon be able to check-in and select their seat through any of the partner airline mobile apps or websites.

Delta CEO Ed Bastian commented: “Our expanded partnership is a major step forward for all of our airlines as we deliver greater reliability, top travel benefits and leading service that our customers deserve. Today’s launch brings our historic, longstanding collaboration to a new level as we continue to build the partnership of choice across Europe and North America that sets us apart from the rest of the industry.

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

Other key facts and figures on the expanded joint venture:

  • The JV represents approximately 23 per cent of total passenger and cargo trans-Atlantic capacity
  • Combined annual revenues of the JV are estimated at US$13 billion
  • Over 180,000 employees work across Air France, KLM, Delta and Virgin Atlantic

Also for Cargo:

The power of choice for cargo customers as Air France-KLM, Delta and Virgin Atlantic launch trans-Atlantic Joint Venture

Air France-KLM Cargo, Delta Air Lines Cargo and Virgin Atlantic Cargo are promising cargo customers more connections, greater shipment routing flexibility, improved trucking options, aligned services and innovative digital solutions with the launch of their expanded trans-Atlantic Joint Venture (JV).

The new partnership, which represents 23% of total trans-Atlantic cargo capacity or more than 600,000 tonnes annually, will enable the airlines to offer the best-ever customer experience, and a combined network of up to 341 peak daily trans-Atlantic services – a choice of 110 nonstop routes with onward connections to 238 cities in North America, 98 in Continental Europe and 16 in the U.K.

More choice and convenience for customers

Customers will be able to leverage an enhanced network built around the airlines’ hubs in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, London Heathrow, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York-JFK, Paris, Seattle and Salt Lake City. It creates convenient nonstop or one-stop connections to every corner of North America, Europe and the U.K., giving customers the added confidence of delivery schedules being met by a wide choice of options.

The expanded JV enables greater co-operation between the airlines, focused on delivering world-class customer service and reliability on both sides of the Atlantic achieved through co-located facilities, joint trucking options as well as seamless bookings and connected service recovery. The airlines already co-locate at warehouses in key U.S., U.K. and European airports, and will review opportunities to co-locate further at more airports around the globe.

Adriaan den Heijer, Executive Vice President of Air France-KLM Cargo: “We are very excited to welcome Virgin Atlantic Cargo to the successful trans-Atlantic Joint Venture between Air France-KLM Cargo and Delta Cargo. The combined network means more choices and value for our customers as we align our services to enable seamless transfers and further streamlining of transport times. This enhanced joint venture offers the most and best trans-Atlantic options ever in the cargo industry.

Expertise in Specialised Products

The four airlines will leverage their expertise in the transportation of specialised products, including end-to-end GDP and IATA CEIV quality compliance for pharmaceuticals, supported by dedicated teams and facilities across the globe. The JV will allow the airlines to provide customers with a diversified product range to best suit their individual requirements.

This announcement is just the first step in the journey,” said Shawn Cole, Vice President – Delta Cargo. “Our customers can expect additional benefits as we evolve our partnership further to deliver best-in-class customer experience and operational reliability, with differentiated products and services that are tailored and developed to make it easier to do business with the four airlines.”

Ease of doing business

Customers will be able to book their shipments with knowledgeable local teams and by using new digital solutions designed to reduce duplication and drive efficiencies as a result of greater connectively between the airlines’ systems. Alongside the development of a growing choice of self-service technology options, customers will continue to enjoy the support of co-located customer service centres to enhance their cargo delivery experience.

Virgin Atlantic Cargo’s Managing Director, Dominic Kennedy said: “Our great partnership with Delta has already enriched the benefits we offer to our customers. With our expanded JV with Air France-KLM Cargo, we are even more excited about the benefits we will be bringing for our customers as we work with like-minded partners to deliver greater value across our outstanding trans-Atlantic network.”

AMSTERDAM/PARIS, ATLANTA and LONDON: February 3rd, 2020

 

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