Delta, Virgin Atlantic and Air France-KLM have signed definitive
agreements relating to their planned three-way transatlantic joint venture.
The agreements spell out the governance as well as the
commercial and operational terms of the proposed partnership.
"Air France-KLM, Delta and Virgin Atlantic will now
coordinate efforts to secure the appropriate regulatory approvals," the
The definitive agreement comes close to
10 months after the three airlines announced that they'd reached tentative
terms on the partnership, which would unify the existing Delta-Virgin Atlantic
joint venture with the joint venture between Delta, Air France-KLM and
Alitalia. The status of Alitalia in the consolidated joint venture effort is
uncertain because it is going through insolvency proceedings.
As part of the deal, Air France-KLM will purchase 31% of
Virgin Atlantic for 220 million British pounds. Delta will retain its 49% share
of Virgin Atlantic and the Virgin Group will be left with just 20% of the
airline it founded.
Delta purchased a 10% share of Air France-KLM at the end of
last year and took a seat on the company's board, according to Air Transport
In a March interview with Travel Weekly, Virgin Atlantic
chief commercial officer Shari Weiss said that barring regulatory hang-ups, the
expanded joint venture could launch in the second half of 2019.
Under joint ventures, carriers receive immunity from
antitrust regulations, allowing them to jointly schedule, market and operate