Delta Air Lines investing $1.2B in foreign airlines

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When Aeromexico exits bankruptcy, Delta will own 20% of the airline.
When Aeromexico exits bankruptcy, Delta will own 20% of the airline. Photo Credit: Aeromexico

Delta will make new investments of approximately $1.2 billion in partners Latam, Aeromexico and Virgin Atlantic as those airlines emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy or restructuring. 

The investments will give Delta a 20% equity stake in Aeromexico, 10% ownership of Latam and 49% ownership of Virgin Atlantic.

Delta entered the pandemic with 49% ownership stakes in its joint venture partners Aeromexico and Virgin Atlantic, and a 20% stake in Latam, with which it is seeking joint venture approval from the Department of Transportation.  

However, those investments have been lost during the Chapter 11 proceedings of Aeromexico and Latam and during the U.K.-overseen restructuring of Virgin Atlantic. 

The losses were substantial. Delta invested $360 million in Virgin Atlantic as part of a late 2012 partnership agreement. The carrier invested $1.9 billion in Latam as part of a late 2019 deal. And Delta wrote off the $770 million value of its Aeromexico investment during the second quarter of 2020. 

In a Monday announcement, Delta touted the value of re-upping its international partnerships as global travel ramps back up.

"These strategic investments in our partners will transform our ability to improve travel for our customers, enabling us to deliver a seamless travel experience alongside offering our customers an unrivaled network between North American and premier markets worldwide," CEO Ed Bastian said.

Virgin Atlantic on Monday said it received a total of 400 million pounds (about $530 million) of new funding from  shareholders Virgin Group and Delta to help the airline through the pandemic.

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