Delta Air Lines continues to move to strengthen its foothold in the Asia-Pacific region.
A year after the Atlanta-based carrier started a trans-Pacific venture to coordinate flights to Asia with Korean Air, and just weeks after enhancing its codeshare agreements with the foreign carrier, Delta has now purchased an equity stake in Korean Air.
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Delta has acquired a 4.3 percent share in Hanjin KAL, the largest stakeholder in Korean Air. According to Reuters, the cost was about $88 million – with an option to increase its stake to 10 percent.
With hubs in Minneapolis and Seattle and a growing presence in Los Angeles, Delta is offering more and more options for travelers to Asia-Pacific.
Among other global carriers, Delta also has a stake in China Eastern.
“Together with the team at Korean Air, we have a vision to deliver the world’s leading trans-Pacific joint venture for our shared customers, offering the strongest network, the best service and the finest experience connecting the U.S. with Asia,” Delta CEO Ed Bastian said in a statement. “This is already one of our fastest-integrating and most successful partnerships, and experience tells us this investment will further strengthen our relationship as we continue to build on the value of the joint venture.”
The partnership, now almost two decades old, helped Delta to its first growth in the Asia Pacific region since 2012, including flights between Minneapolis/St. Paul and Seoul, Seattle and Osaka, and new service on Korean Air between Boston and Seoul.
That now gives the joint venture 80 destinations in Asia, 290 destinations in the U.S. on more than 1,400 codeshare flights.