Airlines Delta and China Eastern acquire Air France-KLM equity


Delta Air Lines and China Eastern Airlines have announced they have acquired separate 10% stakes in Air France-KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Group. The investments, which comes from new shares through capital increases, totals $875 million and will also provide Delta with a seat on the Air France-KLM Group’s board of directors.

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In addition, Air France-KLM has agreed to purchase a 31% stake in Virgin Atlantic Airways from Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group valued at $287 million. “With our partners Delta and Virgin Atlantic, we are pleased to reinforce our transatlantic partnership, offering our customers even more choice between Europe, UK and the United States via twelve hubs on both sides of the Atlantic,” said Air France/KLM CEO Jean-Marc Janaillac.

Delta, Air France-KLM, Virgin and Alitalia will forge a single commercial venture out of two existing partnerships, while Air France-KLM and China Eastern will expand their own tie-up. Delta owns 3.2 percent of China Eastern and 49 percent of Virgin Atlantic.

Delta and China Eastern acquire Air France-KLM equity

The new single joint-venture will replace current existing agreements between Air France-KLM, Delta and Alitalia and another one between Delta and Virgin Atlantic Airways. The long-term joint venture will have twelve hubs on both sides of the Atlantic: Amsterdam, Atlanta, Boston, Cincinnati, Detroit, Los Angeles, London Heathrow, Minneapolis-St Paul, New York-JFK, Paris-CDG, Salt Lake City and Seattle.

The companies will offer their customers over 300 daily flights between Europe and North America. In May, Delta increased its equity stake in Aeromexico to 49 percent, while also forming a joint cooperation agreement with the airline. A month later, the U.S. carrier announced a joint venture with Korean Air Lines.

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