Skyteam members Delta Air Lines and Korean Air will launch their transpacific joint venture “soon” after it was cleared by competition authorities in South Korea.
The partnership has been approved by the Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. The airlines previously received clearance for the JV from the US Department of Transportation in November 2017.
Delta and Korean will operate a combined network across the Pacific covering more than 290 destinations in the Americas and 80-plus airports in Asia.
The two carriers said they would be able to optimise schedules and offer a “more seamless customer experience” as a result of the JV. They can also improve their loyalty programme benefits, integrate IT systems and run joint sales and marketing activities, as well as co-locating at key hub airports.
Delta CEO Ed Bastian said: “Our expanded partnership means a host of new destinations and travel options across Asia and North America, with seamless connectivity, world-class reliability and the industry’s best customer service.”
Korean Air and Delta are already co-located in Terminal 2 at Seoul’s Incheon International airport after moving to the new terminal earlier this year.
Yang Ho Cho, chairman and CEO of Korean Air, said: “With the recent relocation to Terminal 2 at Incheon airport alongside with Delta, we will be able to provide seamless service to our customers. Korean Air will provide extensive support to develop a successful partnership with Delta.”