WestJet, Delta agree to expand partnership with co-ordinated schedules

WestJet, Delta agree to expand partnership with co-ordinated schedules

Canada's WestJet Airlines Ltd on Wednesday announced a joint venture with Delta Air Lines to boost trans-border flights and said it expects to almost double its fully owned aircraft by 2020 to meet growing passenger traffic.

WestJet, which competes against Air Canada, said it struck a preliminary agreement with Delta to coordinate schedules for new nonstop flights in the United States and Canada.

Enhanced frequent flyer benefits including reciprocal benefits for top-tier members of both airlines.

"We look forward to applying Delta's experience to build a successful joint venture partnership for this important segment of transborder travel, which is the second largest worldwide segment for the USA travel", said Sear.

Delta president-international and EVP-global sales Steve Sear said the carriers' combined transborder network "captures 95% of demand between the two countries".

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"The agreement will bring heightened competition and an enriched product offering to the transborder segment, in which both airlines would benefit our guests", said Ed Sims, executive vice-president, commercial of WestJet.

WestJet Chief Executive Gregg Saretsky said in a statement that the company will invest in initiatives that would support its transition from a "low-cost point-to-point model into a high value-based network airline with a global footprint".

"We look forward to applying Delta's experience building successful joint venture partnerships to this important segment of transborder travel, the second largest worldwide segment for U.S.travel", Sear said. With this agreement, Delta will have eight partnerships with leading carriers in the world's biggest aviation segments spanning Europe, Latin America, Asia, Australia and Canada.

WestJet, Canada's second-largest airline, now has 45 airline partners providing access to more than 175 destinations in more than 20 countries.

Delta and WestJet plan to finalize the terms of the JV agreement in the first half of 2018 and aim to launch the JV in the first half of 2019.

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