Delta and V Australia aim to start JV mid next year

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Delta Air Lines and Virgin Blue group's V Australia aim to begin codesharing on transpacific flights mid next year, says Virgin Blue CEO Brett Godfrey.

Last month Australian regulators cleared the Delta-V Australia joint venture that was announced in July. It now awaits approval from the US Department of Transportation.

The joint venture aims to strengthen each carrier's foreign connections. It will also help reduce a supposed over-capacity on the Australia-US market created by the entry of both Delta and V Australia as well as Qantas Airways up-gauging some of its services to A380 aircraft.

While the carriers must wait for final approval before starting formal negotiations on transpacific routes, domestic codesharing between the carriers starts 5 December, says Godfrey. V Australia will place its code on Delta flights within the USA and Delta will place its code on Virgin Blue flights within Australia, he says.