Delta and Virgin Atlantic target January joint venture launch

Washington DC
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Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic Airways plan to launch their immunised joint venture between the USA and UK by 1 January 2014.

Ed Bastian, president of Atlanta-based Delta, laid out the timeline during an earnings call today. He says that the carriers have already generated $8 million in joint sales since implementing their codeshare on 3 July.

The codeshare followed a $360 million investment in Virgin Atlantic by Delta for a 49% stake that closed at the end of June.

Delta announced on 23 July that it would launch new daily nonstop service between Seattle and London Heathrow from 29 March 2014 in anticipation of receiving antitrust approval.

The airlines have previously said that their immunised joint venture would begin in the first quarter of 2014.

Delta reports that passenger unit revenues for its flights to London Heathrow, Virgin Atlantic's main hub, rose 10% during the second quarter. It anticipates this growth to continue with the codeshare, says Bastian.